Is Face ID everything Apple claims? This unscientific test finds out

If you weren’t already aware, the newly-launched iPhone X did away with the home button found on previous iPhone models. Because of this, the device relies heavily on Apple’s new facial recognition system, which allows you to unlock your phone, download apps from the App Store, and accomplish a variety of other tasks.

So just how well does Face ID work? Surprisingly well. We threw dozens of scenarios at the 3D dual lens camera and despite our attempts to trick it with hats, glasses, harsh lighting conditions, and even motion the phone unlocked normally.

Face ID does work as intended, and that is more important than anything else. Plus, will saving a few seconds actually make a noticeable difference in your life? If you’re being honest, probably not. Personal preference obviously plays a big part into what unlocking method you actually prefer, however, and that will factor into your decision to get the iPhone X.

Extra Credit: Face ID vs Touch ID

Despite incorporating the latest tech, the new system doesn’t actually appear to be faster than Touch ID. Using an iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, we pitted Face ID against Touch ID in a number of real-life scenarios, allowing us to determine which system is quicker at unlocking your phone. The results aren’t game-changing by any means — Touch ID seems to be only slightly faster than Face ID — but they are noteworthy, and something to consider if you are thinking of upgrading to Apple’s latest headset.

Here’s how the speed test broke down

Standing Touch ID was only slightly faster than Face ID.
Apple Pay Face ID lagged behind Touch ID quite a bit.
Downloading an app The same result as Apple Play.
Walking The same result as standing.
Running The same result as standing and walking.
Riding a bike Touch ID was not only faster, it was safer because you didn’t have to look down at your phone while biking. Because of the safety aspect, this may be the only clear-cut example of where Touch ID is better than Face ID.

Note: Touch ID was used on the iPhone 8 Plus while Face ID was used with the iPhone X.

Although Touch ID appears to be slightly faster, it should be noted that it’s hard to ascertain exactly when Face ID starts to work. Overall, however, Touch ID is still faster compared when compared with Face ID, namely because it utilizes quicker technology.

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

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