Face ID is awesome, quick and easy. But it’s not as seamless as Apple promises.
Initial reviews are in for the new Apple iPhone X, the first of its kind to offer facial ID unlock of the phone, and the first round of critics are finding that it usually works — but not always.
—CNET: “Face ID did recognize me most of the time but sometimes, every once in a while, it didn’t,” said CNET’s Scott Stein.
—Washington Post: Face ID “worked nine times out of ten,” said the Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler. “It recognized me in the dark, and when I put on sunglasses — but not when, in the interest of science, I put on a fake beard.”
—Business Insider tested Face ID with a set of twins–successfully. One of the twins got through, while the other was locked out. “The two siblings told me that even some of their family members can’t tell them apart, yet Face ID was able to map a face accurately enough to tell the difference,” wrote Business Insider’s Steve Kovach.
—The Verge: For the Verge’s Nilay Patel, the issue was holding the phone too far away. Apple recommends 10 to 20 inches away, he says.
“That’s closer than I usually hold my phone when I pull it out of my pocket to check something, which means I have to actively think about holding the iPhone X closer to my face than every other phone I’ve ever used.”
—Tom’s Guide. “I had no problem unlocking the iPhone X with my face in a very dim bar and even at night in bed in total darkness, but for some reason, Face ID got tripped up on an elevator,” wrote Mark Spoonauer. “I needed to enter my passcode to activate Face ID, even though I hadn’t deactivated it.”
—The Independent, David Phelan, “Is it 100 per cent reliable? No, but it’s pretty close. The only times it didn’t recognize me were when it was lying flat on the table and I was leaning in too close. It needs to see your eyes, nose and mouth to work.
—Digital Trends: “It works well most of the time, but it’s still not as fast and reliable as Touch ID — which lets you unlock your phone as you draw it out of your pocket,” wrote Julian Chokkattu. “In a few instances, it just wouldn’t recognize our face, forcing us to use the PIN code or try again. It’s also annoying that even after the iPhone X recognizes your face, you still need to swipe up from the bottom to get to the home screen — it should already take you there.”
The iPhone goes on sale in stores Friday.