Google Pixel 6 could bring back face unlock, intro under-display fingerprint sensor
Google could be revisiting facial authentication for the Pixel 6 after abandoning it for the Pixel 5. We first saw Google introduce facial authentication on the Pixel 4 but it seemingly dropped it for cost reasons as it sought to make the Pixel 5 more affordable. Not only that, Google might also introduce an under-display fingerprint sensor for a dual biometric authentication system that would match a rumored biometric authentication approach for a future iPhone.
New code uncovered by XDA Developers’ Mishaal Raman shows references to “Unlock your phone securely with your face and fingerprint”, “Save time unlocking your phone in your pocket”, and “Make unlocking your phone a breeze”. A Pixel 6 with a more sophisticated two-pronged approach to biometric authentication suggests that it would be somewhat more upmarket than the current Pixel 5, which sticks with the older approach of having a rear placed fingerprint sensor.
There are good reasons for introducing both biometric authentication technologies into the same device simultaneously. From an ergonomic perspective, there are times when it is much simpler and easier to use a fingerprint sensor to unlock a phone. These include when a phone is placed on a surface or when authorizing a payment at a terminal. Other times, facial authentication can be more convenient such when a device is mounted in a cradle when driving a car. Having a secondary biometric authentication mechanism is also more secure and a good fail safe.
Naturally, it's early days yet and Google will still be finalizing features of its next flagship device before it hits the production line later this year.