It’s been an unexpectedly uphill struggle for self-described human interface solution developer Synaptics to put the world’s first screen-embedded fingerprint reader on a commercial smartphone, but lo and behold, that groundbreaking mobile device is now fully detailed and (almost) ready for primetime.

It’s not Samsung’s Galaxy S9, as we wanted to believe a while back, but rather a Vivo X20 Plus UD that was showcased at CES a couple of weeks ago in decent working form.

The unimaginative name betrays this new giant’s close connection to the X20 Plus, although the ambitious Chinese maker of the two “FullView” handsets appears to suggest there are two 13MP cameras slapped on the UD’s back instead of a 13 and 5-megapixel lens combo.

“UD” obviously stands for under display, where the “invisible” fingerprint scanner is located, promising security, accuracy and speed pretty much on par with “conventional” biometric systems.

Razor-thin bezels and a trendy 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio for a 6.43-inch screen sporting 2160 x 1080 pixels are advertised as key additional selling points, alongside “Face Wake” capabilities, generous 128GB internal storage space, and respectable 4GB RAM.

In order to keep retail costs relatively low, Vivo chose an upper mid-range Snapdragon 660 processor as the heart of the X20 Plus UD rather than a flagship-grade SD835, pairing the SoC with a large 3900 mAh or so battery. Running a heavily modified version of Android 7.1 Nougat, the phone will kick off pre-orders in China on January 29 at the rough equivalent of $565 (CNY 3,598), ahead of an actual regional launch on February 1. Alas, there are still no words on international availability.




Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).

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