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Home / Tips and Tricks / Using the "Face Unlock" and "Motion Sense" features of Pixel 4 (bye, fingerprint scanner!)

Using the "Face Unlock" and "Motion Sense" features of Pixel 4 (bye, fingerprint scanner!)



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Setting up the face unlock takes only a few seconds.


Sarah Tew / CNET

With the introduction of Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Google threw the fingerprint sensor overboard to which we got used to on earlier phones. You can not put your finger on the back of the phone to unlock it or log in to your mobile banking app or password manager. Instead, Google uses face recognition similar to the Face ID of the iPhone with Pixel 4. Face Unlock is an important feature not just for Google, but for all Android devices.

] Working with Face Unlock is another new feature called Motion Sense . The radar-based feature lets you know when you are nearby. This allows you to control your phone by waving your hand through the air – without touching your phone.

Below I will explain the setup of Face Unlock as well as some important reservations and give you an overview of Motion Sense.

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Setting face unlock for Pixel 4

When setting up your Pixel for the first time, you should be prompted to set Face Unlock. During the process, you must register your face with your Pixel 4 by moving your head until your phone has collected all the information you need.

If you've skipped the setup process or have trouble recognizing Face Unlock, it's easy to set it up.

Open the Settings app on your Pixel 4 and go to Security > Face Unlock . Enter the PIN or create a PIN when prompted and follow the instructions to register your face. I thought the best way would be to make small, slow movements with your head until all the blue boxes disappeared.

Once you've registered your face, every time you pick up your Pixel 4, your phone scans your face and unlocks it without a PIN. In my experience, the phone is already unlocked when I take it off and look, and I look at my home screen. It is damn fast.

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Face Unlocking is not perfect.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Some Things You Should Know About Facial Unlocking

As with any new technology, there are some aspects of using face unlocking that you should know:

  • Right now you do not have to open the face unlock button Eyes. This means anyone who has access to your phone can unlock it by simply holding it in front of your face, even when you're sleeping or unconscious. If you're worried about this, you can skip Face Unlock and set a strong password instead until Google releases an eye-tracking update.
  • Third-party apps such as password managers or banking apps need to be updated to allow Face Unlock to be used. Therefore, you may be prompted to use your password when using apps that have not been updated.
  • Check Always request confirmation if you want to confirm every time an app tries to use Face Unlock. [19659026] Turn motion detection pixel 4 on "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/rCg58_mgmUNN5EgJfGtsCYyoQV4=/2019/10/24/366062fa-4723-470f-aa74-7ee56100a148/turn -on-motion-sense -pixel-4.jpg “/>

    Motion Sense is an entertaining feature that you have to get used to.


    Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

    Activating and Using Motion Sense

    Motion Sense is the first consumer-oriented product in Google's Project Soli. At Pixel 4, Motion Sense uses radar to detect movement in front of the phone's display. For example, these movements can trigger skipping a track while listening to music or mute an alarm simply by flicking your hand over the phone.

    You must enable Motion Sense before you can use it by calling Settings > System > Motion Sense .

    Using Motion Sense is like magic.


    Jason Cipriani / CNET

    Using Motion Sense

    When Motion Sense is activated and ready to use, a small blue light appears at the top of the screen.

    For example, if you stream music from Spotify and the phone detects that you are nearby, the top of the screen lights up slightly. This is an indication that your phone is ready to read your hand movements.

    Using the same example, you can move your hand a few inches over your phone to skip the current song or return to the previous song (more below).

    Motion Sense can also detect when you are nearby, and turn on the constantly lit display of your pixel.

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    The Motion Sense sensors are located along the new bezel on top of the phone.


    Sarah Tew / CNET

    Customizing the Operation of Motion Sense

    To customize how Motion Sense works, open the Settings app and go to System > Motion Sense .

    There you can set the wave direction for changing songs or turn it off completely. You can also control whether Motion Sense mutes alarms when a gesture is detected over the phone.

    You can also disable Motion Sense by turning off Pixel 4's screen when you are not near the phone, if you want the constantly-on screen to be constantly visible.

    If you've just decided on Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, you should check out the hidden features we found and how to use Pixel's coolest feature Live Caption . Or if you are still sitting at the fence, we have many photo examples that you can browse .


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