A new report from SamMobile claims to confirm that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 will indeed have a fingerprint sensor. Not only that, the leaked information has a lot to say about how the feature will work. According to SamMobile, the sensor is going to be integrated with the home button, and yes, that means there will still be physical buttons on the Galaxy S5.


Unlike Apple's Touch ID scanner, Samsung's version will require you to swipe your finger across the home button while keeping it flat. This ought to be a more accurate method of detection that isn't as easy to fool, but it might not be as convenient. The sensor will also require you swipe fairly fast to get a good read, and moisture will negatively affect its accuracy.

Up to eight fingerprints can be stored by the device, with at least one being tied to unlocking the phone. The others can supposedly be used for custom shortcuts and to keep private information secure. That second bit will be thanks to a new feature apparently known as Private Mode (or Personal Folder in some contexts). You will be able to place apps, widgets, and files in a special container that can only be accessed with a fingerprint or another secure method like a pattern or PIN. Your prints could also be used as a password replacement that automatically fills in account details in the browser. The same trick should work for verifying your Samsung account as well.

SamMobile has a good track record with Samsung leaks, so this is sounding solid. Additionally, the way it's described sounds very much like the Samsung approach of packing in as many features as possible.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Fry

    I am so sick of that damn home button. At least make a GPE with on screen buttons for heavens sake.

    • Ray Sunghwa Woo

      Can't say enough about it until it's gone.

    • Open1Your1Eyes0

      Unfortunately the hard truth is that until the mainstream majority will hate a certain part of feature of Samsung's phone, you won't see it gone.

      Us Android purests here are definitely not the majority (and likely never will be). I think it's very important that we realize this when we complain about things like this.

      • Andrew Hope

        Exactly, you just pinpointed the demographic of Samsung Galaxy buyers "Mainstream Majority" i. e. Not very tech-savvy people who just blindly follow the herd & buy "what everyone else has" Sorry, not for the likes of people like me...

    • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

      I love that damn button. On screens can suck it!

      • Jack

        So you enjoy a flawed Android experience?

        • rals

          Not sure how this is flawed. I personally like both, but there is more convenience to unlock the device with tapping the home button than reaching for it sides.

          • Andrew Beard

            I agree the home button is nice for unlocks, but after using a Moto X for a couple months I don't miss it in the slightest. Having the lock screen automagically come up as soon as it detects the phone is out of your pocket is even better.

        • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

          Who says it's flawed? Just because google went to on-screen buttons doesn't mean on-screen buttons are the superior experience. Or do you blindly think that google doesn't make bad decisions?

          My personal preference is for a hardware button. I like it for super quick turn-phone-on access, consistent and confident home access, and for less accidental home-taps while typing "space". Oh and also, single push, double push, long push..... nice.

          I had on-screen buttons, I found them.... flawed.


          Edit (later): If you want to talk flawed experience, let's talk about Touchwiz. I'm sure we can agree on that.

          • ReturnOfTheMack

            Touchwiz is definitely a flawed experience, but then again I won't accept anything other than stock and or an AOSP rom like CM. I prefer on-screen navigation buttons because I like the experience better. I also understand Android is all about choice but at the same time I believe it would help Android tremendously if different devices had a more unified experience. It's annoying when access to basic methods of navigation, Google Now, and the way the software is laid out is so different from one manufacturer to another.

            Expanding the Google Play Edition program would help and I agree that at least those devices should have on-screen buttons.

          • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

            wordio... my only question then is, what the hell is Stock or AOSP these days. Even google's version isn't stock at this point! Choice is nice, but the situation is annoying, to put it kindly. Here's to this year's attempt to reel it all in a smidge!

          • ReturnOfTheMack

            Agreed. I consider what comes on the Nexus 5 to be stock Android - AOSP derived, with Google apps. Pure AOSP is a different story. With so many Google apps replacing their AOSP counterparts, stock Android isn't far from becoming just a basic UI filled with Google's closed source apps. A perfect example is the AOSP music app, it never got updated past Gingerbread thanks to Google Music.

            In some ways this is good because Google can update apps independent of Android releases but at the same time Stock Android is relying less on AOSP and slowly becoming a "Google" OS.

