While it’s arguably one of the best Android phones of all time, the Pixel 6 suffers from a shockingly unreliable fingerprint sensor. Software updates haven’t solved the problem, and now, it seems that Google may introduce Face Unlock to the Pixel 6 as a workaround.
Update, 4/28/22: New rumors suggest that Face Unlock will come to the Pixel 6 Pro this June. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the standard Pixel 6 will get Face Unlock.
The Pixel 6 launched without Face Unlock, which wasn’t much of a surprise. After all, Face Unlock isn’t very secure—it can be fooled with a picture of someone’s face, which isn’t a problem for iPhone users with Face ID. Additionally, Face Unlock can waste battery life when always-on display is enabled.
But developer @mile_freak07 discovered that Google is toying with Face Unlock. The new Android 12 QPR3 Beta 1.1 for Pixel 6 includes several mentions of Face Unlock in its powerhaul config file.
Again some news to share regarding face unlock on Pixel 6/Pro devices. This time a glimmer of hope.
— Mile (@mile_freak07) March 26, 2022
These small changes don’t confirm that Google is working on Face Unlock for the Pixel 6. They simply prove that Google is testing Face Unlock on current-gen or next-gen Pixel hardware. For all we know, Google could abandon these tests or debut an improved version of Face Unlock with the Pixel 7.
I should note that previous Pixel phones featured Face Unlock. Notably, the Pixel 4 used a secure 3D dot matrix system for facial recognition, making it one of the only Android phones to implement something akin to the iPhone’s Face ID.
If Google adds Face Unlock to the Pixel 6, it will probably arrive in a Pixel Feature Drop or the Android 13 update. But don’t get your hopes too high. There’s no guarantee that Google will implement this feature in the Pixel 6, or any upcoming devices, for that matter.