HTC Adds A Fingerprint Sensor To The HTC One, Also Makes The Screen Bigger

15 October 2013

The Verge:

Using the One max in the recommended way — as a very generously proportioned phone — is an exercise in frustration, and nothing exemplifies that better than its major new feature, the fingerprint scanner. Firstly, it’s placed in exactly the wrong place. Sitting immediately below the camera lens and requiring a swipe, it pretty much compels you to smudge the lens every time you want to identify yourself. The need for a vertical swipe is also problematic, since your hand’s natural position is at an angle to the sensor, demanding an unnatural and uncomfortable motion to activate it. Inevitably, that leads to regular failures to recognize your epidermic signature.

Equally enervating is the fact that you have to wake the One max from sleep before swiping to unlock it.

HTC is really getting mileage out of the One’s industrial design. The original, the Mini and — now — the Max.

Although I’m sure keeping a similar look keeps costs down, a fingerprint sensor doesn’t really ‘fit’ into the One chassis. By chance, Apple already had a convenient (and prominent) space for the fingerprint sensor to go in the form of the Home Button. HTC has no such luck applying the same strategy as the One’s design has very little free space on the front of the device.

As a result, HTC has resorted to shoving it on the back of the phone which is very much inferior1, not least because the sensor itself is not visible in normal use. Out of sight, out of mind.

1 Of course, it doesn’t help that the sensor itself is also inferior, requiring a swipe action to scan.