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.


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

beermode Avatar
48 months ago
Do you have any articles that DON'T quote KGI?
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gijoeinla Avatar
48 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)
allenvanhellen Avatar
48 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)
macTW Avatar
48 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)
ipedro Avatar
48 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)
Nunyabinez Avatar
48 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)

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