Samsung’s Galaxy S10 smartphones feature a redesigned bezel-less display with a cutout for the front-facing camera, although this new layout reportedly comes at the expense of facial recognition security.
Reports from around the Internet have stated that the facial recognition security on the Galaxy S10 is quite easily fooled by videos and even 2D images placed in front of the smartphone.
A video posted by AndroidWorld.it showed the device being unlocked by its owner who waved an image of his face in front of the device.
Samsung’s previous flagship smartphones – including the Galaxy Note 7, Note 8, Galaxy S9, and Note 9 – all feature dedicated hardware for facial recognition, such as IR LEDs and iris scanning, but these features have been dropped for the Galaxy S10.
The Galaxy S10 features an in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, however, which can be used instead of facial recognition to authenticate the user’s identity.
While the iPhone X series uses dual cameras and infrared sensors to obtain a true three-dimensional map of your face, the new Samsung Galaxy S10 models don’t. They only have a single or two cameras. And like some people have discovered, that’s not enough to secure your phone with your face.
In a Twitter thread, Jane Manchun Wong describes how she was able to trick her brother’s Galaxy S10+ using her face. Despite being siblings, they don’t look alike:
Again, this is not surprising. Samsung itself warns that their version of facial identification is not as secure as their ultrasonic fingerprint ID, which is built into the S10’s display. Their tech is not built to 3D scan a user’s face, so you can fool it with a 2D image.
Just in case, remember that facial ID is still a (lousy) party trick in Samsung phones, despite having two cameras in the S10 Plus. Just as it is in other Android brands. Keep using your fingerprint ID (with the adequate screen protector) or passcode.