          • Casin

            I don't mind hardware keys that much but one thing I can't tolerate anymore is the menu-home-back set up. It's 2014. It should be back-home-recent apps. Long press to get to recent apps especially on a home button that requires more force than a soft key is very annoying.

        • HitokiriX

          Those who don't like it have plenty of other options to choose from.

        • namesib

          Lol there's nothing flawed about it.

        • chris125

          I like being able to use the home button to wake the device. Until stock devices implement a knock on type feature, I have no issues with the physical button

      • Fry

        Why do you think I said make 2 different versions? So both type of people could enjoy it.

        • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

          I feel like Samsung has enough SKUs already... lol

        • hot_spare

          What's the point of GPE devices? Hardly any traction for those, sold in a single country and practically no marketing. I will say that the ratio of regular galaxy to GPE version will not be less than 1000:1 (don't have numbers, but I can't be very far). That's an economic burden for OEMs and just a typical device for Linux geeks. I doubt that would have sold even 100,000 compared to 50-odd millions of GS4. If you like stock so much, why not get a nexus? There're tons of Nexus devices available.

          • BrandonP

            I get what you're saying but GPEs are what nexus phones SHOULD be. And yes i understand that the nexus is, technically, a budget phone on steroids. The software we want is on a nexus. The hardware we want is on a, for example, HTC One. The GPE is best of both worlds. And numbers aren't what they are worried about. They know they aren't going to sell crazy like a stock S4.

      • Bruno

        If you want a big home button why don'T you go back to your Iphone and leave real people alone?

        • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

          Actually, I've been on Android since my Palm Pre died. Stop being a little sheep and understand that different people have different preferences.... Even tech-literate android fans.

    • namesib

      Don't buy a Samsung and enjoy your wasted bezel, inconvenient unlocking procedure and consumed screen space then.

      • Fry

        Thanks for the lame excuses bro.

      • http://androiddissected.com/ Nick Schiwy

        What the hell are you talking about? https://plus.google.com/+BradBorges/posts/FBR1zTdVuKY

        • namesib

          Proves my point really. The Note 3 is second and given that it actually has 100% of its screen available at all times I would put it above the LG. All phones have bezels big enough to accommodate hardware buttons.

    • a67543210

      On screen buttons drain more battery than regular battery

      • Fry

        Yea I know. That's why I get 5hr sot constantly on my N5.

    • Wayne Randall

      They will. After Apple does.

    • hot_spare

      Either you deal with it, or go buy nexus, HTC One (2) or countless other devices. Why do you guys sound as if Samsung is pointing a gun at your head to purchase the devices? Don't like it, fine.. But don't act as if everyone else shares your feeling. The top 10 most sold devices in the world (counting iPhones and Galaxies) all have physical home button. Apparently you're in minority, by a huge margin.

      //stop whining

      • namesib


      • Fry

        Stop whining? lol It's called having an OPINION. Get over it.

        • hot_spare

          Nope, it's called trolling. And I can't tolerate them.

          • Fry

            So me saying I hate buttons on a device (which is a fact) is trolling? You're the only one trolling my friend.

          • hot_spare

            Yes. The reason you are here in this article is to troll. You are nothing but another of those Nexus troll. If you love nexus so much, go wank over at 1000s of those nexus-related articles. Why spread your venomous hate here? Just because you don't like hardware button, do you think Samsung will change their strategy beacuse of that. I hate on-screen buttons, Google isn't changing sh!t even if I shout 100 times a day about it. So, why do you think that Samsung and people like me (who want hardware buttons) should listen to your hate-infested drivel??

      • Fred

        That's exactly what I see happening in this world. In the real world, most people don't really care about what phone people use and most people use an iPhone or Galaxy. Then there is the online world that is Nexus and stock Android only and they will bash everything other than stock Android or Nexus. Because people online can get together so easily so they became the majority in the online world.

  • hamdi

    imagine!!! this is my next phone. the samsung galaxy s5 is my new bae.

    • branananananan

      Did she catch you slippin'?

  • Hans Pedersen

    That new feature sounds very much like Knox, just with the convenience of not having to enter a password manually to use it.

  • Julian Coronado

    What!? Physical home button! Come on Samsung, I thought you'd get over that by now!

