Pixel 4: Google May Be Close To Fixing Its Face Unlock Setting

Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL do certain things incredibly well, such as the clean, stock Android experience they offer. Also, due to them being first-party Google products, they get operating system updates faster than any other Android phone on the market.

Pixel Problems

Previous iterations of the Pixel lineup have struggled with having a rather bland, even ugly design at times. The Pixel and Pixel 2 line sported huge bezels, while the Pixel 3XL had a massive notch. In an era where screens are taking up more and more of the front of the device, these designs felt a little out of place.

Now, with the Pixel 4 line, they addressed some of these design issues. These devices have a decidedly modern, sleek look that does help them fit in a bit better in today’s market. The cameras on the Pixel devices continue to be among, if not the best in class. Photos in all kinds of lighting conditions, even low-light, look spectacular.

Poorly Implemented Face Unlock

The Pixel 4 line even included a face unlock feature. As the name suggests, it allowed users to unlock their phone with their face. Apple’s Face ID, which serves a similar function, had been a hit with iPhone users. So, it makes sense why Google would go down this route.

However, consumers didn’t embrace Google’s take on face unlock with the same enthusiasm as Apple’s iPhone users. This was due to the presence of a critical flaw in its functioning that made it more vulnerable than its Apple counterpart. With Face ID, your iPhone does not get unlocked unless you’re looking at the phone with your eyes open.

Even OnePlus’ rudimentary face unlock feature doesn’t kick in until you look at the front camera with open eyes. This same layer of protection, however, was not present in the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL’s face unlock feature. Given the fact that leaks about the Pixel 4 before its release suggested that this feature would be present, its absence was especially bizarre.

Update May Be Coming To Fix The Issue

Because Google hasn’t included an under-the-display fingerprint sensor, face unlock is the only alternative method for Pixel users to unlock their phones. They’re likely preparing to put this feature back on the Pixel 4 smartphones, however. If users search ‘eyes’ in their phone’s settings app, they’ll see ‘Require eyes to be open’ as one of the results. Tapping on this result simply takes you to the face unlock settings, where this option is nowhere to be seen.

A Google support forum even acknowledged this flaw. All it did, however, was advise users to “keep their phone in a safe place, as their front pocket or handbag”, to avoid any issues. Clearly, Google hasn’t activated this feature yet. Users will be hoping that they can get it ready sooner rather than later, however.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL are currently available for purchase in India.