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Home » On Good Authority: Just how bad is the Pixel 6’s fingerprint scanner?

On Good Authority: Just how bad is the Pixel 6’s fingerprint scanner?

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Google Pixel 6 in-display fingerprint sensor close-up

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Anyone who has purchased or is considering a feature or bug, phone, is locked into this experience. So how bad can you expect it to be? We’ve gathered input from everyone on the team currently using the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro.

Eric Zeman (Pixel 6 Pro)

The Pixel 6 Pro’s in-display fingerprint reader is one of the most uncomfortable I’ve ever used. My experiences with display-based readers range from really terrible to good. Google’s solution should be much better.

First, let me say that the setting works well for me. My thumb is exactly where I want to land on the display. But you can’t find the point by feeling like a back- or side-mounted reader. This means you have to look at the screen before pressing the thumb. This is a problem faced by all display-based readers, but it takes extra time.

Our verdict: Pixel 6 Pro Review — The Hottest Pixel

The biggest problem I have encountered is the speed and accuracy of the reader. If it takes too long to read your fingerprint and if you lift your thumb from the glass too quickly, the scan won’t complete and the phone won’t unlock. After using the phone for two weeks, I could not get consistent timing. This will take more time as you will have to make a second attempt to unlock the screen.

On a 2021 $899 phone, I just expect something better.

Another issue I’ve noticed is the amount of light the leader emits. Scan the print by firing a bright flash under your thumb. It’s not much of a problem during the day, but at night it can be really annoying. For example, I recently attended a concert and unlocking the phone in the dark caused a noticeable burst of light that other people could see. On a 2021 $899 phone, I just expect something better.

Jimmy Westenberg (Pixel 6)

Google Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint sensor with light bleed

Rita L. Corey / Android Authority

Hate is a powerful word to use in any context, so I will try my best to avoid that language. I really hate the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6.

It does not work as intended. I estimate about 50% of my work time. Because of the high failure rate, my brain thinks I have to enter my password every time I try to unlock my phone. And since the phone doesn’t include any face unlock or other biometric features, it’s as if the Pixel 6 came out before biometrics were introduced. Being with a flagship phone in 2021 is a strange experience.

It’s like the Pixel 6 was released before biometrics was introduced.

Also, the light is brilliantly bright (especially at night when you’re lying in bed).

I don’t think the fingerprint sensor will ruin the Pixel 6. Absolutely not. But if this phone didn’t excel in so many other areas, we might be having a different conversation.

check this out: Pixel 6 review

Chris Callon (Pixel 6 Pro)

The Google Pixel 6 is showing off the lock screen and display in a sorta C foam color.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

My experience with the Pixel 6 Pro’s fingerprint scanner didn’t produce a spark.

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