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Google responds to complaints about Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor

Owners of Google’s new Pixel 6 smartphone have been complaining about the slow response time of its in-screen fingerprint sensor, or its failure to work at all.

That’s a real pain in the neck (or finger) when you’re left prodding the display in an increasingly desperate bid to access your new Google handset, with many owners ending up having to tap in their PIN.

Spotted by Engadget, Google finally acknowledged the issue on Sunday, November 7, though the company didn’t exactly offer a fix.

Responding to a tweet (below) from a Pixel 6 owner named Ian who complained that the problem was ruining his experience with the new phone, Google said it was “sorry for the hassle,” adding: “The Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor utilizes enhanced security algorithms. In some instances, these added protections can take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor.”

We're sorry for the hassle. The Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor utilizes enhanced security algorithms. In some instances, these added protections can take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor. Try troubleshooting steps: Thanks. ^Levi

— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) November 6, 2021

There is no mention of the software fix that Ian said he was hoping for, nor does Google suggest that there’s any kind of fault with the new phone.

The company told Ian to check out its list of troubleshooting tips, but later said that none of them worked, adding that the sensor was “still very inaccurate.”

He added that he was using a screen protector on the Pixel 6 and had activated the “increase touch sensitivity” button (accessible via Settings/Display/Advanced) that Google says enhances the sensor’s responsiveness when a protector is on the display. But the problem persisted.

Digital Trends’ senior mobile writer Andy Boxall also noted the same problem in his recent hands-on review of the Pixel 6 Pro, describing the sensor as “slow and unreliable,” despite registering his print several times.

This is the first Pixel phone to use an in-screen fingerprint sensor and so the concern is that Google may have failed to thoroughly test it prior to release. The Pixel 5 had a sensor mounted on the back of the device, while the Pixel 4 used face unlock.

We’ve reached out to Google to see if it can offer more information on the issue, and whether it’s considering a software update to fix it, and we will update this article when we hear back.

Experiencing other issues with your Pixel 6? Then we might have a fix for you.

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Trevor Mogg
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