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Google Pixel 6 was supposed to ship with Face Unlock, but it wasn't ready for release

By Roland Udvarlaki November 10, 2021, 12:00 pm
Google Pixel 6 Face Unlock Source: Pocketnow

The Google Pixel 6 Series leaked in full, as usual, months before the announcement happened in mid-October. The leaks revealed the design, specifications, models, camera sensors, the color of the devices and their names, battery information, and even that we’d see a fingerprint sensor. What we weren’t so clear about is whether the Pixel 6 Series would come equipped with a Face Unlock Soli technology that we’ve also seen in the Pixel 4 Series.

Pixel 6 promo face unlock feature Source: Google

New findings (via XDA-Developers) suggest that Face Unlock was part of the Pixel 6 series, but it didn’t make the cut into the final device that we got to see announced at the Pixel Fall Event on October 14. Some of the official promo material also included images of the reported Face Unlock functionality, but as we now all know, it did not make it into the final Pixel 6 Series. Not all is lost,


An XDA Recognized Developer is known by the name Freak07 found evidence that Face Unlock was indeed a Pixel 6 feature from the beginning. Freak07 posted a tweet pointing to a commit dating back to July 9th, revealing that Google made a code change to the Pixel 6’s PowerHal config file. The description also unveils that Google internally called the Face Unlock feature “Tuscany”, and it was working on improving the impact on the battery by boosting the CPU clusters.

It’s not currently clear why Google didn’t include the Face Unlock feature in the final version of the Pixel 6, but it may have run out of time to finalize and enhance it. The standard Pixel 6 features an 8MP f/2.0 camera, while the Pixel 6 Pro has an 11.1MP f/2.2 sensor. It’s unclear how the face unlock function would work with only just the cameras. The Pixel 4 Series relied on the Soli sensor for hand gestures, and the IR and dot projector to read the face, and the combination of the two worked very fast, and it also worked from a wide variety of angles.


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