If recently leaked images of the Pixel 6 are anything to go by, it looks as if the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will not feature a fingerprint scanner
For the longest time, meaning since it first appeared, Google’s Pixel phones have always used physical fingerprint scanners.
And they were always located on the back – the best position, IMHO.
The Pixel 4 used Google’s facial unlock technology, but that was then nixed on the Pixel 5.
Google’s decision to remove face unlock on the Pixel 5 was done to make way for more premium features inside the phone (at a lower price point).
The Pixel 5 featured a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, just like the Pixel 3a, and the Pixel 4a.
But 2021’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could break with this tradition once again, as you can see below.
As you can see in the leaked pictures of Google’s Pixel 6, there is no physical fingerprint sensor either on the front or the rear of the phone.
These pictures are not official images, granted, so it could simply be a mistake on the part of the render’s creator. But if it isn’t – and that is a very real possibility – it means the Pixel 6 will ship without one.
And that means it will either use an in-screen fingerprint sensor or, more likely, ditch the fingerprint biometric entirely and focus instead of facial unlocking, just like Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 11.
We know Google has face unlock tech at its disposal; it used it on the Pixel 4, for instance, so it stands to reason that this is what it will use on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
And because it has been a coupe of years since we’ve seen face unlock on a Pixel phone, it is likely that we’ll see some pretty major improvements in its performance.
Soniya Jobanputra, a product manager on the Pixel team, told the PA news agency back in 2020 that face unlock wasn’t dead and would likely return at some point
We did a lot of work to bring that technology to life, so hopefully, we’ll find a way to repurpose the work that was done in it because I think there are some wonderful innovations that we have in that feature but it may not come back in the form that you’ve seen it in the past.Soniya Jobanputra, a product manager on the Pixel team
If the leaked images of the Pixel 6 are to be believed, it looks as if Google’s MIA face unlock could be making a return in 2021.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.