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Google Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner: How unhealthy is it?

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Function or bug, everybody who has purchased the cellphone or is contemplating shopping for it is going to be locked into that have. So precisely simply how unhealthy are you able to count on it to be? We’ve rounded up all of our crew members who’re presently utilizing the Pixel 6 or 6 Professional and requested them for his or her opinion.

Eric Zeman (Pixel 6 Professional)

The Pixel 6 Professional’s in-display fingerprint reader is among the many most aggravating I’ve used. My expertise with display-based readers runs the gamut from actually terrible to merely good. Google’s answer must be quite a bit higher.

To start out, I’ll say that the position works effectively for me. It’s situated proper the place my thumb needs to land on the show. Nonetheless, you possibly can’t discover the spot by really feel as you’ll with a rear- or side-mounted reader, which implies it’s a must to a minimum of look on the display screen earlier than urgent your thumb down. This takes additional time, although admittedly it is a matter confronted by all display-based readers.

Our verdict: Pixel 6 Pro review — the most compelling Pixel yet

The largest downside I’ve encountered is the pace and accuracy of the reader. It merely takes too lengthy to learn your print, and should you’re too fast to take away your thumb from the glass it received’t full the scan and unlock the cellphone. I haven’t been in a position to get the timing proper on a constant foundation even after utilizing the cellphone for 2 weeks. This forces me to make a second try to unlock the display screen, which takes extra time.

On an $899 cellphone in 2021, I merely count on higher.

One other concern I’ve observed is the quantity of sunshine the reader generates. It blasts a brilliant flash underneath your thumb to scan the print. Throughout the day it’s not overly problematic, however at night time it may be an actual distraction. Living proof, I lately attended a live performance, and unlocking the cellphone at nighttime precipitated a noticeable burst of sunshine that others may see. On an $899 cellphone in 2021, I merely count on higher.

Jimmy Westenberg (Pixel 6)

Google Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint sensor with light bleed

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Hate is a robust phrase to make use of in any context, so I’ll strive my finest to keep away from that language. I very strongly dislike the Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor.

It doesn’t work as supposed. I estimate mine works about 50% of the time. With a fail price that top, my mind simply expects me to need to enter my passcode each time I need to unlock my cellphone. And with no face unlock or every other biometrics constructed into the cellphone, it’s just like the Pixel 6 was launched at a time earlier than we had biometrics in any respect. It’s an odd expertise to have with a flagship cellphone in 2021.

It is just like the Pixel 6 was launched at a time earlier than we had biometrics in any respect.

On prime of that, the sunshine is blindingly brilliant (particularly at night time whereas mendacity in mattress).

I don’t assume the fingerprint sensor ruins the Pixel 6. In no way. But when this cellphone didn’t excel in so many different areas, perhaps we’d be having a unique dialog.

Take a look at: Our Pixel 6 review

Kris Carlon (Pixel 6 Professional)

The Google Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam color in hand showing the lock screen and display

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

My expertise with the Pixel 6 Professional’s fingerprint scanner hasn’t been something to flame up on Twitter about it, however it hasn’t been something to jot down residence about both. It’s principally dependable, quick sufficient, and solely simply nudges the Line of Annoyance by way of usability. It’s about par for the course for in-display fingerprint tech, which is… inferior to it must be at this stage of the sport. Sadly, for a cellphone that was purported to be a turning level for Pixels typically, it’s only one extra merchandise on a reasonably lengthy listing of not-quite-what-we-expected.

I actually do not assume it is a make-or-break concern, however I do want Google had applied it just a little higher.

Whereas a capacitive scanner would have been a more sensible choice from a person perspective, it’s comprehensible why Google opted for the fancier flagship choice right here. There’s nonetheless hope Google can tackle a minimum of a few of the fingerprint scanner issues — just like the fingerprint icon not at all times being seen or lively on the lock display screen — even when it does nothing to enhance pace, reliability, or accuracy. I actually don’t assume it’s a make-or-break concern should you’re occupied with selecting up a Pixel 6, however I do want Google had applied it just a little higher.

We requested, you informed us: Today’s in-display fingerprint readers are still divisive

Rita El Khoury (Pixel 6 Professional)

I don’t like in-display fingerprint readers. In an excellent world, my cellphone would have a bodily sensor on the again and face unlock on the entrance, for the very best all-around answer. But when I’ve to dwell with it, I don’t assume the one in my Pixel 6 Professional is all that unhealthy. Granted, my solely expertise with the know-how is on my husband’s OnePlus 7 Professional, so I don’t have any sliding scale of pace and effectivity to check towards like my different crew members do. All I can say is that the expertise feels fairly just like the OnePlus 7 Professional.

My downside is with the truth that most tempered glass display screen protectors aren’t suitable with it.

Pace isn’t my most important downside with the sensor. As an alternative, it’s the sunshine and the truth that most tempered glass display screen protectors aren’t suitable with it. The one I purchased simply received’t let the sensor acknowledge my fingerprint, regardless of re-teaching it to the cellphone after set up. At finest, I get a partial detection. So my solely answer is to take a look at these gel-like display screen protectors that flip right into a slimy mess after just a few days.

Robert Triggs (Pixel 6 Professional)

Google Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint reader partial print failed detection with screen protector on

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Conventional glass display screen protectors mess up the fingerprint recognition.

I wouldn’t name the Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner unhealthy, as such, however it’s not precisely good both. It really works effectively sufficient accuracy-wise, however undoubtedly feels sluggish should you’ve come from a high-end ultrasonic or capacitive scanner. I additionally don’t like being blinded by the optical backlight when unlocking my cellphone in mattress and I can’t shake the sensation that optical know-how simply isn’t as safe because the options.

I don’t like being blinded by the optical backlight when unlocking my cellphone.

I’ve tried lots of them and to be trustworthy, I don’t assume you possibly can actually win with fingerprint scanners. It’s too straightforward to misalign your finger on back-mounted scanners, and the identical with in-display fashions that lack a big scanning space. Capacitive on the entrance works finest in my expertise, however leaves you with a chin bezel. I feel there’s a purpose Apple sticks with Face ID — simply choose up your cellphone and voila, you’re in. However then there’s the ugly notch — blegh! I’m holding out for the day once we can disguise Face ID-style sensors underneath the show and be finished with finicky fingerprint scanners altogether.

Additionally see: The best phones with in-display fingerprint scanners

Ryan Haines (Pixel 6)

I don’t assume that my expertise with the Pixel 6 fingerprint reader has been as unhealthy as some others. The fingerprint reader is sluggish, and the light-up design is annoying, no arguments right here. Nonetheless, I discover that it’s positioned nearly proper for the way in which I maintain my cellphone. I’ve additionally had no points with figuring out my fingerprints, though I solely have every thumb registered as soon as.

I’ve had no points with figuring out my fingerprints.

Granted, I haven’t used an under-display fingerprint reader lately, so I might not be as acquainted with the pace of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 sequence.

pixel 6 fingerprint

Ryan Haines / Android Authority


There you might have it — a smorgasbord of opinions that stretch from the “it’s advantageous, I suppose” finish of the spectrum to near-hatred. Maybe the simplest takeaway is that none of us actually just like the sensor, we’re simply tolerating it, and all of us despise the blinding mild it produces. There’s actually room for enchancment, there.

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