The unexpected alternative use of the fingerprint reader: heart rate reading in the Realme GT 2

With the launch of the Realme GT 2 Pro and Realme GT 2, the brand introduced a novelty in its fingerprint readers: heart rate recording. And we have verified how well it works by pitting mobile phones against a smartwatch and a medical blood pressure monitor.

Fingerprint scanners in smartphones They are designed to guarantee secure access to the phone, but that is not their only purpose: they also serve as buttons (the power button is common) and even as support for gestures on Android. What we never imagined was that a fingerprint reader could record a person’s heart rate. It is just what Realme proposes in its GT 2.

Heart rate measurement in Realme Lab

Heartbeat Reader Fingerprints

Realme UI, the manufacturer’s custom layer, includes experimental options that can be tested to take a look at what Realme is preparing for future updates. There is the “DC Dimming” to reduce screen flickering at minimum brightness, for example. And Realme UI 3 on the GT 2 also includes heart rate recording.

Since phones that offer fingerprint unlocking with a sensor under the screen perform this function by capturing the light reflected by the finger thanks to an optical sensor (with the exception of Samsung, which includes an ultrasonic sensor in its range Galaxy premium), Realme takes advantage of analyze the passage of blood through the finger and thus obtain the user’s heart rate. Something similar to the measurement of the pulsations with the rear clamera that Google Fit premiered.

To make use of the curious method of analyzing the pulsations using the fingerprint reader of the Realme GT 2, the following steps must be carried out:

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  • Open the phone settings and scroll down to “Realme Lab”.
  • Go into “heart rate measurement“.
  • Place your finger (any) on the fingerprint sensor (at the bottom of the screen) and keep it in that position for 15 seconds while the reading is taking place.
Heartbeat Reader Fingerprints

The phone will save all readings in the “History” tab along with the time and date they were taken. Unfortunately, the heart rate measured by the mobile cannot be associated with any health app, nor can it be shared. Therefore, the only way to export the data is to point it manually.

How accurate is the heart rate measured with the fingerprint reader?

Heartbeat Reader Fingerprints

We have pitted the Realme GT 2 against the heart rate reading of a smartwatch (Apple Watch Series 7) and a medical blood pressure monitor. The results have been quite imprecise.: while at rest, the pulses squared on the watch and the blood pressure monitor with measurements between 49 and 55 pulses; the Realme GT 2 ranged between 74 and 100 beats.

Heartbeat Reader Fingerprints

Since optical sensors are always more accurate at low keystrokes, the fingerprint reader shows so much margin of error rules out its use for any consideration, including sports.

The measurement with the fingerprint reader is nothing more than a curiosity: its margin of error rules out any use of the data

As a curiosity, it seems to us a quite successful option: it is a good complement to the safe unlocking of the phone. Too bad it varies so much, even from one finger to another. Also from one person to another.

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