Leaked Galaxy S23 Ultra protective glass hints at disappointing fingerprint sensor cost-cutting measures by Samsung


There might not be a generational improvement with the Galaxy S23 Ultra's fingerprint sensor.  (Image source: Technizo Concept/Unsplash - edited)
There might not be a generational improvement with the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s fingerprint sensor. (Image source: Technizo Concept/Unsplash – edited)

An image of the protective glass for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra flagship smartphone has allegedly been leaked, and it reveals a potential disappointment for fans. There were some expectations that the Galaxy S23 Ultra would sport Qualcomm’s large 3D Sonic Max in-display fingerprint sensor – but cost-cutting measures may have put paid to that.

A photo showing what is apparently the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s protective glass has been shared online via known leaker Ice universe. As well as revealing what appears to be a slightly flatter and less curved overall shape, which has frequently been rumored to be coming to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the tipster also pointed out the size of the area for the in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, and it seems to be the same size as the one for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

This is not a bad thing in itself; the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was fitted with a very quick Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 fingerprint reader, which takes a three-dimensional snapshot of the user’s fingers. However, there have been rumors in the past that the Galaxy S23 Ultra would receive an upgrade in the form of Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max in-display fingerprint sensor, which has already found its way into the iQOO 9 Pro. But there may have been some cost-cutting measures going on at Samsung HQ as this no longer seems to be the case.

It’s clear to see in the comparison (see below) that the Galaxy S23 Ultra fingerprint sensor area is about the same size as the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s. Qualcomm states that the area for the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 unit is 8 x 8 mm or 64 mm². This is much smaller than the 3D Sonic Max fingerprint reader, which comes in a whopping package size of 20 x 30 mm (600 mm²) and offers greater security with “simultaneous two finger authentication”. It’s possible Samsung never intended to use this unit for the Galaxy S23 Ultra anyway and that the initial rumor was false, but it’s also easy to imagine that the South Korean company is looking to make the 2023 flagship as profitable as possible via some crafty cost- cutting.

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Galaxy S23 Ultra.  (Image source: @UniverseIce)
Galaxy S23 Ultra
Galaxy S22 Ultra.  (Image source: @UniverseIce)
Galaxy S22 Ultra
iQOO 9 Pro with large fingerprint sensor.  (Image source: iQOO)
iQOO 9 Pro with large fingerprint sensor

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