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The Pixel 6 Pro was apparently supposed to get face unlock at launch

What about the standard Pixel 6, though?
By
April 25, 2022
Google Pixel 6 Pro front homescreen lying on concrete
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The Google Pixel 6 Pro was apparently supposed to have face unlock at launch.
  • 9to5Google claimed that the feature is now scheduled for the next feature drop.

The Pixel 6 series is unarguably the most impressive Pixel phone line yet, offering competitive pricing, a semi-custom Tensor chipset, and great specs on paper. One feature you won’t find, however, is face unlock, despite a retailer listing this as an option at launch and a code commit being spotted in November. 

Now, 9to5Google has confirmed with its own sources that the Pixel 6 Pro was indeed supposed to have face unlock at launch. Unfortunately, the feature would’ve been exclusive to the Pro model, with the standard Pixel 6 missing out.

It’s worth noting that neither phone has dedicated hardware for secure 3D face unlock as was the case for the Pixel 4 series. So Google would’ve implemented less secure 2D face unlock using the selfie cameras and software. In other words, we’re guessing that hardware wasn’t the reason for the standard Pixel 6 to miss out on the feature.

Related: Facial recognition on smartphones — Is it secure and should you use it?

A source told the outlet that Google is tentatively aiming to launch face unlock on the Pixel 6 Pro with the next feature drop, presumably set for June. So we won’t have long to wait to see whether this indeed pans out.

Nevertheless, we’d be glad to see face unlock on the Pixel 6 Pro, even if it’s less secure than 3D face unlock. The feature would likely be more convenient than the finicky in-display fingerprint sensor in some situations.