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Wednesday Poll: Do You Use Your Phone’s Fingerprint Reader?

pixel fingerprint reader

Just over a year ago, we asked you all if you were using the fingerprint reader on your phone. Thankfully, a solid 60% of you said “Yes!” that you are. Unfortunately, the other 40% either did not have a fingerprint reader on their phone or just flat out said, “No.” That’s disappointing, only because fingerprint readers offer convenient security, in that they enable you to lock down your phone should you misplace it, yet still easily access its contents in seconds. It’s one of those features that is a no-brainer in terms of using.

So now that another year has passed and most phones seem to have launched with a fingerprint reader on either a front chin or backside, we wanted to ask again. Do you use the fingerprint reader on your phone? If not, please, please, please explain why.

Do You Use Your Phone's Fingerprint Reader?

View Results

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  • enaybee

    Nexus 6P. I don’t use fingerprint reader.

  • javaper

    Using a pass code is good too, but in England they apparently just tackle you and keep your phone unlocked when you take a call.

  • javaper

    Well, it’s convenient. Until you realize that our police state will start searching phones without the need of a warrant and they can demand you use your fingerprints to unlock your phone.

  • tabguy2

    I only use it for Samsung Pay and Bank of America app but not for unlocking the phone.

    • Chris M

      I also use it for the BOA app as well as unlocking my phone. I wish more Apps used the feature honestly. I love using the BOA app just because i can get into it using the fingerprint scanner.

  • atc-tech

    My wife hates the fingerprint reader on her S7E. She uses a pattern lockscreen. My N6 doesn’t have a fingerprint, but I’m pretty sure I’d use it if I had one… My wife makes no sense.

  • JC

    My fingerprints are already on file, no harm in a tech company having it too.

  • Larry Simpson

    Have a 6P. Haven’t bothered trying it out

  • Ismail Akram

    Only time I don’t use fingerprint is when I’m using Samsung phones. but now I’ve Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus so yes..

  • M3D1T8R

    If you’d asked a couple days ago I’d still have said No. But I just got my new ZTE Blade V8 Pro, and I’ve been using it. I still have reservations about fingerprint readers for security/tracking reasons, but it’s growing on my slightly.

    By the way I wish this phone would get a little more attention. By far the best bang for the buck right now, fantastic battery life (9 hours screen on time). Again there’s the whole China tracking issue… but dang I’ve been liking this phone these first couple days.

  • Will MacCormac

    how do I know my fingerprints won’t be in some database .. hence no

    • My parents had us fingerprinted by the police back in the 1980’s because of kidnapping scares. Mine have been in a database for ages. Don’t care. Use it hundreds of times a day on my V20.

    • Person Dude

      If you were properly born in a hospital your fingerprints are already taken at birth, so the government already has them. You aren’t safe either way, so why not use the fingerprint scanner??

      • Chris M

        fingerprints, feetprint, side hand print, etc……you cant avoid it.

  • gbgary

    nope. don’t feel I need it.

  • DJyoSNOW

    I don’t use it since it’s a slide on the note 4. Maybe once it’s not and just reads my finger print.

  • br_hermon

    I use my OP3T finger print scanner so much that I rarely ever even use my power button anymore!

  • Synacks

    Never needed a security lock on my phone because there isn’t anything worth stealing. Been using the good ole swipe to unlock since Galaxy S1 days. Well back then it was fitting a puzzle piece into a slot lol.

  • B!

    Nope. I’m part of the 7%.

    Married, faithful & my phone is always by my side. Haven’t lost a phone since 2003 when I left my V60 on the bus. Plus it’s an inconvenience to always have to unlock it.

  • Rod

    Wish I could install a fingerprint reader on my beloved Nexus 5.

  • ToddAwesome

    I don’t lock my phone by any means. Never have, never will.

    • Rod

      Not worried about your privacy and data?

