Aug 28 AT 3:26 PM Nick Gray 23 Comments

Old fads never die: HTC One Max to bring back fingerprint scanner


Fingerprint scanners on phones have never been super popular, but they’ve been a reliable way to secure mobile computing devices for nearly a decade. They have often been used in laptops and PDAs, but the only high-profile Android device to ever sport a fingerprint scanner was the Motorola Atrix. There are rumors floating around that Apple will be including a fingerprint scanner in a future iPhone, so it’s not too absurd to think that Android OEMs would be playing around with the idea as well.

When leaked pictures of the HTC One Max showed up last week, it was speculated that a square black panel on the back of the phone could be a fingerprint scanner. Today, newly leaked images of the phone seem to confirm that notion, giving us a closer look at the fingerprint scanner and a toggle in the phone’s setting to turn the feature on or off.

htc-one-max-back htc-one-max-fingerprint-toggle htc-one-max-panel-off

Personally, I have no use for a fingerprint scanner on my phone. I rarely use pattern, face or pin locks on the phones that I use, so adding another locking option doesn’t really excite me. However, I can admit that there is a certain appeal to fingerprint scanning for those who do need to make sure their device is secure.  Passwords and pins are probably secure enough for the majority of users, but they are a hassle. You press your phone’s power button to check your emails, but you first have to type in a 4-8 digit key. A fingerprint scanner would probably only save you a second or two every time you need to unlock your phone, but that could add  up to a minute or two each day potentially saving you a few hours every month.

The fingerprint scanner on the Motorola Atrix worked just fine. The phone wasn’t ever a huge success, but we doubt it was because it had a fingerprint scanner on the back. I do not think a fingerprint scanner will help sale of the HTC One Max, but I could be wrong. Do you think the fingerprint scanner is an important piece of Android smartphone’s security puzzle?

Source: ePrice

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for HTC One Max

  • sandwich

    Having just gotten an HTC One, and with it my first experience with facial unlock, I have to say that I wish it had fingerprint unlock. Facial unlock works perhaps 30% of the time for me, even though I keep retraining it for different environments. As long as they take into account multiple fingers (right index, left index, etc), I don’t see any downsides to this.

    What would be really cool is if they integrate fingerprint scanning with the multiple user profiles that Android is rumored to be heading towards.

  • alexanderharri3

    While this may be an interesting discussion on fingerprint scanners being desirable today….the bigger thing is…with the One being so fresh – a One Max would just do what the OneX+ did – creating a whole new SKU for half-year worth of updates. We can wait for the One next spring, the One right now is just fine and still at the top.

    • Nick Gray

      The HTC One Max is to the HTC One as the Samsung Galaxy Note is to the Samsung Galaxy S line. It’s not a half step up in specs, it;s a different device completely, just like the HTC One mini. Now, the same can’t be said for the HTC Butterfly S which is an HTC One with an overclocked processor, larger battery but lacks OIS.

      • alexanderharri3

        True, I see my error. It would be nice to have a better differentiator than just a max tacked on to make it more aptly phablet named. It does fit with the one mini, one, one max as long as onex series is forgotten. The irony of so many are the “One”

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Yes! I just hope it becomes a standard. I hope the true HTC one succesor is top of the line, with a fingerprint scanner, and 5″.

  • Jay

    It’s a good idea but not enough for me to go out and purchase a HTC. Don’t get me wrong, HTC can thrive if they wanted to. Their products are competitive but somehow don’t sell. The reason I did not want it is because of the repairablity on them. Hard to get into to for repair but they are designed so well. Fingerprint scanners, in my opinion, are iffy. If you get a cut on the finger, most likely you cant get in your phone. Nothing like the good password on encrypted drive for droid.

  • dbareis

    All things being equal I’d get the one with the fingerprint scanner every time. I know someone else who will be interested in this phone for it also.

  • SGB101

    The child in me just wants this announced then released before iPhone 5s(6).

    Personally don’t care tho, as I never lock my phone, it just gets in the way. I’m to impatient, for my own good!

    My aging think pad and Dell xps, both have fingertip readers, you input all your fingers and it works first time everytime, and it’s quick, but the input method would be to clumsy for a phone, but hay 5 years have passed.

  • Dan Jones

    I definitely used the fingerprint scanner for security on my trusty old iPaq, back in the day. I’d be very happy to have a phone with it again.

  • bob

    Maybe you are thinking about it the wrong way? If unlocking the device with the fingerprint scanner was as fluid and fast as swiping the screen, would you use it then?

  • iandblog

    I have to agree. I can’t see a use for a finger print scanner. If your data needs to be that secure, whoever wants it wouldn’t hesitate to take your finger. :-S

  • SGB101

    If it was a scrotum scanner it would stop wanting to finger your phone.

    Then again you don’t need a scanner for that to work!

  • Amir

    It may make the One Max a bigger success because if by chance the new iPhone 5s has an Finger print scanner it will make it more relevant.

  • surg3d

    So I guess it’s pretty safe to say that there is no stylus in this thing huh? Bummer…

    • Paul Atreides

      Definitely should of included a stylus over a fingerprint scanner. If it’s going to compete with the Note line like Nick mentioned. A kickstand would of been a nice addition too. Chou you’re still doing it wrong sad to say.

  • Paul

    I think it’s a neat idea. I do use a PIN to unlock my phone. The idea of leaving my phone somewhere and somebody picking it up and having full access to my work and personal email, my calendar, my contacts, etc. scared me enough to at least put a quick pattern in place. A fingerprint scanner would be faster.

    My friend posted on FB the other day “The new iPhone 5S might have a fingerprint scanner!” and I commented “Awesome! The Motorola Atrix with Android had it 2 years ago, but way to go Apple!” lol. But you’re right, no phone has had one since, so the HTC One Max might bring it back to a desired feature. Sucks it takes Apple to promote a feature before Android listens.

  • Atrix User

    I have had an Atrix 4G for almost 3 yrs and am ready for a new phone but love the fingerprint scanner too much to give it up for a phone without one. It works smooth and quickly making unlocking effortless and much faster than pins or other methods as i can unlock it in one motion as i am pulling the phone out of my pocket. If you lock your phone, it is one of those features that you dont realize how convenient it is until you have it, but the location of the scanner will be important!! The Atrix has the perfect placement on the top back, I hope this becomes a mainstream feature for moblie phones.

    • donger

      The only minor problem I see is if you have the phone laying on something, you would have to pick it up every time to unlock it.