Remember Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich? If you do, then you should remember the security feature it ushered in called Android Face Unlock. Android Face Unlock was supposed to be an easy way to unlock your phone quickly so you could get to your content faster. Well, as it turns out. The problem with Android Face Unlock was that it wasn’t very secure at all. It didn’t take long for people to figure out you could dupe Face Unlock with a simple photo.
Fast forward to 2017 and Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S8 and S8+ are touting a new facial recognition security feature. Like many, I’ve already pre-ordered my Galaxy S8+ and have been watching many YouTube “hands on” videos to gather some preliminary information on the device. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the Samsung event so I haven’t gotten any hands-on time with the device. One of the common threads in most all of the videos I watched was the Samsung’s facial recognition security was fast and spot on. That got me thinking about Android Face Unlock from 2011, could Samsung have worked the bugs out? Well, it seems not as Samsung’s facial recognition can also be bypassed easily by using a photo, watch the video below.
Here’s the thing, why are we acting as if this is really a surprise? When I first saw the feature announced my first thoughts were, it’s most certainly not the security method I’ll be using. I don’t know, maybe the writers and YouTuber’s out there today weren’t following or writing about tech in 2011? I had my suspicions that Samsung Facial Recognition wouldn’t stand up to a simple photo test. I was waiting on my own retail unit to come to test it myself, but it’s pretty much confirmed.
The feature has always been cool, even in the Ice Cream Sandwich days, but it’s been shown not to be reliable. This doesn’t mean that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are insecure phones, you still have the pin, pattern, iris, and fingerprint options which are all better than Facial Recognition.
I’ve reached out to Samsung for comment on the matter. We’ll either update this article or create a new article should we hear back from them.
Last Updated on July 5, 2017.