With the Pixel 6, Google had a flagship phone that it could be proud of once more. More importantly, it was one that Samsung and Apple fans and owners could brag about to their friends. Although the Pixel 6 Pro receives the most of the attention and accolades, thanks to its dedicated telephoto camera, the base and pro models are nearly identical in most ways. However, if a new feature eventually becomes only one of the two, the gap may widen slightly.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro turned out to be practically precisely what we expected, thanks to multiple leaks. Google finally upgraded its cameras to more current hardware standards, and the new Tensor chip performed nearly as well as this year’s top mobile processors. Its design was also noteworthy, emphasizing its visual identity as a Pixel phone.
However, not all of the leaks came true, and one, in particular, was mysteriously absent from the launch. The Pixel 6’s code contained Face Unlock feature traces, but it was missing when the phones arrived. Of course, there’s still a chance it’ll happen, but only for the Pixel 6 Pro.
The Android 12L Beta for Pixel devices, according to 9to5Google, once again displayed evidence of a face unlocking function. The difference with this latest disclosure is that text strings associated with that functionality appear to apply only to “Raven,” the Pixel 6 Pro’s codename. There’s no indication that the “Oriole” model of the Pixel 6 will gain this feature.
The Pixel 6 Pro appears to contain the same combination of the front-facing camera and sensor technology as the Pixel 6, so this is a perplexing and strange turn of events. No specific sensor would justify making this Face Unlock feature limited to the Pro model, so it will be surprising if that is the case. Given that it’s a security feature, there may be some reservations about making it available to the Pixel 6 via unapproved modded software.
Except for the Pixel 4, which included the abandoned Soli sonar hardware to strengthen the phone’s security, Face Unlock hasn’t been a function in Pixel phones. That didn’t work out either, and Pixel phones were left without a secure and trustworthy way of facial authentication. Instead, Google appears to be relying on its new under-screen fingerprint scanner, which has received mixed reviews.