Samsung Galaxy S5 to launch with fingerprint scanner on home button

Beyond Samsung, no one really knows what’s coming from their launch at MWC, but plenty are speculating, and that speculation includes the Galaxy S5. The rumours are coming thick and fast, but the latest — and supposedly ‘confirmed’ — rumour is that the Galaxy S5 will feature a fingerprint scanner integrated with the hardware home button.

This might sound very similar to something that Apple did with the iPhone 5S, and you’d be forgiven for thinking so (because you’re right). There’s quite a bit of detail to this rumour, so let’s get into it.

If there’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, this means that the Galaxy S5 still has hardware buttons… or at the very least, a hardware home button. This is a bit of a shame (with most other handsets moving to the on-screen keys), but an integrated fingerprint scanning option could make it bearable. It appears it won’t work quite the same as the iPhone 5S design, requiring a swipe of the fingerprint rather than just a press. To make this a little easier to get right, the Galaxy S5 will show the fingerprint scan progress on-screen to make sure you’ve got your finger lined up correctly.

Like the HTC One Max, you’ll be able to record more than one fingerprint — up to eight, in fact — and each one will be able to be assigned to a different task, although one must be assigned to unlocking the device. Fingerprints can be assigned to things like launching the camera, Gmail, or any other app.

They have use beyond launching quick tasks, it seems. Fingerprints will be able to unlock a new ‘private apps’ mode, where sensitive information and applications can be hidden behind a fingerprint requirement (or, indeed, a standard Android security requirement such as a swipe or PIN entry). Samsung Accounts will also be able to be linked to a fingerprint, as well as auto-complete on websites.

Sounds like they’ve made the fingerprint scanner a lot more useful than HTC did on the One Max, and it’s at the point where a hardware home key almost sounds good. Let’s see what happens in a week or two!

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About the author

Chris has been an Android enthusiast since the early days, just missing out on a G1, and owning one of the first released HTC Magic devices in Australia. Ah, those were the days … Chris is the director of Ausdroid... (read more)


  • Phil

    If true, I can see it now, so many people will claim Samsung copied Apple again *sigh*

    • chris

      The sad souls yes however it is a logical place to put a finger print scanner, personally I think they are useless, most of my laptops have had them and I never use them. Mind you Samsung does love to copy however look at the 4, many new features not seen before. Apple comes out with a finger print reader and not much else and yet they are seen as the innovators because they have great marketing.

      • etherspin

        apple in this case made a more reliable scanner that worked much faster (important when you use it perhaps once an hour)

      • chris

        Good point and a good reason to get it right. That was my issue it took sometimes many goes to get it to work on the laptop. a reader isn’t for me at this stage, well not a swipe one. a button that read your entire print without swiping it now that i would like.

    • etherspin

      as an android aficionado and samsung phone user , they will have blantantly copied apple! they will have followed apple as quickly as possible (next flagship revision after iphone 5s announced) with the same tech in the same location in a line of phones that were designed as an answer to the iphone and which started by aping both the shape and homescreen layout of the iphone.

  • Stephen Crisafulli

    Biometrics are not security, if it’s so good it would be everywhere by now. Fingerprint readers are old and the tech is usless.

  • JeniSkunk

    I hope Samsung applies this to their next lot of tablets, as I regularly use, and like the idea of fingerprint readers for biometric security.
    I have a fingerprint reader on my 2008 Lenovo 3000 n200 notebook, and the reader and its software works great in terms of removing the need for typed passwords for system logon, document control, and site access.

  • TheInsider

    Oz telcos have been been testing for a while and there’s doesn’t have a home button. Now that may be because of the scanner or maybe not. What I have been told is that it has sensors on the side, so when you hold it as if you were about to take a photo the camera app starts up. Pretty cool hey.

  • Phill Edwards

    I like the idea of being able to access some apps only if you provide the right fingerprint.