Samsung Fingerprint Sensors - Ultrasonic VS Optical

Samsung Fingerprint Sensors - Ultrasonic VS Optical

Did you know that there are more than one type of fingerprint scanner technology? And that the type of fingerprint scanner your smartphone features will have an impact on which screen protectors are compatible?

In this article, we will discuss the difference between Optical and Ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, which is better, what Samsung have done to incorporate the technology in their products, and how we at EIGER have made our screen protectors compatible.

What is an Optical Fingerprint scanner?

Optical fingerprint scanners are the traditional method of capturing and comparing fingerprints. This technique relies on capturing an optical image — essentially a photograph, and analysing the lightest and darkest areas, to detect unique patterns such as ridges or marks. This photograph is then used to match the print to a stored print on the phone.

What is an Ultrasonic Fingerprint scanner?

Built into the screen, the Ultrasonic Fingerprint scanner is a new biometric authentication feature that sends ultrasonic pules to detect the 3D ridges and valleys of each unique fingerprint to quickly and correctly recognise users.

Optical VS Ultrasonic – which is better?

It is the opinion of many that ultrasonic fingerprint scanners are superior as optical scanners can only form an 2D image of the visible lines on fingertips. In contrast, ultrasonic sensors can create a three-dimensional image. This potentially means ultrasonic fingerprint scanners are more reliable, and even usable when users fingers are wet. On the other hand, they can be frustrating to use if there is oil or dirt on the print or the glass is dirty.

Samsung’s inclusion of ultrasonic technology

The ultrasonic authentication feature first appeared on the Galaxy S10 series. Since then, Samsung appears to have continued to feature this technology in their premium smartphones. Samsung’s recent and most desirable series, the Galaxy S21, due to the refreshed design, updated hardware and more reasonable price (£200 less than previous series), includes the ultrasonic fingerprint technology.

This revolutionary feature is available on the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10 5G, S10e, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, Note10, and Note10+.

Are these technologies compatible with EIGER products?

We want to ensure that you are able to use the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner without compromising the protection of your smartphone’s screen. Our EIGER screen protector range contains two product to choose from, the 2.5D Glass or 3D Glass.

2.5D Glass – Ultrasonic Scanner

EIGER 2.5D Glass screen protectors are crafted from premium tempered glass and deliver maximum scratch and shock protection for your device.

There is a slight curvature at the edge of a 2.5D glass display. The purpose of this is to make the edge of the glass feel smooth. This means that the product only covers the flat area of your screen. These products are case friendly, which means you can also protect the sides and back of your smartphone.

Available for: S21 and S21+

EIGER 2.5D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S21 Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector in CLEAR with Cleaning Kit

3D Glass – Ultrasonic Scanner

The EIGER 3D Glass Screen Protectors offer the same high-quality materials and protection as the standard Glass range but use a special process, enabling them to be curved to match the device’s screen they are protecting. Unfortunately, with certain Samsung models which feature a curved screen, the protector isn’t case compatible.

However, since the launch of 3D Glass, Case Friendly 3D Glass has been developed for ultra-curved devices by featuring a slightly smaller cut. This allows the 3D glass to be used with all types of cases to ensure optimal fit and no lifting.

Available for: S10, S10+, S10 5G, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21 Ultra

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Case Friendly Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector

When the S10 range, featuring the Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, was first released, we were able to make our 3D Glass screen protector compatible through an access hole in the screen protector, with a small piece of circular protective film inserted in its place. This ensured a non-loss connection between the device screen and the glass. If there was any air between the screen and glass then the sensor would lose or distort the sound waves, resulting in a locked phone.

Available for: S10, S10+, S10 5G

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S10 Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector

However, we have since improved our offering with a screen protector that has the glass in one piece, but now a glue spot/circular adhesive patch is required and will remain visible.

To ensure optimal efficiency it is important to go into your settings and increase your screens sensitivity. This will allow the adhesive patch to work with the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.

Available for: S10, S10+, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21, S21+, 21 Ultra, Note 10, Note 10+, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S20+ Full Screen Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector

3D, 2.5D and Tri Flex Glass – Optical Scanner

If you have a Samsung model that doesn’t include the new ultrasonic fingerprint technology, then the following products are still compatible with your screen and fingerprint sensor.

For Samsung’s smartphones which feature optical fingerprint sensors, our 3D Full Screen and Case Friendly screen protectors are compatible.

3D Full Screen available for: A12, A21, A21s, A30, A32 5G, A40, A41, A42 5G, A50, A51, A51 5G, A52, A52 5G, A70, A71, A72, A72 5G

3D Case Friendly available for: S8, S9, S9+, Note 8, Note 9

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy A51 Full Screen Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector in CLEAR/BLACK with Cleaning Kit

In addition, these optical sensor smartphones are compatible with our 2.5D glass screen protectors.

