Google claims that its new Face Unlock security feature might be better than the iPhone’s Face ID. Is this true?

Google’s upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone will allegedly feature “Face Unlock,” which is basically the iPhone’s Face ID but on a Google phone. BGR reported that whether the Android maker admits it or not, Face Unlock appears to be some tech borrowed (or copied) from Apple in the sense that it functions the same way as Face ID. Google, however, said it is more streamlined.

A better security option

A few months ago, Google said it engineers Face Unlock differently from the Face ID iPhone fans have been seeing since the iPhone X in 2017. It said the new technology will be able to determine if the person in front of the phone is the actual owner and not someone else, and will unlock the device even when the phone isn’t held properly.

Google explained that the new Face Unlock feature works differently from Face ID in the sense that users won’t have to get their phones, lift it up, pose a certain way in front of the camera, wait for it to unlock then swipe to get to the home screen.

Face Unlock doesn’t require that much movement. This is made possible by the tech giant’s new Project Soli chip that allows the upcoming smartphones to detect if their user is nearby and is reaching out to get their devices. That’s when the magic begins:

“As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognizing that you may want to unlock your phone,” Google said. “If the face unlock sensors and algorithms recognize you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion.”

But wait --there’s more. Google says its new Face Unlock feature does more than detect users before they lift the phone: “Better yet, face unlock works in almost any orientation—even if you're holding it upside down—and you can use it for secure payments and app authentication too,” Google added.

Upside down

An early review of the Pixel 4 XL from Nextrift confirms this. According to the review, Face Unlock’s setup process might be similar to Face ID’s, but once the feature is set up, Pixel 4 XL users will be able to unlock their phones with a simple glance even in darker environments, or even if the Pixel 4 is held sideways or upside down.

The public, however, is yet to see how the new Face Unlock feature works in real-life situations. Stay tuned for when the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL is released, and when new updates about Face Unlock arrives.

Google Pixel 3 two phone
A Pixel smartwatch might be announced alongside the Pixel 4 lineup. (Pictured: An employee shows Google Inc.'s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones during its sales launch event at a SoftBank Corp. store on November 5, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.) Getty Images/Tomohiro Ohsumi