In the lead-up to the full reveal of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, one of the retail listings that leaked gave us the impression that Google’s new phones would support both fingerprint and face unlock options. In an image showcasing the new “Security” page of Pixel phones with Android 12, a section labeled “Face and Fingerprint Unlock” could be seen and had us excited to have multiple options to get past the lockscreen. However, now that both phones are here, we have the unfortunate pleasure of telling you that face unlock did not make the cut.
If you open a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro today and jump into Security settings, you will only find “Fingerprint Unlock” as one of the additional lockscreen bypasses. You can see a screenshot of it below, as well as a search I ran on the device for “face unlock.”
We aren’t sure if the mock-ups used by retailers were wrong or if Google was hinting at a feature that might have missed the cut at launch and could now come with a later update. So you are aware, Carphone Warehouse’s Pixel 6 Pro listing still shows that image above. In fact, I grabbed that image from their website today.
Face unlock would be a welcomed addition to the security setup on a Pixel 6. If you happened to read my “A Week With the Google Pixel 6 Pro” write-up, you’ll know that I am not at all a fan of the optical fingerprint reader used by Google. It’s slow to read your finger, errors out on the regular, and is often a nuisance more than it is a convenient form of security. A face unlock, even though so many of us are still wearing masks regularly, would be nice to have.
Of course, the face unlock on a Pixel 6 wouldn’t be as advanced as it is on a device like the Pixel 4, which was built specifically to have a fancy face unlock system. However, Google could still do it without all of the infrared and radar stuff. Samsung and OnePlus are constantly including face unlock that simply uses the front cameras of their phones.
There is always a chance that Google has plans to add face unlock. Pixel phones receive regular Pixel Feature Drop updates that add new sets of features and this would be a great new feature. We also know that Google is preparing another Android 12 beta build in December. Maybe we’ll see it then.