Face ID in iPhone X vs. 'Face Unlock' Facial Recognition in OnePlus 5T

The iPhone X has been available for a little over a month now, which has given consumers time to adjust to the new biometric authentication method, Face ID. Face ID replaces Touch ID, unlocking the iPhone X via a face scan rather than a fingerprint.

In the video below, we decided to take a second look at Face ID after having spent some time with it to see how it measures up to Touch ID and how it compares to similar facial recognition options in devices like the OnePlus 5T.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

For the most part, Face ID works well and is at least as quick as Touch ID, but there are some undeniable pain points. When the iPhone X is held in landscape mode, like when you're in bed, Face ID often doesn't work. It can also have trouble when it's flat on a surface and can't get a good read on your face, and when you have sunglasses, a hat, or a scarf covering your face, it can be hit or miss at times.

These points of failure don't apply to some of the other smartphones that use facial recognition techniques. The OnePlus 5T, like devices with facial recognition from Samsung, uses multiple biometric systems with facial recognition paired with a fingerprint sensor.

Face ID is, however, in most ways superior to the facial recognition options used by competing devices, simply because it offers more security. Face ID is using 3D depth sensing with an infrared camera and a dot projector, while companies like OnePlus and Samsung are using 2D methods that rely solely on the front-facing device camera.

Without 3D depth mapping, the OnePlus 5T's Face Unlock feature can be faster than Face ID, but it doesn't work in low light, unlike Face ID, which can work in almost all lighting conditions. It's also more of a convenience feature than a security feature and it's not used for authenticating passwords or mobile payments.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Face ID is years ahead of similar facial recognition techniques from Android smartphone makers, and that's evident in the functionality divide between the OnePlus 5T and the iPhone X.

Still, some people are having trouble adjusting to Face ID and miss the convenience of certain Touch ID features, like being able to unlock the iPhone regardless of its position.

Love it or hate it, Face ID is here to stay. Rumors already suggest Face ID will roll out to the 2018 iPhones, and we're also hearing that Face ID will expand to additional devices like the iPad Pro in the future.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
32 months ago
Do you have any articles that DON'T quote KGI?
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
Personally, I am not having trouble with Face ID. I like it and am so happy the home button is GONE. I was over it 2 years ago and hated pushing to do everything. Face ID gets better by you inputting your Passcode, make no mistake it actually is helping your FaceID when you use your Passcode. My personal experience just 15 days in with FaceID is that it feels its getting faster and better. Knowing that its machine learning my facial details, I'm totally ok with entering my passcode. The interface of iOS 11 and the X is just so smooth. Yes I hear some of your complaints but for me its working. Battery life so far seems to have improved for me with 11.2. Love the animojis too.

Yes Santa there’s some really cool cutting edge technology in the X and I’m really liking it.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I do wish it also had Touch ID under the display. There are times when I’m busy, the display’s gone to sleep and I want to check something again, but I don’t feel like leaning over and in for Face ID to work. Touch ID was faster and more reliable in those instances. But yeah, for the most part, Face ID is great. I especially appreciate now that winter is here it’s time to wear gloves.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
“I got my iPhone X day one and Face ID failed two times! Must return phone!”

- many people complaining, who forget that the machine learning builds upon itself over time to get a better idea of your face.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
Face ID has worked perfectly for me since the very first time I set it up. And I have since grown a full beard for the winter and often switch between glasses, no glasses, and sunglasses.

Face ID comes with passive security features that would be too annoying for iOS to keep asking with Touch ID. Password auto completion is one of those nice Face ID features along with hidden notifications.

My iPhone works for me on my desk because I have it in a dock. If I get a notification, I change my glance to the phone to see what it was and it instantly recognizes me. A wider field of view may help, but not by much. Face ID works for me if it’s on a table while I’m eating because I’m sitting over it, rather than leaning back in a chair. Overall, in most cases, if I can see my screen, it can see me.

Face ID has just become invisible security. I rarely think about it. I never wait for it. I just swipe up and I’m home. It unlocked in the split second it took to swipe. I wouldn’t want to go back to Touch ID. It now feels like a chore on my iPad.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
Face ID isn't perfect, but people act like Touch ID never had any issues.

I had to put my code in many times with Touch ID, like any time my hands were the least bit wet.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box Gains HDR10+ and Dolby Vision Support, Plus Siri Voice Control

Thursday May 28, 2020 12:00 am PDT by
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is receiving a major update today, introducing much-desired features like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Designed by Signify as part of the Philip Hue line of lights and accessories, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to let Hue users sync their lights to their home entertainment systems. One of the major complaints about the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box ...

APFS Bug in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina Impacts the Creation of Bootable Backups

Thursday May 28, 2020 3:47 am PDT by
An Apple File System bug has been discovered in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina that can prevent users from making a bootable clone of their system drive, according to the creator of Carbon Copy Cloner. In a blog post on Wednesday, software developer Mike Bombich explained that the CCC team had uncovered the issue in the Apple File System, or APFS, when attempting to create a bootable backup in a...