Can you use Face Unlock without Fingerprint Unlock on Pixel 7?

The ring around the front-facing camera when Face Unlock is enabled on the Google Pixel 7
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Can you use Face Unlock without Fingerprint Unlock on Pixel 7?

Best Answer: Yes, but only for unlocking the phone. Face Unlock is considered an insecure form of biometric authentication on the Pixel 7 and, therefore, cannot be used for mobile payments.

What can you do with face unlock on the Pixel 7?

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Face unlock is a nifty feature that Google has been experimenting with since the Galaxy Nexus debuted back in 2011, but few Google phones have taken face unlock "seriously" over that time. The Pixel 7 (opens in new tab) is the first Pixel phone since the Pixel 4 to feature face unlock (opens in new tab), but it does things much more like a Galaxy Nexus rather than a Pixel 4.

That's because the Pixel 7 doesn't have any sort of special hardware to ensure the face is sees is truly your face. That, compared with the Pixel 4, which had a bevy of sensors up front to detect the shape and other attributes of your face. Instead, the Pixel 7 simply relies on a single front-facing camera to get the job done.

Google says its machine learning techniques do a better job than other single-camera face unlocking methods, but even with this said, face unlock on the Pixel 7 isn't secure enough to be used for things like mobile payments. That's because if someone really wants to fool the camera, they certainly can.

Face Unlock on the Google Pixel 7

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

So what's the point of face unlock if it's not actually a secure method of biometrically locking your phone? As Google said in an official statement, "convenience."

Unlocking your phone by just looking at it and swiping up on the lock screen is certainly convenient, although some might wonder if it's really more convenient than just placing a thumb on the fingerprint reader on the front of the phone.

Either way, face unlock could be a nice alternative to tapping the fingerprint scanner every time you just want to unlock your phone, especially since you'll actually need to input a PIN, password, or fingerprint when making mobile payments. Speaking of mobile payments, be sure to check out these great Pixel 7 deals (opens in new tab) if you want a Pixel 7 to appear in your future.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu