Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Huawei P10's lack of oleophobic coating due to fingerprint sensor

Huawei's latest flagship smartphone - the Huawei P10 - is a very nice device, but there was an odd thing about it: it had no oleophobic screen, and there was no reason why. Well, it now seems it had to do with its new under-glass capacitive fingerprint sensor.

The oleophobic coating has become the norm in all but the cheapest touchscreen equipped devices, helping the screen resist the constant touching and handling that would turn into into a fingerprint and grease magnet. So, it was surprising to see Huawei forget about it on its latest P10, instead choosing to apply a screen protector.

We've inquired Huawei regarding this, and the answer they gave us indicate it most likely had to do with its new fingerprint sensor. Until now Huawei used regular fingerprint sensors, but the P10 uses a new capacitive fingerprint sensor that is placed behind the single piece pane of glass in front. Apparently, adding the oleophobic treatment would interfere with the sensor's ability to accurately recognize fingerprints, and that's why the P10 gets no oleophobic treatment.

It's not the kind of answer we'd hope to hear - even more when there are smartphones on the market that also use under-glass sensors (albeit different ones, using different technology) and still have oleophobic screens. But in any case, there you have it, no more need to wonder why there's no oleophobic treatment on the P10... the fingerprint sensor did it.

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