Bits And Bytes (week of 9/11)

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
<body><p>Welcome to our second <a _jive_internal="true" href="">Bits And Bytes</a> poll of the week! Give your honest opinion, debate ferociously, but respect each other at all times...</p><p></p><p><strong>Question</strong>: do you prefer the fingerprint scanner of a phone on the front or back?</p><p></p><p><strong>Context</strong>: fingerprint scanners on mobile devices have been the norm of late. Although they started out exclusively on the front home button, several flagships phones now carry this feature on the back, where your index finger naturally falls when holding your phone. There are pros and cons of each position, depending on the use case: picking up your phone from a flat surface, removing it from your pocket, using the fingerprint scanner in place of passwords for third-party apps, etc. But overall, which option do you prefer and why?</p><p></p><p><strong>Action</strong>: 1. Select one of the options below and 2. reply to justify your reasoning. Although there is no correct answer, please provide sound reasoning to support your selection. After a week or so, your Mod Squad will soon identify and reward those with the most thoughtful responses!</p></body>

Bits And Bytes (week of 9/11) 105 votes

Fingerprint scanner on the FRONT
30% 32 votes
Fingerprint scanner on the BACK
69% 73 votes


  • DrakenFXDrakenFX Mobile United StatesPosts: 2,128 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Fingerprint scanner in the back is more convenient it just seems natural to put my finger on the back of your devices. Rest it there to turn on and easily turn device off be slide my hand be not so much to turn device off using power button or  use DTTS.

    Note : I have big hands so Axon 7 sizes is perfect for single hand operations.

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    For me, I prefer having the fingerprint reader on the front, as if I put the phone on the table, I can unlock it with my fingerprint if it is on the front. If the fingerprint reader is on the back in the same scenario, I would either have to pick it up or enter in the PIN/password to unlock the phone. The front fingerprint reader is just more convenient to me, as I do not always hold my phone.

    From a design standpoint, a rear fingerprint reader would save space on the front and can reduce the bezels, which is definitely a plus on making the phone smaller/shorter and easier to hold for some. It is also just a natural spot for your finger to rest on to some people so it is useful for one to unlock their phone with it.

    Front fingerprint reader seems to only have one advantage of being able to use it when the phone is on a flat surface and serves as a home button on most phones.

  • I agree with the other's who said they'd prefer it on the front...I have my phone laying face up frequently and its inconvenient to have to pick it up to unlock it or have to go through double tap, swipe to get the unlock pattern, and then do the unlock pattern to get it to unlock...  Also I frequently accidentally unlock with the rear scanner...or have the phone buzz at me from other fingers or parts of my hand hitting the scanner just trying to hold or move the phone.

  • I pick up my phone to use it.  The natural placement of the finger is the back of the phone.  So its logical for me to have the sensor on the back.

  • Out of the two, I personally prefer a rear fingerprint scanner as it is the location where my fingers rest naturally whilst holding the phone.

    In this case, as no front buttons are required, bezels can be kept minimal so front facing speakers can be accomodated without making phone considerably larger.

    Fingerprint scanner on the front means re-adjustment of the placement of my fingers and thumb in a more un-natural position to reach for the sensor (whilst holding the phone). Also, there is a slight increased risk that the phone could slip from my hands during this action.

    Main benefit of it on the front, as others have already stated, is that the phone can still be unlocked if it is lying on a desk; where as for rear fingerprint scanner, the phone needs to be picked up to unlock via the scanner.

    The future?

    I have heard about development from companies to integrate the fingerprint scanner on the screen itself. I believe this is the ideal compromise, as this should mean that there is no increased bezel size to make room for any buttons, you don't have to re-adjust how you are holding the phone to reach it, and the phone can still be unlocked if lying on a desk.

  • wfpowellwfpowell Posts: 19 ✭✭✭

    I personally  like it on the back. Yes it can be a pain sometimes  when you are trying to check messages  but with the same breath that was what the notification  bell is for.  Off the top of my head I can think of several  good reason  why it is better suited for the back but I will only  list three.  1st it's natural  to rest your index finger  there. Never  noticed  till I got a bigger phone and realized how my fingers  naturally rested for support.  2nd taking selfies.  Again hand placement, it is so much easier  to tap the back of your phone, no awkwardness  (I.m.o) 3rd privacy. No one knows what finger you used to unlock your phone kinda gives you an edge  on people who like to be nosey

  • I agree with you. The Axon 7 is my first device with a FP scanner. In itself a great feature, but I do find it more convenient to be able to access it from the front, as the phone is often on a table next to me.

