Screen Unlock

The OnePlus 6T is expected to launch on October 17 globally as well as in India and this time the smartphone maker is taking a long jump by removing the headphone jack from the device and introducing in display fingerprint scanner. Explaining about the feature, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has written a post on OnePlus community forum saying that in-display fingerprint sensor in the upcoming OnePlus 6T will deliver “unmatched speed and convenience” and will be known as Screen Unlock.

Although Lau had earlier confirmed that the next OnePlus phone would have the futuristic fingerprint sensor that would be located under the display, now he is revealing some details of the technology. OnePlus is calling the technology Screen Unlock, and along with Face Unlock that is already part of OnePlus phones, the new method will offer users of OnePlus 6T two unique ways to unlock their phone.

The in-display fingerprint scanners are already part of several other phones in the market — a couple of Oppo and Vivo phones have it — but Lau says that the OnePlus 6T will use a sensor and method that is going to be the fastest and most convenient to use. “We spent months shaving milliseconds off the unlock time and carefully refining the unlock animation to ensure a satisfying experience. Through the use of several software algorithms, Screen Unlock will learn to recognize your fingerprint with higher accuracy through the extended use… we have created an incredibly fast in-display unlock experience. Screen Unlock marks a momentous leap forward in unlocking technology, delivering unmatched speed and convenience,” he wrote in the post at the OnePlus community forum.

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Lau also reveals that the OnePlus started working on bringing the in-display sensor to its phones long before it launched the OnePlus 5T last year. In fact, the company aimed to include the technology in the OnePlus 5T. But the experience of using this sensor wasn’t all that good at that time, revealed Lau. “After numerous tests, we concluded our in-display fingerprint sensor wasn’t ready to deliver the speed and reliability our users deserved,” wrote Lau.

Now, the technology has improved. Lau says the current-generation optical fingerprint sensors that go under the screen are not only smaller — so phone remains slick and sleek — but also more precise. Although due to the embedded sensor the OnePlus 6T will be 0.25mm thicker compared to the OnePlus 6, it is still likely to look and feel very similar to the OnePlus 6.

OnePlus says that in the OnePlus 6T it is going to use “Trust Zone”, which is dedicated chip area for storing encrypted data, in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 to locally store fingerprint sensors of users. “Whenever Screen Unlock is used, your fingerprint is compared to the information stored in the Trust Zone to ensure authenticity and actively defend against false patterns,” wrote Lau.

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Earlier, in an interview to CNET, Lau also explained that while deciding the feature set in the OnePlus 6T, the company ran into the question of whether to include the 3.5mm headphone jack or the in-display fingerprint sensor. “(Removing jack) has been one of the most difficult decisions for us to make,” said Lau. “(But) after you experience the Screen Unlock you’ll fall in love with it… you will realize that it’s the experience that you wanted.”

In the CNET interview, Lau also said that the OnePlus 6T will not come with IP rating, although it will be water-resistant against splashes and rain for all practical purposes. The Oneplus 6T will also not come with wireless charging. Lau hinted that this is because currently, wireless charging generates too much heat and the experience is not good.

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