Qualcomm's new fingerprint sensors work underwater

It's also upgraded its Snapdragon processors for entry-level phones.

Hot on the heels of Apple's plans to reinvent its iPhone's fingerprint reader, Qualcomm looks set to position itself at the forefront of the fingerprint sensor market. It claims that it will be one of the first, if not the first, companies to produce under-display sensors.

Unveiling its plans at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the company revealed that its next-gen fingerprint sensors will use ultrasonic technology that can be fitted under displays, glass and metal, and can scan through OLED displays up to 1200um -- something we got to see in action for ourselves at Vivo's booth.

The sensors, expected in the first half of 2018, can even be used underwater, and can detect heart beat and blood flow whether the screen is on or off.

The company's also announced it plan to improve its entry-level gear with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core chips.

Built on a 14nm process, these chips offer a marked step up from their 435 processor predecessor, including a four-hour battery life extension and a 25 percent increase in graphics performance.

It's also the first time its 400 tier supports real-time bokeh effect, where you can blur the background of a photo before taking it, which will go nicely with the chip's support for dual cameras and FHD+ resolution.

Keep an eye on the likes of Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi -- this chip will likely appear on their low- to mid-priced phones.