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Pixel 6 users could be one step closer to face unlock

A Reddit user setting up their Pixel 6 uncovered references to the long-awaited face unlock feature.

Published onApril 11, 2022

Google Pixel 6 Pro lockscreen
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • A Redditor has uncovered references to face unlock while setting up their Pixel 6.
  • These references are restricted to the setup screens and don’t appear elsewhere.
  • This nevertheless suggests that face unlock is imminent for the Google flagships.

The Google Pixel 6 series adopts an in-display fingerprint sensor for the first time in the series, although many consumers reported that it was pretty inaccurate and slow. Now, it sounds like Google is inching closer to bringing face unlock to the phones.

Reddit user Special_Command7893 spotted references to face unlock while setting up their new Pixel 6 running stable Android 12. They later clarified that they only ever saw these references during the setup process and that they weren’t prompted to register their face during setup. They also added that there’s no option within settings to enable face unlock.

Either way, you can check out the photo of the relevant screen below, courtesy of the Redditor.

We’re guessing Google isn’t quite ready to enable face unlock functionality just yet and this is just a premature addition to the setup screen. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t be surprised if the function goes live as part of an upcoming feature drop.

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It wouldn’t be the first time we see a Pixel phone with face unlock in recent years, as Google’s Pixel 4 series notably offered secure, 3D face unlock back in 2019. The Pixel 6 phones don’t have dedicated face unlock sensors to the best of our knowledge though (unlike the Pixel 4 range), which means face unlock on these phones will use the selfie camera and will therefore be insecure. Still, it might be convenient for people who feel the Pixel 6’s fingerprint scanner is too unreliable.

It’s also not the first time we’ve heard about face unlock on the Pixel 6 series, as we previously saw a retailer list face unlock as a Pixel 6 feature. Furthermore, a code commit back in November suggested that Google was working on reducing power consumption for face unlock on the new flagships. So it definitely sounds like a case of the feature coming sooner rather than later.

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