by Al Sacco

Note7 iris scanner not quite ready for prime time (video)

Aug 19, 2016
AndroidBiometricsConsumer Electronics

The iris scanner in Samsung's Galaxy Note7 smartphone is a breakthrough in mobile biometric authentication. Unfortunately, it's also not reliable.

Samsung’s impressive new Galaxy Note7 smartphone is a genuine tech-spec powerhouse.

Across the board, the Note7’s hardware is top of the line. Its large display is glorious, for example. It comes with 64GB of built-in storage — and it supports microSD memory cards. The phone is made with premium materials, such as Corning Gorilla Glass and steel. The Note S Pen stylus has never felt more like a real ballpoint pen. Despite the thin, trim design, the Note7 packs a good-size 3,500-mAh battery. It’s also water resistant and relatively light at just 169g.

[ Related: 7 surprises in Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 smartphone ]

All this luxury doesn’t come cheap. But, hey, you have to pay if you want the best the world’s leading Android-phone maker has to offer. 

galaxynote7 feature iris main final 3 2 Samsung

In addition to all these bulked-up specs, the Note7 showcases some true innovation in authentication. The new iris camera and dedicated infrared LED let Note7 users unlock their phones with a glimpse at the iris scanner. (Check out Samsung’s website for more specifics on how the Note7 iris scanner works.)

I spent the past week with the Note7 and purposefully put the iris scanner through a number of tests. Unfortunately, I found the new biometric authentication feature to be more than a little … finicky. Check out the video above for specifics on why.