    • Ismail Akram

      What phone are you using? I once was same.. I never lock my phone cuz I hate to unlock every time but fingerprint scanner make it almost seemless

  • Colin Huber

    Finally, fingerprint reader tech is fast enough for me to use it. Love the positioning, speed and security on the Pixel XL. Finally, I’m actually securing my device for once! (I used to be an idiot who didn’t even use a pin or swipe pattern, too slow.)

  • Harold Goldner

    … and it’s on the front where God meant it to be!

  • mystik1

    Use it constantly throughout the day. Love it.

  • Chuck F

    I don’t use it to secure my phone. However I use it for banking sign ins and other secure apps and websites.

  • Godzilla

    Yes. Especially since apps are utilizing them now.

  • Mark Snider

    Everyday, both as an unlock method and access to several apps. It’s a feature that I would not want to ever give up

  • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I hate lockscreen security. And the fingerprint reader makes the lockscreen pointless. I like to interact with my notifications without fully unlocking my phone. And I hate having to perform extra steps to unlock the phone.

    I tried using it on my Mate 9 just because there’s no tap-to-wake, but I missed getting to interact with my lockscreen. iOS has the best implementation, in my opinion. Lift to wake lets you interact with the lockscreen and a slight touch lets you into the phone.

    • Chris M

      get a Pixel

      • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Yeah? How would you suggest I do that when it’s never available to buy?

        • Higher_Ground

          idk man, seems like plenty of people found a way to get a hold of one.

          • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            The Pixel XL has been out of stock since November, unless you’re stupid enough to buy the gimped version from Verizon, or you’re one of those weird people who thinks 32gb is sufficient storage, so no.

            It’s also an overpriced, over-hyped, ugly piece of garbage. You’re better off buying any of a number of cheaper phones that ARE actually available to buy right now.

  • Miguel A.

    Question: I’m jumped away from Android just as fingerprint readers became more prevalent. How it it now? Does it just unlock the screen or has it been expanded to banking apps etc a la TouchID?

    • You can use the fingerprint in lieu of passwords in apps that support it. Outside of using fingerprint for all Google Play Store purchases, I use it to unlock Lastpass, Bank of America, American Express, and PayPal.

    • Ivo Shandor

      yes, it has been expanded a lot. Bank Apps, Pay Pal, ADP (payroll app for work), Android Pay. The list goes on and on. It’s really fantastic now. I had no interest in it a year ago, but now that I have a phone with it I can’t imagine life without it. Makes a lot of things fast and more secure.

  • Trevor

    Definitely use it. I never locked my phones until I got the 6P with a fingerprint reader. On a related note, I didn’t realize how much quicker the Pixel fingerprint reader is compared to the 6P. It’s really only a second or less faster, but that feels like ages when it’s something you do as frequently as unlocking your phone.

    • Josh

      Thats not possible the 6p unlocks in well under a quarter second, I wonder if something was wrong with your 6p?

      • Trevor

        It’s not a long time by any stretch, but the Pixel is noticeably faster.

  • dustin h.

    I don’t because the cops can make you unlock your phone. If you have a password or pin code, they can try to crack it but they cannot compel you to unlock it and incriminate yourself.

    • Trevor

      But what are you hiding that you’re worried the cops would see?

      • dustin h.

        nothing in particular, but you never know. that’s the thing about incriminating yourself, you usually don’t know or realize until it’s too late. i prefer to lawyer up and make them work, instead of cooperate and incriminate. #FTP

        • Person Dude

          Just set it so that your phone requires your passcode upon boot up. If you’re ever in a situation where the cops want you to unlock your phone, you can just shut it off then. This whole “the cops can make me unlock my phone via fingerprint” worry is unfounded.

          • seeryn

            LEOs have been judicially backed in this.
            It’s the same as them asking for a physical key for a room/safe, but they cannot ask you for a code. Fingerprints and keys are physical things. Codes are personal knowledge and thus cannot be compelled without a warrant.

          • Person Dude

            I know, but the point is if you shut off the phone it’ll require the passcode on boot up and the fingerprint sensor won’t work until you enter the passcode. I’d say that’s a pretty foolproof defense against the physical key thing.

