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How do you lock your phone?

By Adam Doud May 4, 2017, 12:18 pm

Smartphone users today are faced with a bounty of security options when it comes to locking your phones. When you press that power button, you have a variety of choices from biometrics, to nothing at all. With the Galaxy S8 and S8+ both released and so far, not combustible, we have a mainstream option with iris scanning and facial recognition. Hold on fanboys – I know both have been around for a while, but Samsung’s putting it front and center so we get to talk about it some more. So we were curious, Pocketnow reader, what are you using to lock your phone? We thought we’d take a look at the options and run a quick poll. So, let’s run down the list.


Face it

Leading off, we have Samsung’s face unlock, facial recognition. This is the newest of the five different ways you can unlock your Galaxy S8. Samsung uses the front facing camera to see your mug and if you’re you, it unlocks the phone for you. This is arguably the least secure way you can keep your phone secure. We’ve already heard reports of people fooling this with photographs, and it reportedly doesn’t work too well if lighting isn’t great. But there it is.

I-ris I could unlock my phone (sorry)

Next up, we have Samsung’s iris scanning which came and went with the Note 7. Iris scanning has been pretty cool though some reports indicate there could be potential trouble with glasses, and the like. Personally, I used iris scanning on the Lumia 950 and it was fun, but only because the 950 lacked a fingerprint scanner. Iris scanning seems to be the next evolution of biometric unlocking, but at the same time it seems like it’s not quite there yet, but gaining quickly.


Fingerprint scanning is far and away a better way to go about unlocking your phone. Most phones allow the fingerprint sensor to both turn on and unlock your phone, which is great. Fingerprint scanning is also a lot faster than iris scanning and facial recognition. It’s not the most secure solution though, since police can get warrants to force you to unlock your phone with a fingerprint. So, if you live a lifestyle that runs afoul of the law, perhaps you should read down a bit further.

Put a PIN in it

PIN and password protection are arguably the most secure way to lock your phone. While most users will use a four or six-digit PIN to unlock a phone, a password is also possible – though certainly not ideal. Typing in a password can be a bear when you unlock your phone dozens of times per day. Perhaps a smartwatch can help alleviate that concern. If it cuts down on the number of times you have to unlock your phone, it will benefit you in the long run, but the PIN is a decent measure that isn’t inconvenient.

I see a pattern

Finally, we have the pattern unlock. Arguably, the most popular way to unlock phones, the pattern unlock can be achieved with just a swipe or two. Personally, when I use a phone without a fingerprint sensor, I generally resort to a pattern unlock because it seems like it’s a bit faster than a PIN for me. At home, the old phones my kids use are PIN locked, because we have found patterns a bit too easy to sneak peaks.

So now it’s your turn. How do you unlock your phone? Do you use a lock method at all, or throw caution to the wind and simply swipe? We’ve created a poll down below, but we’d also like to hear your reasoning, so comment along with the vote!


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