If there’s one thing that’s true about Apple’s iPhones, it’s that whenever they get a new feature, every third Android OEM decides to implement it. While the most infamous example has to be the notch, there’s another feature that has become mainstream after Apple introduced it – Face Unlock.
With last year’s iPhone X, Apple ditched the physical fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) and introduced Face ID, an advanced facial recognition system that uses a whole bunch of hardware housed inside the smartphone’s notch. Face ID is present on Apple’s newest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, and will most certainly be the default biometric authentication method for the company’s future smartphones.
As expected, just about every Android OEM now offers face unlock on their smartphones. While it’s good to have the feature, is it really as good as Apple’s implementation? Apparently not.
To assess how secure face unlock solutions offered on Android smartphones really are, Forbes conducted a test under which the publication tried to unlock several popular Android devices like Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG G7 ThinQ, and OnePlus 6 using a 3D printed head. The result? All smartphones were fooled into believing that the 3D printed head was a real person.
Conversely, Face ID on Apple’s iPhone X proved to be ‘impenetrable’. The 3D printed head was unable to unlock Apple’s smartphone even after multiple tries, according to an iPhoneHacks report.
Watch: Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max Hands On
All said, the results are not exactly surprising. That’s because face unlock on most Android smartphones generally works by scanning the user’s face with the front-facing camera, then comparing it with a selfie of the user. Apple’s Face ID, on the other hand, is comprised of multiple hardware components including Dot projector, IR camera, and Flood illuminator, which work together to create a detailed profile of a user’s facial features.