Google formalizes Face Unlock for the Pixel 7 series; a new fingerprint sensor is also included

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During today’s Made by Google event, the company revealed that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will feature Face Unlock. Google has also been known to share new features with older Pixel models, so those who own the Pixel 6 Pro are hoping this feature will make its way to last year’s premium model, although that’s not something which seems to be in the cards after today’s event. Google told us later that day that it had nothing to share at this point.

The Face Unlock of the new Pixel 7 series will use the 10.8 MP front camera. There was speculation last year that the Pixel 6 Pro was going to come out with Face Unlock but Google would have removed the feature at the last moment. Since then, there have been various rumors of an update that would use the Pixel 6 Pro’s front-facing image sensor to create a depth map of the user’s face that would secure the feature.

Unlike the Pixel 4 series and the iPhone, the new Pixels don’t include the sensors used for facial recognition on those phones. Google said it plans to use “advanced machine learning models” powered by the new Google Tensor 2 to implement Face Unlock for new Pixel models. This would appear to prevent the Pixel 6 Pro from receiving the feature, although other alternative methods may still be in play.

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Google also told us that the under-display fingerprint sensor on the new phones is a big improvement over the biometric reader in the Pixel 6 lineup. The company said, “Compared to the Pixel 6, the Pixel 7 devices use a new generation of under-display fingerprint sensor with higher performance, including a 30% latency improvement, to help deliver a more seamless unlock experience.”

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