Until now, the iPhone had a key advantage over other smartphones: Its fingerprint sensor called TouchID was better and more accurate than anything else on the market.
Samsung just matched Apple with the fingerprint sensor on its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S 6.
Just like TouchID, all you have to do is place your finger on the sensor embedded in the Galaxy S 6’s home button and the phone will unlock without needing a passcode. You can store up to four fingerprints on the device.
I tested the fingerprint sensor on a Galaxy S 6 the other day and couldn’t trick it. It could even read my fingerprint no matter what position I put finger on the home button.
This is a big improvement over the fingerprint sensor Samsung used on last year’s Galaxy S 5. That device required you to swipe your finger over the home button just right to unlock the phone. I had a lot of trouble with it when I reviewed the phone, as did just about every other reviewer.
The Galaxy S 6’s fingerprint sensor will also be a key part of Samsung Pay, Samsung’s mobile payments platform that will launch this summer. Samsung Pay is very similar to Apple Pay, and you’ll need to confirm all payments with your fingerprint before it goes through.
Samsung told me that it didn’t develop the fingerprint sensor on its own, but licensed the technology from an unnamed supplier. Apple makes its own fingerprint sensors based on technology from Authentec, a company it bought in 2012 for over $US300 million.
The Galaxy S 6 and the curved-screen Galaxy S 6 Edge will launch in April.