    In that situation, registering an index finger is the best. For out of pocket use and general handling, I would register my thumb prints. I gave the FP scanner position quite some thought and would have opted for a OnePlus 3,

    but the SDcard option, speakers/sound and better screen resolution easily won me over.

  • usually strangers watching what I'm doing on my phone are seeing the back of really the back is no less public as to what finger you're using than the front...

  •[email protected] Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 13

    Having used both I have found back fingerprint scanners to be far more convenient. I do understand those who do not want to pick up their phone for light interactions. I interact heavily with my phone when I'm using it so it fits my usage pattern. All that being said why not both, this would allow both usage patterns and that for me would be ideal.

  • zeedezeede Posts: 182 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like it on the back because it saves precious space on the front of the phone.

    I have a smartwatch, so I can check notifications without touching my phone.

    With how I use my phone, if you just want to check your notifications, then you shouldn't need to pick up the phone at all, just wake up the screen.  If you're going to reply, then you need to pick up the phone anyhow.  Therefore, having the fingerprint reader on the front or back is irrelevant, in this case, since you're picking up the phone either way.

  • I think it is best way to present fingerprint sensor will be integrated with touch panel. So there are no sensor we put anywhere. It is cause of the improvement desing side also. User don't use any effort to arrive a touch sensor for use it.

  • Might have selected no preference if that was an option because I've never tried a finger print scanner on back and I'm not head over heels with the scanners on front. But for now I'll say front.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I am so on the fence for this option.  There are pros and cons to each, and really if I could I would love to have BOTH.  One on the back for using as an unlock option, a selfie camera button, a scroll button, and any other features that may be useful.  I like the position of the button on the A7, it feels natural and is in the right place for me.

    However, when I am at work, I almost always have my phone on my desk, face up.  This makes it difficult to easily check notifications by having to pick the device up to unlock it. Sure, I can enter my pin from the front, but it would be easier just to swipe my fingerprint to unlock from the front, never having to pick up the device (first world problems right?)

    So I voted for back, because I think overall for me it's more practical, especially if they get it to do more things.  So if the cost is right, why not have one on both the front and back?

  • jabird101jabird101 Cleveland, OH, USAPosts: 225 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use the Axon 7 for personal use and a iPhone 6s that was given to me by work.  The Axon 7 is my first fingerprint reader on back phone and it is just odd to use.  My thumb is automatically on the from bottom and it just works.  I have long fingers and the placement is not right on the Axon 7.  It takes me three times, every time, to open my phone.  My finger is never in the same position and when I configured it.  I have configured the reader five times and I am never in the right position to get an accurate reading.  I have really just given up on the fingerprint thing because it rarely works for me.  The iPhone, on the other hand, always works unless I have really chapped hands and my thumbprint is a bit cracked and messed up.  My thumb hits the button right the first time every time.  Maybe it is the sensor on my Axon, but I feel like I hit it different every time, so I doubt that it is a hardware issue.

  • maulgandhimaulgandhi United StatesPosts: 519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There should be a thir option: FP scanner on the side of the phone. For instance, Sony Xperia included on the side of the phone.

    I voted for on the back of the phone but if there was third option that I mentioned above I'd have picked that one. Nevertheless, back FP scanner seems natural to me. I use so many apps which supports FP scanning technology, so having FP scanner on the back makes it easier to unlock application and even phone because, I am holding a device anyways and it is single tap away from unlocking application and screen lock.               I personally don't prefer FP scanner implemented in home button. It just looks ridiculous and phone lost its sexyness. Think of Axon 7 design with FP scanner implemented in home button as Galaxy phones or One plus, the phone would lost its sexyness and would look ridiculous.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,363 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Personally, I don't care if it is on the front or back as long it works well. I do think on the back is easier to use and also takes less real-estate on the front which means it could mean a slightly smaller footprint. i think the placement of the scanner is what is most important. Current Axon 7 is perfect as it is wher eyour finger will land when you hold the phone, which makes it super easy to unlock the phone with just one hand. i think if it is on the front, it often located on the bottom that sometimes can be hard to use and also distract the symmetry of the phone.

