Xiaomi latest Mi 5s phones embed fingerprint reader into screen

Not as seamless as it could've been, but at least Xiaomi's Mi 5s can be unlocked with a sweaty thumb

Xiaomi has launched an early successor to this year’s Mi 5 with the Mi 5s and the Mi 5s Plus. The two phones come with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a new flagship but also tout a unique feature: a fingerprint sensor baked right under the screen towards the bottom of the phone.

Xiaomi claims to offer a “seamless, button-free design”. That isn’t entirely true because the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus still have a curved indentation where a button would generally be placed, and that’s the only spot you can unlock the device. The larger point here is to show off the implementation of Qualcomm’s new ultrasonic technology. This technology promises a more accurate reading of your fingerprint under natural and slightly unnatural circumstances. You’ll be better able to unlock your phone when your finger is dirty or wet, for example. How accurate these claims are we’ll only know once we get our hands on the new Xiaomi 5s phones.

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Aside from the fingerprint reader, the phones are an upgrade from the Mi 5 launched earlier this year. The Mi 5s has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, something essential for the ultrasonic technology. As for the camera, the Mi 5s has a Sony CMOS image sensor powering the 12MP rear snapper, which offers dual-tone LED flash and 4K video recording. The Mi 5s Plus model has a dual-camera system, much like the iPhone 7 phones. Both Mi 5s and the Plus are available in 64 and 128GB of storage. The Mi 5s tops out at 4GB RAM while the Mi 5s Plus reaches 6GB. The Mi 5s has a 5.1-inch, 1080p display with pressure sensitivity, while the 5s Plus has a 5.7-inch display.

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Both phones are available on pre-order in China on September 29. The 64GB Mi 5s is ¥1,999 (about Dh1,110) while the 128GB is ¥2,299. Since the earlier Mi 5 was Xiaomi’s first global release, we can expect to see these phones hit our region soon. We’ll keep you updated on prices and availability.