Google Pixel 6’s Fingerprint Scanner is Slow Because Too Much Security

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro use under-glass optical fingerprint sensors, which are different from the "ultrasonic" sensors used by Samsung.


The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are supposed to bring cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) onto smartphones, but they’re somehow slow when it comes to reading fingerprints. Or at least that’s what we fathom from various reports, given that the phone isn’t coming to India. And it turns out that while Google’s chips are very well suited for the tons of AI algorithms being processed on this device, but “enhanced security algorithms” make the fingerprint sensor on the fingerprint sensor on the phone feel sluggish. That’s what Google said while replying to a user’s tweet on November 6.

“We’re sorry for the hassle. The Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor utilises enhanced security algorithms. In some instances, these added protections can take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor,” the tweet said, adding a link to troubleshooting steps for the sensor, which doesn’t really provide a solution. Why troubleshoot if it’s just about “enhanced security”, Google?

“Sorry but I’ve tried everything you linked me to. Still is very inaccurate. I’ve seen many other of the same complaints online. I’m still hoping for a software fix tho,” the user replied to Google.

That said, Google isn’t the first company to attribute slowdowns to security. Encryption and security algorithms do take longer to process often. But one has to wonder why Apple can process FaceIDs and Touch IDs super fast, but Google can’t. After all, with its own chip and software, Google wields much closer control on how Android works on the Pixel 6 than any other manufacturer.

The Pixel 6 has an under-screen optical fingerprint scanner, which is different from the “ultrasonic” fingerprint sensors that Samsung uses on the Galaxy S21 series. “Sheesh. Using a Z Flip 3 right now. Fingerprint reader is in the power button and it’s excellent. I’m gonna skip this pixel,” another user said in the replies to this tweet.

Google’s Pixel 6 is the first device using the company’s own processor, and many have asked how much this adds to the cost. It’s possible that Google had to cut some costs in order to fit the new chip onto its device.