Skip to main content

Early Pixel 6a users report big security issue with the fingerprint sensor

Water on the back of the Google Pixel 6a
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Claims are coming in about Google's new Pixel 6a having fingerprint sensor issues.
  • The in-display sensor is not recognizing fingerprints properly, which could be a cause for phone security concerns.
  • Google has not yet issued a statement about the claims.

Early claims seem to suggest that the Google Pixel 6a's fingerprint sensor already has issues before its official release.

Google has been gearing up for the launch of its new budget phone, which hits store shelves later this week. With all eyes on the phone, quite a few early birds got their hands on it for review purposes, including our own Nicholas Sutrich, who gave a glowing Pixel 6a review. However, according to some reports, the new Google Pixel 6a could be having issues with its fingerprint scanner recognizing unregistered fingers.

It's nothing new that our fingerprints are all unique. However, the users on Reddit (via Phandroid) are pointing to several instances showing the Pixel 6a's fingerprint scanner unlocking with unregistered fingerprints.

Phandroid points to the YouTube channel Geekyranjit which dives into this discovery. The YouTuber has only registered his right hand's thumb for the fingerprint scanner, but the thumb on his left hand also unlocks the phone. This isn't something that should be happening, as he demonstrates with another phone.

As shown in some videos, the Pixel 6a allows anyone to unlock the phone, even if they're not registered in your phone. It becomes a safety issue that, if it is widespread, should be corrected sooner rather than later.

In our review, Nicholas spoke about the fingerprint scanner, noting that, while faster than the flagship Pixel 6 Pro, it still has its issues and can at times be unreliable. However, in this case, the Pixel 6a might be a bit too reliable. Android Central has reached out to Google for comment on these claims but has not received word back in time for publication. That said, we'll test this out to see if we can replicate the problem.

So far, these claims are unconfirmed by Google, with a lot up in the air about the severity of the situation. The Google Pixel 6a could easily be one of the best budget android phones to launch this year, and a security issue like this could hinder its success.

Nickolas Diaz