  • zeedezeede Posts: 182 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is what worked for me:

    I used two of the fingerprint slots for one finger.   The first slot I exclusively touched the tip of my finger and the front half of the pad of the finger.

    With the second slot I touched the sides of my finger and also the back half of the pad of the finger.

    In this way,  the entirety of that finger's last segment is entered,  and I almost never have a rejected touch,  regardless of how I touch it. 

  • jabird101jabird101 Cleveland, OH, USAPosts: 225 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good idea. I just got my head thinking one finger per slot.  This makes perfect sense,  give several profiles of one finger. This is one of those Duh! moments.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Same thing I thought.  Thanks ​!

  • sigmarsigmar CT, USAPosts: 43 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted for back since the front never seemed very logical to me and these days I really like small bezels. Also- gestures using the back fingerprint sensor is an added convenience.

  • The ideal combinationwould be to have two of them: one in the front, for when the dwvice is laying flat on any surface and one back for when picking up and having in the hand... But if we have to choose, then back.

    Suggestion: Why not turn the  finger print scanner into something more then now? OEMs should really consider to get more out of these scanners, specially a backside scanner could be used as a multiple direction  trackpoint to  scroll up and down, right and left, to turn the page.... Together with some  systemwide gestures like programmable double click, hold,  swish gestures actions it would improve the way to interact with the phone a lot.

    Me for example, I'm tired of scrolling up n down on screen n hide a part of it with my fingers but I could just scroll on the back of my device while in my hand... 

  • I can definitely agree with you that the rear fingerprint scanner will be even more useful as a trackpad. I suggested this idea to ZTE during Phase 1 of CSX  but unforunately did not make the Top 3.

    I am now submitting a new concept which includes the trackpad as a complementary feature for a different idea. Please check my idea out below if you are interested in it:​. Thanks.

  • I agree with you, a side fingerprint scanner would be quite useful as you have access to it regardless of whether the phone is facing up or down.

    Only problem I can think of with this placement, is if the scanner is on the right side of the phone and the user is left handed - I imagine it will be quite difficult to reach the side scanner one handed, especially if the user has short fingers.

  • The speaker volume for the phone to be louder. Be able to choose different colors for the phone. Affordable prices. The phone should have unlimited hotspot.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I haven't used one yet but have played with some in stores.  I think the rear placement is the way to go as it makes room in the front for  more screen real-estate.  But honestly I don't think it would be bad on the front like the Apple and Samsung.  I'm not a huge fan of placing it on the power button because I like the idea of having things ambidextrous.  Regardless if it is on the rear of the device or the front you can easily and comfortably use either hand.  Ideally yes,  it would be great to incorporate this technology into the screen itself so that no matter where you placed your finger on the screen it would read your fingerprint.

  • vagavaga USAPosts: 347 ✭✭✭

    So I agree with a lot of the statements about front fingerprint scanners taking up too much space. Removing the front scanner can give companies a chance to slim the bezels (to what extent that happens is a question of course).

    I prefer back to front, but again there's the question of now having to pick up the phone every time you want to unlock it using the scanner. Also, I don't think everyone's forefinger magically lines up with the back placement at the center of the device and slightly above the middle. Especially if I hold my phone as I know many do with my pinky under the phone my finger is lower and more to the left of where a lot of companies place the sensor. Those who hold their phone in their left hand may find their forefinger to the right of the sensor.

    What I propose is something entirely different. I think the most useful design would be to have the fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone. Not only that, but a phone should have two and integrate them with a button. This way, one can serve as a fingerprint sensor and power button when depressed and the other as a two stage camera button. They can be configured to the user's choosing. Additionally the side fingerprint sensor can be used as a scroll wheel when reading long articles, etc. Other actions could be integrated as well (double tap to open camera or something like that).

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I really like this idea!  By making them interchangeable it makes it perfect for either hand.  I also love the idea of being able to scroll on either side.  WELL DONE

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