Pressure sensitive displays haven’t really taken off as well as they hoped, but with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 6s, Huawei’s P9 Plus and Mate S, and ZTE’s Axon mini, we can at least assure that they exist. However, even though they lack in quantity, it’s not stopping manufacturers from building them into their devices, and this new Xiaomi report is no exception…
According to a new report out of China via GizmoChina, Xiaomi’s rumored Mi5s smartphone is set to feature a pressure sensitive display for use with different shortcuts and operations within the phone’s OS (which will be a custom version of Android). In addition, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is also in the works for more accurate results and increased security.
It’s a bit tough to judge just how useful this pressure sensitive screen will prove to be. Whether it’ll be a hit or miss will be up to the software built into the Mi5s. With hardware like this built into a smartphone, software becomes a very dependent addition to the overall experience and usefulness. Just look at Apple’s iPhone 6s. With iOS 9, there was barely anything you could do with the 3D Touch feature built inside except use shortcuts which took you to two or three places inside the assigned app. This caused 3D Touch to get a reputation which was categorized as a gimmick by many. However, when iOS 10 launches this fall, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users will be able to access widgets assigned to different apps which will make the pressure sensitivity feature in the iPhone much more useful. So in that sense, let’s hope Xiaomi has some serious software plans for the pressure sensitivity feature they’re building into the Mi5s that are good if not great.
Regarding the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, it would make sense for Xiaomi’s most powerful handset to date to include this hardware. The Mi5s is already rumored to feature 6GB of RAM – which is a lot – so it would make sense for a powerful fingerprint reader to make it to the device as well. This would also mean that the Chinese company beat Apple to the punch in the latest fingerprint sensors. However, since both the pressure sensitive screen and new fingerprint sensor are still rumors and not set in stone as of now, take this information with a grain of salt.