Here's why the Google Pixel 6's fingerprint sensor isn't very reliable

Pixel 6 Fingerprint Scanner
Pixel 6 Fingerprint Scanner (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has responded to complaints from Pixel 6 owners about the phone's unreliable fingerprint sensor.
  • The company says the Pixel 6's fingerprint sensor uses enhanced security algorithms, which require "more direct contact with the sensor."
  • It isn't clear if Google will release a software update to improve the performance of the in-display optical fingerprint reader.

Google's Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are among the most impressive phones released this year, offering great value and class-leading camera performance. However, the fingerprint scanners on the two phones aren't the most reliable. Google has now finally responded to complaints regarding the slow and unreliable fingerprint sensors on the Pixel 6 series (via Engadget).

Google has told users that the Pixel 6 fingerprint utilizes "enhanced security algorithms" that take longer to verify than conventional sensors and also require "more direct contact." Since Google's statement suggests there is no actual issue with the fingerprint scanners on its best Android phones of 2021, it remains to be seen if future software updates will make things better.

While Google is blaming the inconsistent fingerprint sensor performance on its security algorithms, some owners are speculating that it might be due to the use of optical in-display sensors. Ultrasonic sensors, such as the ones used in Samsung's Galaxy S21 series, are usually faster and more secure than optical fingerprint sensors. That said, there are several Android phones with optical sensors that offer a faster and more reliable fingerprint sensor experience than the Pixel 6 series phones.

An unreliable fingerprint sensor experience isn't the only thing that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners are complaining about. Some owners of the Pixel 6 series are experiencing weird screen flickering issues, while a few others are affected by a phantom calling bug. Fortunately, Google has acknowledged both issues and promised to roll out a fix soon.

Babu Mohan
News Writer