The Pixel 7’s Face Unlock is only for the lock screen and can’t be used to replace a fingerprint

At any time, users can unlock using their face or fingerprint.

Apple has leaned heavily towards Face ID in the post-iPhone 8 era with a substantial amount of dedicated hardware, including a substantial time-of-flight sensor, that somehow integrates into the design language of its products. For a variety of reasons, Google (and the larger Android ecosystem) have historically been more hesitant to follow that road, but for many individuals, it came down to profiting on the fingerprint stans. The business is now advertising Face Unlock on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro with a more relaxed attitude toward both sides.

This year, the “upgraded” wide-angle selfie camera on the new Pixels replaces the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s various sensors. Google’s “sophisticated machine learning algorithms” for facial recognition, however, are what this authentication option actually depends on, according to the company.

As a result, Google is issuing the customary cautions about having enough light and being mindful of face coverings and has chosen to only accept fingerprints when users are verifying Google account sign-ins for apps and mobile payments. Camera systems have been tricked before, and Google hasn’t put more stock in facial recognition accuracy on the whole.

If they choose to set up all those authentication methods, Pixel 7 and 7 Pro owners will be able to use either their face or fingerprints to unlock their phone for convenience’s sake — there isn’t an unique hybrid or two-factor approach to unlocking these Pixels, simply a wealth of biometric alternatives. According to Google, the face unlock feature is solely for the lock screen and doesn’t meet the required biometric standards to open apps like password managers or authorize mobile payments, unlike its underscreen fingerprint cousin.

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