Pantech beats Apple to the punch with fingerprint scanning smartphone

South Korea-based Pantech has announced its latest flagship smartphone, dubbed the Pantech Vega LTE-A. Beating Apple's iPhone 5S to the punch, the Vega LTE-A is one of the first phones to come with a fingerprint scanner. If rumours are any indication, fingerprint scanners will be abundant in the next generation of smartphones launching over the next year, giving Pantech a nice lead. 

A fingerprint scanner isn't the only unique piece of tech in its next-generation smartphone, as Pantech has also included a rear touchpad where you can slide your finger across to unlock the phone. We're wondering how well this feature will actually work and if it makes sense to be on the back.

The Vega LTE-A is a pretty specification-heavy smartphone, packing a 5.5-inch FHD IPS LCD display, 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB storage, 3100mAh battery, and a 13-megapixel rear-camera. Pantech brags the battery can be fully charged from 0 to 100 per cent in 94 minutes.

The LTE-A part of the Vega's naming comes from being compatible with the LTE-A network available in South Korea by SK Telecom that brings ultra-fast LTE speeds. It has the ability for data speeds of a whopping 150Mbps, which is twice as fast as 4G LTE speeds made available by carriers in the United States and United Kingdom. As for 3G, LTE-A is 10 times faster according to SK Telecom.

Pantech beat Apple has in announcing a fingerprint scanner by a few months, if rumours are to be believed. The Cupertino-based company has reportedly included it in the screen of the iPhone 5S, doing away with the need for passcodes and passwords on the next-generation iOS device. 

The Vega LTE-A will be available in black and white, though Pantech hasn’t yet confirmed pricing or availability. It's not clear if the LTE-A compatibility restricts it to just South Korea or if it will be released in the US, UK, and the rest of the globe.