Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Iris Scanner

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 Iris Scanner

A small sensor at the top of the mobile briefly images your unique eye retina features for logging you in securely.

This is the second in a three-part series that reviews Samsung’s important new Note 7 smartphone. The initial part concerned the device’s design.

In its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, Samsung has added a whole new way to unlock the device for the use. Instead of typing a pass code or fingerprint. You now have the option of pointing your eyes at a small sensor at the top of the mobile.

eye small sensor

Iris scanning as biometric authentication process has been around for a long time. On concord, the Note 7 is the first Samsung mobile to include the option. In fact, the Note 7 is the highest-profile mass market smartphone to include iris scanning.

Here is how the technology works. A small sensor at the top front of the mobile identifies the totally unique characteristics and finely detailed in your iris. The iris is the colored area around the black pupil at the middle of the eye. Once the software inside the mobile makes a positive match between the pictures seen by the sensor and the picture it took of your iris during the set-up process as the mobile unlocks.

Phone unlocks


At the time of set-up process, you are asked to set up the iris scanner just after you are asked to set up the fingerprint reader. You will see the red light of the sensor light up several times as it creates a profile of the look of your iris that converts the visual information into a numeric representation.

After a little bit of practice, I found that the iris scanner worked well. You have to hold the mobile out in front of your face that looks down at it on the table doesn’t work for about five inches away, for the best quickest results. It also provides you a help for removing your reading glasses.

When you like to use your iris to unlock the mobile, you then signal that to the mobile by swiping upward on the screen. Actually, so that the authentication involves three steps by clicking the mobile’s on the button, swiping up on the screen. Then holding the mobile in front of your face to wait for the scan. To open the mobile with the fingerprint reader. You only have to tab the home button. Then leave your finger or thumb there for a second for the sensor to recognize your print.

I found that the scan is very fast, after using the iris scanner a few times. If you barely hold the mobile up and then it is already unlocked for you.

new authentication option


The iris scanner on the Note 7 can be used to authenticate you for a few of the mobile’s other features as well. Based on the Settings. You can use a positive iris scan to log into the certain websites. An iris feature consists of scan can also be used in lieu of your Samsung account password.


The iris scanner can be used as a way to log into work-related assets those are kept inside Samsung’s Knox security framework. Similar to that the scanner can be used as the lock and key for a Secure Folder on the mobile in which you can keep documents and that are meant for your eyes only.

In the settings, you should set up your secure folder. Then indicate that you  would like the iris scanner to be your main means of keying into it. After you unlock your mobile, you will see the new folder front and center on the home screen. Once you tap in that, then the iris scanner automatically comes on and looks for a positive read.

The iris scanner doesn’t work to authenticate Samsung Pay mobile payments on concord Samsung has said that is coming soon.


You can add apps and documents to your secure folder and protect with IRIS.


Most of the consumers initially became aware of the importance of the mobile device encryptions and privacy when Apple refused to unlock the iPhone of a domestic terrorist for the FBI last winter. This feature leads to some important discussions on the relative security of different phone unlocking mechanisms. On concordat that time we were mainly talking about alphanumeric passcodes versus fingerprint readers. The iris scanner brings a full new player into the game as where the consumer electronics are concerned.

How well does the iris scanner stack up? just Security-wise. Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead says “Generally speaking, the iris can be more secure than fingerprint as there are more points for checking the fingerprint.” “But researchers will need to test this specific Samsung Note 7 implementation for validating this.”

On concord, in a way, the fact that your iris never changes could be a mark against the security of the iris scan. There is no authentication method. Security experts will tell you is totally secure. If some bad actor ever got a hold of your iris scan. It would be compromised forever. You cannot change your iris print in the way you change a password.

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