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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro Face Unlock: How does it work?

Fingerprints are out, and face unlock is the next big thing in smartphone biometric security. We explore the new face unlock feature on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

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After the immense success of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Chinese company Xiaomi has been on a roll. With an aggressive approach to India, which happens to be the company’s second largest global market, Xiaomi is now the leading smartphone manufacturer in the country. Earlier this month, Xiaomi launched the successors to the Redmi Note 4, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the former is just an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the latter represents some big changes.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC and with up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is a game-changer when it comes to the mid-range. With prices starting at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB/64GB variant, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro offers buyers much more than any other device in the price category.

At the time of its launch, Xiaomi announced that it would soon roll out a face unlock feature for the Redmi Note 5 Pro. A feature that’s typically only seen in high-end devices such as the Apple iPhone X, OnePlus 5T and Honor View10, biometric face unlock hasn’t typically been seen on affordable devices. While we did first see it on the LG Q6, it’s a particularly big deal when it comes to a Xiaomi device that’s expected to sell in big volumes. We’ve updated our Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro to activate the feature, and here’s how it works.

How to set up face unlock on the Redmi Note 5 Pro

If the firmware on your phone has not been updated or pre-installed to support face unlock, that’s the first thing you’ll need to do. Face unlock on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is supported on MIUI version 9.2.4.0, so you’ll need to use the phone’s software updater to ensure you’re on that version. Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to enroll your face data through the settings.

Under the ‘System and Device’ tab, tap on ‘Lock screen and password’. Then tap ‘Manage face data’ and follow the steps to enroll your face information. You can also choose to directly unlock the phone to the home screen, apart from also setting the phone to allow unlocking when the phone screen lights up for notifications. Once you’ve done this, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is set up for face unlocking.

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How does face unlock work on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro?

Face unlock on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro works similarly to how it works on other Android smartphones. The system uses the phone’s front camera to see the user’s face and match it with the enrolled data. Unlike on the Apple iPhone X, the device can be set to unlock directly to the home screen. Thus, on waking the phone, it gives you direct access to all your apps and services.

As compared to other Android smartphone that also feature face unlock, the feature on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is admittedly much slower. The fastest face unlocking feature is currently on the OnePlus 5T, which (in good light) directly goes to the home screen with no noticeable delay. On the Redmi Note 5 Pro, you can choose to either wake the phone with the power button or the double-tap screen gesture.

The phone first activates the lock screen, and then takes nearly a full second to scan your face and match it against the enrolled data. After that, you’ll be taken to the home screen. In comparison, the phone’s fingerprint unlocking is much quicker, and the only times I found myself preferring to use face unlocking was when the fingerprint sensor was unreachable for some reason. Accuracy can also be an occasional issue and holding the phone up in front of your face is necessary for quick and accurate unlocking. In low light, you’ll find yourself depending entirely on the fingerprint sensor, or inputting the PIN.

While face unlocking on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro isn’t quite as polished and capable as on some other Android devices, it’s a functional option that can be used alongside the fingerprint sensor. It also helps the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro to differentiate itself in a crowded segment, as one of the few devices to offer the feature.

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  • Published Date: February 26, 2018 12:07 PM IST