Pixel 6A fingerprint sensor seems faster than Pixel 6 Pro in early testing

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Despite being a more affordable counterpart to last year’s flagship, it looks like the upcoming Pixel 6A might offer a key improvement over the Pixel 6 series: a faster fingerprint sensor. That’s according to Fazli Halim, a Malaysian YouTuber who appears to have gotten his hands on Google’s next device a month before its official launch on July 28. We spotted the video via 9to5Google.

This is potentially good news after the Pixel 6 series’ fingerprint sensors ended up being a surprising weak point for the devices and were noticeably slower to authenticate than other phones. “The fingerprint reader is the only biometric authentication available, and it’s just not very good,” Dan Seifert wrote in our review. A Google support account later suggested that the device’s “enhanced security algorithms” were to blame for the slowness. The company then tried to fix the issues with software updates, but the complaints persist.

The Pixel 6A’s fingerprint sensor looks more promising. You can see the comparison around 4:55 in the video above, when Halim shows himself trying to unlock the Pixel 6A on the left and the Pixel 6 Pro on the right. After a brief press of the finger, the Pixel 6A unlocks, while the Pixel 6 Pro often struggles and instead prompts the user to “Hold on a little longer”. It’s not day and night; the 6A sometimes fails to unlock after a short press, and other times the 6 Pro unlocks just fine, but the 6A seems more reliable overall.

As 9to5Google Notes, the Pixel 6A device shown in the video is unlikely to run finished software, so the comparison may not exactly match user experiences when it was officially released. But this is consistent with comments from Google’s head of hardware, Rick Osterloh, namely Android Central last month, which confirmed that the Pixel 6A comes with a different in-device fingerprint sensor than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

A Google representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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