Available for: A12, A21, A21s, A30, A31, A32 5G, A40, A41, A42 5G, A50, A51, A51 5G, A52, A52 5G, A70, A71, A72, A72 5G

EIGER 2.5D Glass for Samsung Galaxy A72/A72 5G Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector

Our Tri Flex screen protector is another option for you to consider. Ultra-thin and case friendly this screen protector is made from Silicone to ensure it adheres to your device bubble-free. Moreover, this product includes anti-yellowing properties to keep your screen protector looking clear and as good as new for longer.

The side effect here is the glass does not protect the curved edges fully, however, they are case friendly.

EIGER Tri Flex for Samsung Galaxy A12 Glass-Free Screen Protector 

Sold in 1 or 2 packs.

Available for: A12, A21s, A41, A50, A51, A51 5G, A70, A71, S21 FE

Mountain Glass Ultra/Ultra+ Curved – Ultrasonic/Optical scanner

With Anti-Microbial Technology embedded into the glass our Mountain Glass Ultra screen protectors kill 99.9% of known surface bacteria and lasts for the lifetime of the screen protector.

The Mountain Glass Ultra 2.5D standard fit covers the flat area of your screen only and is case friendly. Alternatively, the Mountain Glass Ultra+ Curved screen protectors offer a full screen fit.

EIGER Mountain Glass ULTRA+ for Samsung S21 Super Strength Anti Bacterial 3D Curved To Fit Screen Protector

This screen protector is compatible with both Optical and Ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, however, the adhesive patch is still required for Samsung models with ultrasonic scanners.

Available in 2.5D for: S21 FE

Available in 3D for: A42 5G, Note 20 Ultra, S20, S20 FE, S20 Ultra, S20+, S21, S21 FE, S21 FE, S21 Ultra, S21+

Samsung Galaxy S10e – Ultrasonic Scanner

The Samsung Galaxy S10e does include the ultrasonic fingerprint technology, however, it is not located on the front screen like the rest of the range.

The Galaxy S10e fingerprint sensor is positioned on the power button to allow users to unlock their phone faster. As the S10e doesn’t include an in-screen fingerprint scanner, our 3D and 2.5D Glass Screen Protectors are perfect to protect your screen from cracks and breaks.

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S10e Curved Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector

As the ultrasonic sensor is on the side of the S10e, the phone case is the important factor to consider. Our North Case and Glacier phone cases include a precise power button cut-out, to give users easy access to the fingerprint scanner.

Available for: A12, A20e, A21, A21s, A31, A32 5G, A40, A41, A42 5G, A50, A51, A71, A72, A72 5G, A80, Note 10, Note 10+, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, S8, S9, S9+, S10, S10 5G, S10 Lite, S10+, S10E, S20, S20 FE, S20 Ultra, S20+, S21, S21 Ultra, S21+

EIGER Glacier Case for Samsung Galaxy S10E Alpine Ice Crystal Clear Protection

Available for: A12, A20e, A21s, A32 5G, A40, A41, A42 5G, A50, A51, A52, A52 5G, A71, A72, A72 5G, Note 10, Note 10+, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, S8, S8+, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, S10e, S20,S20 FE, S20 Ultra, S20+, S21, S21 Ultra, S21+

EIGER North Case for Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Premium Phone Protection in Textured Matt BLACK

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE – Optical Scanner

You may also be interested to learn that not all of Samsung’s latest models include the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.

The Galaxy S20 FE features the original optical fingerprint sensor so is compatible with our 3D Glass and 2.5D Glass screen protectors and doesn’t require an adhesive patch.

EIGER 3D Glass for Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Full Screen Tempered Glass Screen Protector

EIGER Products that are not compatible with fingerprint sensors

In this article we have discussed the different EIGER products that are compatible with the Samsung Ultrasonic and Optical fingerprint sensors. However, there is one product in the EIGER range that is not compatible with the technology.

Mountain Glass Black – Anti Spy

The Privacy Anti Spy Screen Protector is a 2-way privacy screen which keeps a smartphone’s content safe in public places. Unfortunately, this product is incompatible with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor as we wanted the product to have a cleaner finish.

Instead, why not use FaceID, pattern opening, or smart lock with this product? These are all secure and easy alternatives.

EIGER Mountain Glass for Samsung Galaxy S21+ Super Strength Curved Privacy Anti Spy 3D Screen Protector

Smart unlock is where your phone is tethered to a secure Bluetooth device. If the phone is in the vicinity of said device it will unlock automatically e.g. a smartwatch.

Available in 3D for: A20e, A41, A71, Note 10, Note 10+, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, S20 FE, S21, S21+

Available in 2.5D for: A12, A32 5G, A30, A40, A41, A50, A51, A51 5G, A71, S10E

Samsung Tablets

The optical in-screen fingerprint scanner is only available on the Tab S5e and the Tab S6. Our 2.5D Glass tempered glass screen protectors are compatible with the technology.


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