  • BrunoGama

    Really Samsung? Fingerprint Sensor?

    • someone755

      Not looking for trouble with Apple at all, nuh-huh.

      • Sean

        FYI.... as with everything else... Apple wasn't the first to market with this feature. Motorola's Android phone, the Atrix, had it before. So did others...

        • blahmoomoo

          Even so, it wouldn't be out of the question that Samsung is adding the fingerprint sensor because of the 5S. The fact that Apple didn't do it first wouldn't change that theory.

          But sure, it's not like Apple could sue over it, right? Sounds like Samsung is using a completely different way to read the fingerprint, so that shouldn't clash with whatever patent is on the 5S' fingerprint scanner. And Apple shouldn't have a patent on having any fingerprint scanner on a phone since they weren't the first... right?

          • didibus

            I think Apple has a patent on the new type of sensor, the one that uses a camera, which does not require you to slide your finger, and is extremely fast, but less accurate. This is probably why Samsung is using a conventional sensor.

          • hot_spare

            The best answer for that is @TheUndertaker21 reply above.

          • andy_o

            He's comparing when Samsung started working code on it, to when Apple released the product.

          • HitokiriX

            The fact that Samsung had been working on it for years debunks that theory.

        • ddpacino

          Apple doesn't care. I'm sure they've found a way to patent something they didn't invent in regards to this.

        • טכנולוגיה

          There was also the lg expo who had one on his home button.

        • Maxim∑

          iPhone is the only biometric sensor on a consumer device that reads your finger statically. Meaning no swiping is needed, according to the leaks samsungs cannot do that.

          The way the 5S implements the sensor is very different then that of the atrix

        • someone755

          Everything came before Apple. Still doesn't stop them to sue the sheet out of everyone. :/

      • John Smith

        HP iPaq had it first. Also note that HP was first with the "i" prefix too.

    • HitokiriX

      Yea... it's not like Samsung filed a patent on it back in 2011 or something....

      • Maxim∑

        Actually both samsung and apple filed display fingerprint sensors in 2005.

        So thats the next step

  • Daniel Traynor


  • someone755

    Is that...? Do my eyes deceive me? Can it really be? METAL!?
    Wait, I'll get my glasses.
    Plastic again? Okay, new note to self: disregard any and all S5 news.

    • blahblahblah

      That's a picture of an S4......

    • Matthew DiGiacomo


  • Taylor

    I actually really like the physical button. I hate touch home screen buttons

    • Jalok Xlem

      I would prefer the back, home, and recent apps [physical or sensor] button(s) on the side of my Android. And if the phone does use sensors at the side of of the phone, swiping up or down would perform an action. Like next and previous recent app.
      >.< Oh my gosh, I just gave "potential developers" my idea. I honestly don't care! Oh's!

      Personally I think having onscreen or physical buttons on the front makes it look the phone poopy, and providing less screen space.
      But that is just opinion.

  • cy_n_ic
    • kandy830

      my uncle recently got a nearly new black
      Volkswagen Touareg SUV by working off of a pc... blog link C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Krzysztof Bryk

    hehe what a news ;]

  • Charlie Big
  • blairh

    Really surprised they are sticking with the physical home button. So it's a 5.25" screen. Damn. I don't know. I was really hoping for 5.25" with onscreen buttons.

  • Jalok Xlem

    Then this phone would be useless if used in under this type of cold weather. Plus, I don't want to take off my gloves in order to unlock my phone.
    Or what about after just washing my hands (and the whatever place doesn't have paper towels, in order for me to 'fully' dry my hands)? Fingerprint scanner would suck as well.

    Great concept, but I think I'll just be sticking with the ye' old method yo! :)

    • Simon Belmont

      How do you unlock your phone now with gloves on? Most phones need bare skin to unlock except a couple Nokias (and a few others), I think.

      The swiping does sound more inconvenient, but maybe it will be less prone to fingerprint recognition failure as the Touch ID sensor has issues with on the iPhone 5S, after micro-scratches form on the glass. We'll see.

      • Jalok Xlem

        -_- ...by using Phone Gloves. You never used one before? They sell them at Wal-Mart for low as 6 bucks.

