Last year Google did an Apple and removed the fingerprint sensor from their flagship phones, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, instead opting for a Face Unlock that used their radar cameras at the top of the display. Now it seems it is broken for many users.
There are multiple reports on Reddit and Google’s own support forums that a recent update has broken Face Unlock, making it unreliable and non-functional on most attempts. When attempting to unlock the phone displays a message at the bottom of the display telling the users to “Clean the top of your screen, including the black bar”.
Face Unlock will still work a small percentage of the time for some it is fully broken at all times for others. A reboot will solve the issue for some users but not all and re-enrolling the face will often not work at all either — in 2020 with masks either compulsory or encouraged (depending on where you live) a face unlock option is next to useless anyway.
Google have commented that the issue has been fixed and that fix would roll out with the November update but many users are still experiencing these issues even after updating their devices. We are yet to experience this on the Ausdroid Pixel 4 phones but it is certainly out in the wild given the volume of reports.
Hopefully Google can figure out this bug quickly as it would be annoying to have the only biometric sensor on a phone not functional — maybe they should have included a fingerprint sensor as well? Let us know in the comments below if you are experiencing this issue and if there is any way you have found to circumvent the bug.