          • dustin h.

            what if they put you in cuffs before you have a chance to power your phone down.

      • Lee McLaurin

        You’re really asking that question in a country where the right to privacy is fundamental, or were you being sarcastic?

        • dustin h.

          he’s not being sarcastic. most people have this mentality, thus why privacy is dying.

        • Trevor

          It feels like nowadays, most people give up the right to privacy as soon as they hit up the Internet. Nonchalantly posting personal stuff, etc, etc. That’s not necessarily here nor there though. I agree that privacy is important, for sure. If the government demanded to see something on my phone, I’d certainly question why, unless I was doing something that deserved that breach of privacy, in which case, I’m an idiot and can suffer the consequences.

          • TylerCameron

            I was stopped once, and the officer asked if he could search me and my vehicle. I did not consent. When he asked why, I told him I just wanna get to where I’m going, not that I NEEDED to give a reason. I’m just not an ass.

    • alarson83

      though if your phone shuts off, it requires the password

  • yowhatsup

    I don’t because I don’t want to give the govt spy program more of my info. I’d rather not support some of these technologies to help not support the NSA and any other govt spy program.

    • If they are that crazy, who is to say they haven’t been pulling fingerprints from touch screens for years?

    • Person Dude

      Assuming you were born in a hospital, the government already takes your fingerprints at birth dude…

      • yowhatsup

        I understand that, but why keep adding to it and supporting things that could be conditioning people to possibly accepting a surveillance society?

  • Erstam

    all day every day. Nexus 6P. First I’ve used and I love it!!

  • JSo

    Yes. On my Nexus 5X. First phone I’ve owned that had one. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t use it.

  • BoFiS

    Oh yeah, I imported an unlocked Z5 Compact just so I’d have the fingerprint sensor on the side power button, and I love it, it’s so natural to pick up the phone and press power with my thumb, and then it instantly unlocks if I don’t lift my thumb right away…I rarely even see the lock screen as a result 🙂

    • Trevor

      I used the Z5C for a couple months and really liked the placement of the fingerprint reader. Every company is so obsessed with making their phones super thin nowadays that they can’t put readers on the side. Sad.

    • moew

      Yup allows the best of both worlds imho. Can unlock easily laying down, can unlock easily naturally in hand.

  • Lathan McGhee

    Fingerprint reader is nice. I enter pin once on startup, so i make it a longer one. Should probably change it to password for more security. But after that i get in quick.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    If you have a fingerprint sensor…why wouldn’t you use it? If you don’t you’re some kinda weirdo. Something is wrong with you, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Because you don’t want to use lockscreen security? Exercising choice doesn’t make you a “weirdo”. It makes you human.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio


        • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          You’d have to think a lot of yourself to believe that you can elicit any kind of emotional response from me with a rather ignorant post on a blog site.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            That’s a Triggered response.

          • Bane✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Whatever you need to believe, I guess. But as far as trolls go, you’re a pretty fail one. Easier to just block you, I suppose.

  • James Paloma

    Interesting fact: the government can compel you to give up your biometrics to unlock your phone but not a password

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Just chop off your fingers.

      • Terry

        Yup, they will find the right one sooner or later….

    • Trevor

      This just doesn’t bother me because I really have nothing to hide or at least nothing the government would be interested in.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Until they put it there after you unlocked your phone…..”I don’t know where that text about cocaine came from officer! I swear! “

        • Trevor

          Oh boy, I don’t have the energy or desire to stress about that.

          • MrGulio

            Good thing others have the energy to fight for your privacy rights while you shit-talk it from the sidelines.

          • Trevor

            I just see no point in worrying about it. If the government, or whoever people suspect is watching all of us all the time starts fabricating things and using them against me, then I’d be upset.

    • Chris Smith

      Virginia that has happened and being that it is my main place of residence I prefer not to. Though I don’t believe I’ll be in a criminal case, nowadays you never know what will happen.


    • Rod

      Yeah, I read about that in Reddit once. Pretty scary.

