The iPhone X hit markets only as recently as the 3rd of November, but a legion of tech reviewers have already been putting the phone’s newest features through the test, so to speak. All of the biggest question marks surround the Face ID, which is Apple’s much-hyped replacement for the Touch ID fingerprint scanner which was introduced with the iPhone 5S.
Unfortunately, too many people reported the news isn’t at all good. Tom’s Guide was the first reviewer to have done a stopwatch testing of the two methods against each other. Face ID takes significantly longer than Touch ID according to Tom’s Guide, at least from when the screen turns on.
It was discovered that with Face ID on the iPhone X, takes atleast 1.2 seconds initialising from pressing the side button to the iPhone X’s screen turning on recognizing the user to unlock the device. Alongside this was another 0.4 seconds to swipe up to get to the lock screen, which put the total time at 1.8 seconds.
On the iPhone 7 Plus, a user could get to the home screen just by pressing and holding their thumb on the Touch ID sensor. This took an average time of 0.91 seconds.
Use Case Differences
Even though this isn’t just an apple-to-apple comparison, the infamous Apple watcher John Gruber pointed out some key differences in how users will actually use the two different methods of unlocking.
If the method of raise-to-wake kicks in and actually turns on the display, all you need to do is swipe up from the bottom. There is no need to wait for the lock icon to change. After that just swipe up. If the raise-to-wake hasn’t kicked in and you’re holding your iPhone X in your hand with its display off, you just need to tap the screen near the bottom and immediately swipe up. According to him the most failsafe way to use Face ID is actually pretend it isn’t even there, and just swipe up from the home indicator.
Many believe that tapping the screen to wake the display is one of their favourite features so far. There is also the feature where you can disable functionality for the iPhone to unlock only when your eyes are actually looking at the display. This could make the process a little faster.
Looking at it initially, though, this isn’t good news for Face ID or Apple. The fact of the matter is that facial recognition obviously takes longer than the fingerprint scan. While users are sure the tech can and will get faster, people are going to be having a lot of questions about a perceived downgrade in technology.
However that being said, it’s also becoming increasingly clear that Face ID isn’t just a like-for-like replacement for Touch ID. One of TechCrunch’s reviewer Matthew Panzarino has been one of the few to have been testing the iPhone X for a week and he points out how Face ID can make the notification screen more useful than touch ID. To see your important notifications just look at your phone and they will be visible. This was not possible on TouchID.