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You might be using Face ID wrong – here’s how you fix it

Published Nov 27th, 2017 8:58AM EST

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Face ID is one of the iPhone X’s best features, and we’ll see every other company in the industry copy it in the coming years. Computers will be smart enough to recognize our faces and voices, and automatically log us into devices and apps as we open them. Face ID has no rival in the mobile business right now, but things will change come next year when more smartphone makers will utilize 3D sensors in depth-sensing face recognition modules.

But you might be using Face ID wrong, and it’s time you fixed it. We’ve talked about it in the past, but what brought it to my attention again was Lewis Hilsenteger’s recent video titled DON’T Buy the iPhone X — I guess the caps are really needed to drive that point home.

Face ID is one of the reasons why he says you should avoid the $1,000 iPhone X and buy something significantly cheaper. But he’s wrong in his approach.

“The Face Unlock, it works. But the process is not something that I consider to be enjoyable,” Hilsenteger says before showing the Face ID malfunction incident from the iPhone X announcement event. Of course this is BS and we all know why that happened. It’s a security feature, but he fails to explain it, giving the false impression that Face ID won’t work when you’re looking at it.

He then proceeds to explain one way Face ID fails him. 
“You know, I’m lying in bed, I wanna reach over and quickly unlock it, and my glasses are off, and my hat is off, and it’ll miss,” he said. Oh, wait a second there, Mr. Hilsenteger. It doesn’t matter that your glasses or hat are off. Face ID works with or without them. It’s conceived to learn those things about yourself, and implying that you don’t have your headgear on, so Face ID doesn’t work, is misleading.

Yes, it might not work in bed all the time, but that’s typically because you’re holding it too close to your face.

The most annoying Face ID issue for Hilsenteger seems to be that you have to unlock the iPhone X in a certain way. First, you have to “bow” to the phone so that it sees you, wait for the Face ID unlock to process, and then swipe up. That’s what made me realize Hilsenteger is using it wrong.

You don’t have to bow to anything, just pull the phone out like you usually would, look at the screen as you normally do, and swipe up. That’s it. The phone will be unlocked by the time you finished swiping. There shouldn’t be anything “strange” about interacting with your phone, as he says in his review. Unlocking the iPhone X isn’t a two-step process at all.

Also, it seems to me that Hilsenteger is missing the forest for the trees in his anti-iPhone X review when dismissing Face ID. The iPhone X’s facial recognition system and the speedier OnePlus 5T’s Face Unlock aren’t on equal footing here. Ignoring the complexity of Face ID and what can it do solely because Face Unlock is faster isn’t telling the whole story at all. Face Unlock isn’t secure — it’s just a convenience feature and OnePlus makes that clear. In fact, you can’t even unlock apps or authenticate payment with Face Unlock.

The full clip follows below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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