HTC’s forthcoming “phablet” device, the HTC One Max, will officially feature fingerprint sensor hardware marking HTC’s first foray into mobile fingerprint biometrics.
HTC’s One Max is a larger, 5.9-inch smart phone that includes a dedicated fingerprint sensor located on the rear of the device just below the camera lens. The sensor leverages the swipe method of recognition and can be programmed to acknowledge up to three distinct fingers.
Each registered fingerprint can be tied to its own function, enabling quick and easy access to frequently used apps. For example, an index finger could be used to unlock the phone, while a thumb could open the camera.
While HTC’s decision to implement a fingerprint sensor in its latest smart phone offering makes since – especially given the response that Apple’s Touch ID has received – though the location of the sensor on the One Max is puzzling at best.
Apple has implemented its fingerprint sensor on the front of the phone on the oft-used ‘Home’ button, a convenient and seamless integration. The One Max, on the other hand, has opted to place the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, making the usability of the sensor considerably more awkward.
As the sensor requires a vertical swiping motion to conduct fingerprint verification, the immediate issue will be the tendency to smudge the device’s camera lens, which is located directly above the sensor. Additionally, the phone must be awoken before the user can actually conduct fingerprint recognition to, say, unlock the device – another puzzling caveat that turns the simple action of unlocking your phone into a two-step process.
To the device’s credit, however, the One Max does offer a nifty feature in its ability to enroll multiple fingerprints for individual uses, and despite the odd flaws in the sensor’s location and the unlocking process, there is certainly potential in HTC’s support of mobile biometrics.
We have to remember that fingerprint sensors on smartphones are, if nothing else, still a relatively new idea to the mainstream public. Apple’s Touch ID may have the edge at the moment, but as biometrics gains more momentum in the mobile market, implementations like that of the HTC One Max are sure to evolve.