Move over iPhone fingerprint tech, the latest Samsung scans eyes

Lynsey Barber
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Samsung's Galaxy Note scans eyes instead of fingerprints or passwords (Source: Samsung)

It's time for Apple's iPhone fingerprint technology to move over - at least that's what Samsung is hoping.

The rival Korean smartphone maker has unveiled its latest device - the Galaxy Note 7 - which has trumped its rival's use of biometrics with eye-scanning technology.

Read more: Passwords are passe: Nationwide is testing behavioural biometrics

The Note 7 is a larger sibling to Samsung's latest range of flagship phones - the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge - and comes with a slightly larger screen and a stylus. It also features the curved edged screen familiar from the S7 Edge.

But it's the eye-scanning technology which sets the Android-based Note 7 apart when it comes to features, letting users unlock their phone screen just by looking at the camera in the same way as a pin, password or the fingerprint which can already be used on the flagship models as well as Apple's iPhones.

“The Galaxy Note7 combines productivity and entertainment in one single device. With strong security features and an enhanced service ecosystem, the Galaxy Note7 is the ideal smartphone for those looking for a device for work and play,” said Samsung UK's vice president of IT and mobile, Conor Pierce, at the launch of the device today in London.

Read more: HSBC launching "voice print" systems for 15m users

Key features

  • 5.7 inch screen
  • Waterproof (to 1. metres in depth and up to 30 minutes)
  • 12 megapixel back camera
  • Goes on sale 2 September
  • 64GB memory and room for an additional 256GB via microSD card

Samsung has been boosted by sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which launched earlier this year amid a global slowdown in sales of smartphones which has even hit Apple.

It will however, face stiff competition from its US rival this Autumn when Apple is expected to launch its next flagship iPhone 7.

Analyst verdict

“Before Apple’s Plus-sized iPhone stole its thunder, the Galaxy Note was the original phablet," said USwitch analyst Ernest Doku.

“But since then its huge screen – the Note range’s unique selling point – has been copied by multiple mobile-makers. The result is that all the Note 5 had to differentiate it was its inclusive stylus ’S Pen’. So you can see why Samsung – at the forefront of eyeball-tracking smartphone technology – has thrown an iris security scanner into the mix, and rolled out its unique curved edge as standard.

“It’s aiming to trump the existing fingerprint ID systems of its competitors, while building on the unexpected popularity of its first curved Edge phone - the closest thing to a major rethink of handset design we’ve seen for some time. As the Note 7 is Samsung’s priciest handset to date, users will be expecting bells and whistles, but these features need to add value to the device. Iris scanning tech that is redundant for wearers of contact lens or specs will have the geek chic brigade up in arms.

"That said, there’s clearly a market for oversized phones that barely fit in your pocket - gamers, film fans and business people could all benefit from the better user experience just a few extra millimetres can bring.”

City AM Would you consider the new Samsung?

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