    • Person Dude

      It doesn’t matter since you can set your phone to require your passcode upon boot up. If somebody tries to make you unlock your phone, just shut it off instead so it requires your passcode which the government can’t legally make you give it to them.

  • Drakos

    I use it all the time, but do wish the reader on my Note 4 was better.

  • Chad

    Went from Note 3 to Note 7 (RIP) and I had NO idea just how convenient it was.

    Now back to Note 3 and the struggle is real.

  • cromo8

    99% of the time. Easier to lift my phone off the surface and use the reader on the back of the pixel than it is to use the side button and input my code.

  • TheDave1022

    4 people don’t? What’s wrong with them. Oh I guess Google is going to steal their print

  • inklenotrump
    • Pretty smart move actually. Hadn’t thought about that.

      • inklenotrump

        Blanco baby!

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    • soccerburn55

      Same here. When you turn it off, you have to input the password to allow the phone to turn on. Then, when it boots up you have to enter the password again to let you to the home screen for the first time then you can login using your fingerprint.

      • Daistaar

        That’s the encryption option. Good feature.

    • Morris

      Doesnt Android do that by default?

      • That’s what I thought. I don’t see an option for this on my Pixel XL. I know it asks for my pattern whenever I go to unlock my phone the first time after a restart.

    • Terry

      My phone has a setting for when I’m “home” so all I need to do is swipe. But away from home I either have to use my fingerprint or draw a pattern.

      • Chris

        I used to have that, but I really find using the fingerprint easier/quicker than swiping.

      • PoisonApple31

        Sweet, so when I’m within ~30 meters from your home with your phone I can just swipe to get into it!

        • Terry

          Yes you could, if you want to try and take the phone from me first and avoid getting your head bashed in, then you most certainly could swipe and get into my phone.

    • Tom

      I too have done this. I didn’t do it for those links though, I just like the idea of security and using all the tools at my disposal.

    • km75sr

      Good idea. I also like that the Galaxy S7 edge on nougat lets you make it so you need to to scan your fingerprint to turn the phone(not the screen…But actually powering the phone off completely) off. Helpful if someone steals your phone. They just can’t turn it off and you are therefore still able to check your devices location if you used forethought and activated device location options beforehand. I think that is very smart. Not sure if other OEMs offer this security option. at least the option was available in the beta. Hope it sticks around in the final build.

    • Infidl0331

      I do the same thing, just because I trust no one

    • Hmmmm I must have clicked that option too because my phone does that always thought it was the way all phones worked.

      • Rod

        What phone is it?

        • S7 (VZW variant)

          • elijahblake

            are you using Nova Launcher with DT2L

          • No because I don’t even know what DT2L is lol…All I know is if I cut my phone off when it comes back on it will not recognize my fingerprint and I have to use my PIN

    • DonSerrot

      Yup! I have mine set up the same way. Heck, my phone will even decide to sometimes ask me for the passcode if it’s been sitting still for a few hours.

    • Michael

      Girlfriends (and boyfriends) can use it to unlock your phone while you’re sleeping too LOL.

    • sinfoman

      HUnh, and I used to b1tch that my Note 4 made me input my passcode on reboot. I’ll shut up now. Kudos to you, sir! Related: My Note 4 won’t allow me to use the fingerprint reader for Android Pay; it requires me to input my passcode. But if I secure with pattern or other, it works with that functionality. It’s kind of annoying. I’ve been back and forth with Android Pay and Samsung and Google and message boards and forums. No one seems to have an answer. Anyone on here got any ideas?

    • Brandon Sobotta

      I do the same thing. It just is the smart thing to do.

    • michael arazan

      So people who use their penis to unlock their phones are probably pretty safe then to still use fingerprint unlock? /s

  • Eric R.

    Galaxy S7 Edge
    Only use the fingerprint scanner. Never type in passwords, not even on my Browser

  • JasonWhite

    Pretty much exclusively. It’s the best!

    • Agreed. Can’t imagine life without one at this point.

    • Suicide_Note

      This. I love it.