        • Simon Belmont

          I have heard of them, yes, haha. But I don't use them. I rarely need to pull my phone out in cold weather. I use a smartwatch and Bluetooth headphones.

          Actually that was the only other thing I could think of after I posted. Thanks for clarifying. I think the whole fingerprint sensor thing is a gimmick, really. Just my opinion.

          • Cody Shiranai

            It's a gimmick that every movie about the future has led us to believe we should have already. So only a gimmick if you don't find it useful right?

    • Raven

      You do realize that locking your phone is optional and there will be a secondary unlock method such as PIN or pattern lock.

  • Régis Knechtel

    I'd like to have all 3 buttons as touch sensitive, instead of an actual physical home. I hate the space took by onscreen buttons, but hate to actually have to press a physical one too, lol

  • John Smith

    I *love* the secondary log-in's using other finger prints !
    Is that feature possible on current S4's with alternate PIN's or security patterns ?

    If I could have a pron log-in I'd be a happy camper

  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    I had a Samsung device once. Never again.

  • namesib

    Yes! Long live Samsung's physical button!

  • http://androiddissected.com/ Nick Schiwy

    Finally, a way to hide my porn! /sarcasm

  • Martin

    Hope they will do it better than HTC with swype the finger.. :-)))

    • Maxim∑

      they wont

  • Paul

    That's awesome. I have a Galaxy Note 2 and a iPhone 5S and I kept telling friends that I still love and use my Note 2 way more often but I can't wait until they steal, err, umm, innovate a similar feature, that fingerprint scanner. It really is super convenient on the 5S and now I'm glad to see Android is getting something "similar". I may hold off on the Note 3 now and either get the S5 or the Note 4. My Note 2 is still kicking rear and holding its own so I'm good to hold off until the next Android phone that has this very useful feature.

  • spoodermain

    They will have to change the size of the home button and it's basically copying apple, what happen to the onscreen fingerprint

  • Sid


  • TheUndertaker21

    as a Dev, I've been working on Translating Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S4 and surprisingly at S2 I found A LOT OF STRINGS about Fringer Print Swipe, and I can Prove that, you can deodex any 4.1.2 Galaxy S2 Roms and Decompile the SecSettings.apk and go to String No.3825 and others, the Rest it the HISTORY!, Samsung have been working on Fingerprint SINCE Galaxy S2 days, but for some reasons they couldn't launch it till this very Galaxy S5, whoever doubts that can Confirm by doing the steps above, this a complete Prove that Samsung have been working with Fingerprint before iSHIT company! below is just a simple screenshot of SecSettings.apk for 4.1.2 GT-I9100

    • andy_o

      Well you certainly seem unbiased, that's for sure.

      • TheUndertaker21

        Android Fans were always unbiased, unlike some other OS users who say things based on nonsense! Thanks for the comment man!

    • Justin W

      I doubt you can prove they started it before/after Apple did, but the point is Samsung's been working on it for at least 2-3 years.

      • Cody Shiranai

        Well, the fact that at least HTC already had this tried out before Apple says we should already be past fingerprint scanning if no one cared back then. I like how only if Apple makes mainstream know "it's a thing" that people suddenly care enough to go back and try again rather than go forward. I can't wait for more of Motorola's ideas to come around.

        • TheUndertaker21

          right, MOTOROLA ATRIX X 4G was the first phone ever to have that fingerprint on the back of it, but when iSHIT does a thing, it's suddenly an innovation!!! oh people!

          • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

            It's about the correct implementation. Fingerprint scanners have existed for a long time now. The fact of the matter is Apple did it right: In the home button, fast and integrated. Samsung alone won't be able to achieve a decent level of integration without Google generating a fingerprint scanner API.

          • TheUndertaker21

            apple could never do it alone in fact! they acquired the company that was a master in that technology! I believe that Samsung can do it alon and this galaxy s5 is a prove of that.

      • TheUndertaker21

        I am not working for Samsung, but I am Sure that Samsung did work on Fingerprint Before Apple, yeah, Apple just STEALS idea from others then sues them for using their own technology! nice strategy!!!

        • Justin W

          So, you really have no idea then?

          Besides that, it really doesn't matter if Apple did it before Samsung or the other way around - we've seen devices with fingerprint scanners in the past anyway.

