Samsung’s Galaxy S5 said to have fingerprint home button, though less sophisticated than Touch ID

The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button
The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button

If a report by SamMobile is correct, Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy S5 won’t just have a similar name to the iPhone 5s, it will also have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button. The S5 is expected to be officially announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 24th February, replacing the Galaxy S4, though it may not go on sale until March or April.

It had earlier been rumored that the S5 would have iris recognition, but a KGI Research document pointed instead to a fingerprint sensor, which SamMobile claims to be able to confirm via sources inside Samsung.

We are finally confirming that Samsung’s upcoming flagship device, the Galaxy S5, will be equipped with a fingerprint sensor […]

Samsung hasn’t opted for on-screen buttons and is still using physical buttons, like it has been using in the past on all of its flagship devices. The sensor itself works in a swipe manner, which means that you would need to swipe the entire pad of your finger, from base to tip, across the home key to register your fingerprint properly … 

From SamMobile‘s description, the fingerprint technology appears to be less sophisticated than Touch ID, requiring users to pull their finger across the button rather than the one-touch system offered by the iPhone 5s. The ‘swipe across’ type of fingerprint scanner dates back many years.

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  1. Imagine that Samesung. Monkey See, Monkey Do.

  2. OneOkami (@OneOkami) - 9 years ago

    I’m not going blame a competitor for competing. What I’d like to know if what, if any, applications does Samsung have planned for this beyond unlocking the phone.

  3. It’ll be totally useless. And I’m not saying it only because I hate Samsung because of their behaviour but I said this same thing before. Before the 5s was here I said if it will work that I’ll just touch the spot for about a second and phone unlocks then it’s alright, then it’s amazing and that’s the way it’s supposed to work because until that time any other device wasn’t working like that. Now, Samsung comes, copies it and makes it the exact same way I don’t want it to work. They are even bad at copying :D

    • I agree. I just want to get into my iPhone quick when its locked. Not to take a couple of seconds for scanning my finger or eyes. And if that’s for security reasons, its been hacked already. Best thing that Apple did was Find My Phone. So if the phone was stolen you can delete the data off the phone without the phone.

      • I totally agree. I want to take my phone and yet it’s unlocked and that’s how the Touch ID works. I’m almost sure this Samsung thing won’t work like that because they’re always only copying, not doing their own stuff so they saw what Apple put in the iPhone, took coupled of months and here it comes, another copy from copycats.

      • verizon2828 - 9 years ago

        Jailbreak. The latest jailbreak for iOS 7 has been the best jailbreak so far (and I’ve been doing this since the iPhone 4). There’s an app called VirtualHome that allows you to simply lay your finger on the Touch ID sensor and it’ll authenticate you and automatically unlock the phone. Much faster than waking the phone and then touching the sensor again. You can also download a tweak to use your fingerprint to automatically enter passwords in apps within your iPhone. AND you can hold on the Touch ID sensor to enter multitasking and to go back to the home screen. I literally NEVER actually press down on my Home button anymore unless it is for Siri (which I don’t use all that often). Love it. I hope Apple allows this type of customization with iOS 8.

      • shm1ck83 - 9 years ago


        If your iPhone is locked you do not need to wake it and then use Touch ID, you simply use your finger on the Touch ID and push down. It will wake and unlock in one swift action!

        I’m sure there will be more features being utilised with Touch ID, Apple had to be mindful when integrating this type of tech and had no choice but to wait and see how the user reacted to it and how well it worked.

  4. Well, doing their own actual research costs money. They’re far better off copying others’ work… I’ll be really interested to see how they’ll copy the iWatch. I sense Apple is making it particularly and outstandingly unique so that they then have a spot on case for suing whoever tries to copy that

    • So true. This is why I love Apple. They actually do the research on everything and that’s the way how you do. Not like Samsung. They came from fridges and microwaves, copied everything what is possible, take that totally crappy Android and that’s all. Long time I thought the last thing which is good for them are TVs but when I made a research on the Internet few months ago I found out it’s not true anymore. They are literally worst in everything.

      • liquidwolverine1 - 9 years ago

        Couldn’t agree more. Product development and design requires research and the ability to say no it doesn’t really need this or that. Samsung seems to think more or bigger is better, and that is not always the case.

  5. Steffen Jobbs - 9 years ago

    So what if the Galaxy’s fingerprint sensor is less sophisticated? If it works 70% of the time that’s good enough to claim they have a fingerprint sensor nearly as good as the iPhone. The iPhone won’t have even half the features of the new Galaxy S5, so the S5 still comes out ahead. The new Galaxy has a lot going for it. A larger display, greater display resolution, more megapixels, a faster processor, more memory, etc. Spec-wise, any Galaxy S5 will leave the iPhone in the dust because that’s how Samsung sells products. A feature list a mile long really impresses the Droid crowd. If half of those features are useless or only used once, who cares. They’re there if you want to show off how cool your smartphone is. Apple can’t possibly compete with Samsung. Apple will continue to build simple, limited feature iPhones no matter what Samsung does. Not everyone on the planet needs a Galaxy S flagship smartphone which is way beyond the needs of most smartphone users.

    • charilaosmulder - 9 years ago

      Precisely nobody “needs” the bloatware that samsung tries to advertise as features. I know quite some people owning galaxies, they usually brag about numbers not knowing what they really mean or how they translate into real world experiences, they’re usually not the smartest nor do they have any ambitions to contribute to the tech industry they pretend to love.

    • First off, your first three distinctions about the display quality are all the same thing. Secondly, you may want to check on the issue of memory.

      Last I checked the S4 has nearly 8GB’s worth of features and bloatware. So if you have the 16GB model nearly half your storage is already gone before you even boot it up.

      And again, having more doesn’t mean better. Ask yourself how many times you’ve used the eye-pausing feature or waved your hand in front of your phone to browse pictures, which I think is the dumbest of dumb features. You use your thumbs/fingers to get to your photo gallery then take one hand off the phone and wave in front of it to scroll through images looking like a dime store magician.

      That’s not to say that all of the S4’s features are useless but the majority are single-use or are more novelty than practical.

  6. thejuanald - 9 years ago

    Actually, the sensor is reported to be more sophisticated than the one in the 5S, according to Engadget. Here’s what they have to say, “The phone can store up to eight fingerprints for different purposes, such as to launch particular apps or verify their Samsung accounts. Some of these stored fingerprints can also be used to access two new features called Personal Folder and Private Mode, where users can keep apps, widgets and files for their eyes only.” Here’s the link:

    That sounds way more sophisticated and way cooler than what the 5S does.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      That’s a description of uses to which fingerprints are put – the actual sensor itself is an old-fashioned roll-scan type.

      • thejuanald - 9 years ago

        True! At least for the rumor

  7. This was inevitable but unless Samsung can get developers to actually take advantage of this feature it won’t amount to much. Maybe a few native Samsung apps use it but to what end?

    I’m looking forward to reading comments from people who thought the idea of an ID sensor was stupid and useless and how quickly they’ll change their tune once this phone is released.

    That and the inevitable videos comparing the login time of TouchID versus the S5’s, uh, S-ID? I can’t imagine a swipe of your finger is going to be faster than a click and touch of the iPhone 5s. When the conditions are right my phone is logged in (seemingly) before the screen has fully been illuminated from sleep mode.

  8. Todd Hunt - 9 years ago

    What a shock! Copy kat Samsung !

  9. Arthur Hu (Ah) - 9 years ago

    It’s predictable… It’s gonna be a real “news” only if S5 doesn’t have fingerprint home button…


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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