Google Pixel 4’s Face Unlock System is Not Actually ‘Super-Secure’

Google Pixel 4 was launched recently in a hardware event of Google in New York. It is not yet released in the market and the device is already found with a major flaw in Face Unlock feature. The phone can be face unlocked with closed eye of the registered user like if the user is sleeping, someone will be able to unlock the phone.

This Major Flaw in Pixel 4’s Face Unlock is found in the recent report by Chris fox, news technology reporter of BBC. The report has post by Chris’s twitter handle and it also stated

Using the default settings, the phone still unlocked if the user pretended to be asleep. The test was repeated on several people, with the same result.

Pixel 4 features

Pixel 4 is introduced with some ordinary and extraordinary features. The system is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with 6 GB of RAM support. Dual camera setup with some new features like Night Sight, astrophotography function, long exposures, and more. It has 5.7 inches of OLED display with a range of sensors in a bezel at the top.

More features are:

  • 2800mAh  battery
  • 90Hz refresh rate
  • 12.2-megapixel, main camera
  • 16-megapixel, telephoto camera
  • 8-megapixel,  front camera
  • Android 10
  • 128GB storage
  • No microSD

Google Pixel 4’s Face Unlock

The Pixel 4 and 4Xl both smartphones features Motion Sense and face unlock technology based on Google’s Soli radar chip. Google praised the ultra-fast face unlocking feature of the phone in Pixel 4 event. The Radar sensors get set to react as soon as the phone is picked up.

Switching from fingerprint unlock sensors, Android smartphones started opting for face unlock sensor feature. Face Unlock system usually does not support eyes closed face for access, even the phones that depend on the front camera like, OnePlus 7T‘s Face Unlock require the user to open at least one eye while unlocking with face recognition or like Apple face id mechanism. Although there have been several reviews for Apple face id system not working properly but it too requires users to open eyes while unlocking if the settings are turned to the user’s “attention,” mode.

Pixel 4’s Face Unlock with eyes close is a flaw for most people. However, Google does not think this as a drawback, as it allows users to have ultra-fast face unlocking experience.

The company is aware of this function and stated an important note on official Google support site in ‘Unlock your Pixel with your face’ section.

Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag.

Sherry lin, Pixel product manager said before the Pixel 4 event that industry is having two best face unlock systems, one is Google and the other is Apple.

There are actually only two face authorization solutions that meet the bar for being super-secure. So, you know, for payments, that level – it’s ours and Apple’s.

Now that the company’s face unlock mechanism is detected with flaws. The users who think them as a drawback will now have to wait for more secure systems or rely on old way code unlock feature.