          • TheUndertaker21

            nice story bro. i at least has a prove that Samsung was working on it since galaxy s2 days if not before! that's enough for androidi fans to know that Samsung worked on it almost before anyone else.

          • Justin W

            Nice story bro, I at least have a released device, guaranteed proof another OEM was working on it at least before Samsung - it's called hte Motorola Atrix 4G, released February 2011, compared to the S II's release of May 2011. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_Atrix_4G and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_S_II

          • TheUndertaker21

            I know that info before you, seems you didnt' get what I meant, I was talking about Samsung and apple, Samsung did it before apple. I am not talking about another Android OEM company!!

          • Justin W

            You haven't found proof that Apple did not start researching it back then either, so, according to logic (which clearly doesn't mean much to you), you can only prove Samsung started working on it a couple of years ago. Apple could very well have started researching it back then as well as before then for all we know but I can't prove they did, and you can't prove they didn't.

          • TheUndertaker21

            I hope that logic means something to you Mr.Logic!

          • TheUndertaker21

            I mentioned that above! read it again!

  • Guest

    another Screenshot, that Just confirms what Sammobile mentioned!!! assigning each finger to a different app!!!

  • Dave Waters

    Hmm...I wonder where Verizon is going to put their logo then?

    • Cody Shiranai

      on the home button still, DUH. You have to press the logo into your finger so they can mark you whenever you want to use your phone. Like self-branding...

  • Paul_Werner

    I wonder what most people will have set for their middle finger shortcut app

    • Jaime


  • TheUndertaker21

    there is also a string that Confirms Exactly the Sammobile Guys Speech about '' ASSIGNING Fingers for Apps ''

  • Marcell Lévai

    I've been using my boyfrined's Ascend P6 that has virtual buttons a lot. I still prefer the physical home key. I prefer physically pressing something. It's just a matter of taste. I doubt I'd ever be using a fingerprint scanner though.

  • Fred

    Why do people hate physical home button so much? I freaking love my physical home button on my S3. It gives me quick access of turning on the screen when my phone is on the table. Putting physical buttons on the bezel gives you more space on the screen. I can't even give a single bad thing about having a physical home button. And one more thing. What is wrong about touchwiz? It is trying to offer a lot of features. It offers way more features than the plain stock Android on the Nexus devices. If the bloatwares bothers you so much, then flash another rom that that kills all the bloatwares. There are two problems that I have with Samsung that drives me away from buying another of their phone. One is that they're trying to lock down their devices so users have less control on their devices. Two is the price. I mean comparing to the Nexus 5 or Moto X (When you get it at the right time) the galaxy flagships are just way over priced like the iPhone. I just can't see myself buying a phone over $500 off contract anymore. It's just not worth it.

    • Cody Shiranai

      Nexus 5 and Moto X are nice.... unless you're like most Americans with big hands. Its always a war between us big guys and the smaller folk. I have an S4, but I want the Note 3 (or wait for the Note 4). I WISH Google would make a phablet. Is it too niche for them to do it or is it a trend that will still go away?

  • MO

    button > touch screen, just my 2 cents

  • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

    "I love to swipe my finger to unlock my phone."

    said no one ever.

    Still can't beat TouchID i guess.

    • Cody Shiranai

      Except Android users didn't care about this the first few times it was done (by HTC for example) before Apple even tried it. It's just sad we have to put up with trying it again after Apple makes everyone notice "it's a thing." Shouldn't be trying to "beat TouchID" because we are already past that.

  • Bruno

    On Screen Home Button is much better.
    Multi-tasking button should be deleted. I hate when i accidentaly click on it while playing a game... It happens EVERYTIME.

  • TopXKiller

    Hidden Softkeys is where its at, ty Ult Dynamic Navbar

  • Fifth313ment

    Yeah my fingerprints floating around in "the cloud" sounds like a great idea!

  • Michael

    This will suck when it comes to cases. Go ahead grab any galaxy with a protective case on it.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Apple law suit incoming
    *grabs popcorn*

  • Matthew Fry

    Fingerprint sensors are cool but can Samsung at least pretend not to be copying Apple? Are they trying to get sued?

  • whispy_snippet

    Surprise surprise.