It is becoming increasingly clear that the LG G6 will be heading our way next year without the G5's modular credentials. To make up for the abrupt departure of this feature, LG is reportedly throwing in an iris scanner into its next flagship.
This speculation emerged amid the flurry of recent Korean media reports, particularly involving LG's Innotek development. What is significant about the leaked information so far is the level of details provided. The amount and quality of data available recently allow for clear comparison to the iris scanner technology we have seen in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
One will probably remember that the now defunct Note 7 had a second front-facing camera dedicated for iris scanning. This was located beside the selfie shooter. LG G6's implementation is said to be slightly different in the sense that it eliminated the secondary camera, opting for a combined selfie-iris scanner imaging technology instead.
According to reports, the South Korean company was able to develop a filter that allowed the two features to co-exist under the same module. In addition, this combination seems to impact the real estate of the handset. Separate selfie and iris scanner components amount to 0.47 cc volume whereas the combined module will merely constitute 0.36 cc.
The ultimate question, however, is whether an iris scanner is helpful to the users. We were not able to fully evaluate this due to the Note 7's untimely demise. So far, it is already established that such technology could be useful since it provides even more security than the fingerprint ID.
However, as was the case in the Note 7, usability could be a bit spotty. A user will have to turn the screen on (probably to activate the camera), then he will have to swipe a finger across the display before the iris scanner can be used. That constitutes three steps, which is a tad too many for smartphone users. In contrast, the fingerprint sensor only requires one tap to unlock the handset.
With or without the modular feature, LG has promised to release G6 with mysterious features, those that are not found in previous LG devices. Fans are tearing their hair out trying to guess what these are. The iris scanner will most probably make the cut. The G6 could also sport a functionality called MST technology, which allows automatic payments whenever the handset is near a magnetic card reading machine.
At this point, LG has not released any information regarding the LG G6's launch. Observers believe, however, that the device will likely debut at the Mobile World Congress in the first quarter of next year. That schedule is also the rumored target launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8.