The Google Pixel 4 is unlocked with a face scan

Google just can't help talking about the Pixel 4 before the supposed launch in October. In a YouTube video, the company revealed that the phone will have face unlock technology instead of a fingerprint sensor. Google has also revealed that the Pixel 4 will have a feature called "Motion Sense," confirming that it has a Project Soli chip that uses radar to detect hand gestures near the phone.


By adding face unlocking, the Pixel 4 is comparable to modern iPhones for unlocking, and it is (at least in theory) more convenient than a fingerprint sensor on the screen. It is also another example from Google that raises the stakes in itself: if the unlocking of the Pixel is not as fast or as secure as that of the iPhone, that becomes a huge problem. Most face unlocking attempts on Android phones only used the selfie camera and were uncertain and inaccurate (although recently tried a few more advanced ways).

The face unlock function of the Pixel 4 uses various sensors to identify your face, including depth, infrared and RGB. That should mean that it works in different light situations and also works with a varied set of faces. Google has told me that it has done "field research" to take care of both things.

Regarding the "Motion Sense" feature, there is no ton that we can figure out from the Google article. Previous rumors indicate that it is related to Project Soli, which uses radar to detect small hand or finger movements above the device. For example, Google has made a demo where you rub your thumb and index finger together to simulate that you are turning a watch face on a smartwatch. Some code in the next version of Android has suggested that it can at least be used for media control.

The Google message mentions a possible case in which the Soli chip can detect your hand reaching for the phone, automatically enabling "the face unlock sensors". If everything works, the phone will automatically unlock and be ready by the time you look at it.

We tried Project Soli for the first time in 2015, when Google expected it to launch products in products such as smartwatches and speakers. Instead, the first commercial launch will be in Google's flagship smartphone.

As with the earlier tweet that revealed a photo from the camera of the Pixel 4, neither the face unlocking function nor the Soli chip is really a surprise. The first indication is leaks that show that there was no fingerprint sensor on the back. The second clue is leaks that indicate that the phone has no notch at the top of the screen, instead it retains a very large bezel with multiple cameras & sensors. The holes in the ring that we have seen show enough gaps that it was almost certain that the Pixel would have face-unlock and Project Soli.

A leaked image of the front glass on the Pixel 4.
Image: Ice Universe


Announcement of face unlocking for the Pixel 4 just over a week before the announcement of Samsung Note 10 is smart, because the Note 10 probably has an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Whether potential Note 10 customers might wait to see more of the Pixel is an open question, but Samsung is probably not super happy that it is even worth asking. If Google becomes really serious about turning the Pixel into a real company, it must be willing to pull some market share away from its Android partners.

The Pixel 4 is expected to be launched in October. Normally I would announce the word & # 39; & # 39; but that goes much further now.

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