Iris scanner and facial recognition features on phones are nothing new to Samsung; they have been present on Samsung's top phones for some time now. Based on our review of the Galaxy Note8, the iris scanner is lightning fast while the facial recognition feature is less secure but more convenient.
The introduction of Face ID on the iPhone X has pushed the user authentication standards ever higher. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believed Apple's implementation is so advanced that it would take up to 2.5 years for competitors to catch up. He singled out the facial recognition capabilities of the Galaxy S8/Note8 as being inferior. Interest in 3D-sensing technology among Android phone makers also reportedly spiked after the iPhone X was announced. These developments would place much pressure on Samsung to deliver a better and more secure authentication experience for the Galaxy S9.
Although Samsung is believed to be using the same iris scanner and front camera modules, ETNews claimed that Samsung would match Face ID with software enhancements. It is said that Samsung would introduce "new add-ons through software apps".
In the recently released Galaxy Note8's Oreo Beta, SamCentral found evidence of an Intelligent Scan feature hidden inside the APK. The strings in the Settings APK suggest that Intelligent scan is a combination of both Iris and Facial recognition that uses both aspects for "better accuracy and security" and improved results in "low or very bright" lighting.