Google Pixel 6 phones could still get face unlock in a future feature drop

Google Pixel 6 Pro Front Facing Video
Google Pixel 6 Pro Front Facing Video (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Google Pixel 6 series may add support for face unlock in a future update.
  • Face unlock was rumored to be a feature of the device prior to its launch, but it was not present in the final product.
  • Google is thought to have dropped the feature shortly before the phone's unveiling due to a power usage issue.

A new piece of evidence suggests that Google may still release support for face unlock on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in the future, indicating that the security feature may return to the Pixel lineup after being dropped with the launch of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.

According to noted XDA Forums contributor Freak07, Google apparently introduced the feature to the Pixel 6's PowerHAL config file in July, where it's internally referred to as "Tuscany." Face Unlock had also been rumored to be a part of the phone's features, but it did not show up when Google's best Android phones were unveiled.

See more

However, because the code has yet to be removed from the commit, it's possible that Google is planning on including the feature in an upcoming feature drop update for its latest flagship phones. It is unclear why the feature was not included in the final product, but the newly discovered commit indicates that face unlock has been causing a power usage issue because it allegedly consumes an excessive amount of CPU resources beyond what is required (via Android Authority).

The problem could have a negative impact on the phone's battery life, which could explain Google's decision to discontinue it. There is speculation that the feature was dropped at the last minute by Google.

Assuming Google resolves the issue quickly, the latest development gives us hope that the feature will be available on the Pixel 6 series in the near future.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

1 Comment
  • I don't think battery impact would be a reason to not provide this feature. They do provide screen rotate assisted by camera view of human's face. This is just as likely to trigger often. Didn't standard Android have face unlock prior to Pixel 4? When did it disappear? when Apple started doing face unlock via additional sensors?