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The Xiaomi Mi 8 does the one thing Apple could never figure out

With smartphone bezels shrinking, there’s less room for a fingerprint sensor on the front. Android smartphone sensors are often placed on the back of the phone; the iPhone X ditched one altogether, opting for Face ID instead. On Thursday, May 31, Synaptics revealed that new flagship Xiaomi Mi8 would one-up them all.

The Synaptics Clear ID Fs9500 is a sensor designed for smartphones that have bezel-free, button-free infinity displays. Clear ID is an ultra-thin optical sensor that captures your fingerprint with light produced from the OLED panel on the smartphone. It works under OLED displays and uses an electric current to capture the imprint of your finger.

But how does it work? The sensor detects the finger, the OLED display then lights up the finger, the sensor scans the fingerprint, and the “matcher” then verifies the image. Once it’s confirmed the imprint is yours, you will be granted access.

The sensor can also be placed anywhere on the screen the manufacturer wants. The Clear ID sensor should not only be able to work on flexible or rigid displays, but can also work if the phone has a screen protector or if the screen is wet. It’s also said to be twice as fast as 3D facial recognition and has a 99-percent spoof-attack rejection rate.

Now that Clear ID has made its way into Xiaomi’s Mi8 transparent Adventure smartphones, Synaptics’ claims will finally be put to the test. While the Chinese smartphone manufacturer isn’t a well-known brand in the United States, it is popular in other markets — especially as the highest selling brand in India. It’s also the fourth-highest selling smartphone brand globally.

The company is mainly known for manufacturing phones that look similar to Apple’s smartphones.

But Xiaomi offers them at a much cheaper price, and its devices run Android rather than iOS of course.

While we have yet to get our hands on the Mi8, we have given the budget Xiaomi Mi A1 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 pleasant reviews.

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