iPhone Face ID is Harder to Break Than on Flagship Android Phones

The face recognition feature of five phones was tested with a 3D-printed head and here are the results.

2 min read
Face ID was first introduced on the iPhone X by Apple. 

Apple has always claimed that its Face ID feature relies on hardware that makes it one of the safest technologies around. In the Android sphere, you have brands like Samsung, LG and OnePlus offering a similar feature, but with software tweaks to support their overall product cost.

And a recent test using 3D faces was finally able to deliver the result that most of us knew – Face ID is the safest in the business. The guys at Forbes tested out four Android phones, and the iPhone X, by placing the phone’s biometric feature in front of a 3D-printed head and it became evident that the Android phones weren’t as reliable after all.

The other phones in question are the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Galaxy Note 8, LG G7 ThinQ and the OnePlus 6. But even for its high price tag, both LG and Samsung have stated that using facial recognition might be ‘less secure’ than other biometric features.

This is what powers the Face ID on the iPhone. 
This is what powers the Face ID on the iPhone. 
(Photo: @2shar/The Quint)

The OnePlus 6 with Face Unlock, was understandably the weakest of the five devices in the test and we expected that to be the case. The company itself has said that its face feature isn’t very secure, which explains why the payment option was never available for OnePlus users.

LG’s G7 ThinQ was slow to start of with, says the report, but after getting a software update, the feature did better than expected.

Face Unlock feature is available for OnePlus 6 as well as OnePlus 3T users.
Face Unlock feature is available for OnePlus 6 as well as OnePlus 3T users.
(Photo: The Quint)

Coming to the Samsung Galaxy phones equipped with Iris and IR laser to detect faces, these devices didn’t open up immediately to the particular 3D face assigned, but multiple attempts were enough to breach it.

Tests like these prove the virtue of adopting technology that can be expensive, yes, but carry a higher chance of being secure, which is the case with Apple’s Face ID.

The same feature rolled out with the iPhone XS and XS Max this year and we expect mid-range phones to gradually get it on board, with the new mobile chipsets supporting the requirement from day one.

For now, let the Apple fan boys bask in the glory of this unique test, making them feel safer with the new iPhones that cost as much as Rs 1.4 lakh in markets like India.

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