Does The Galaxy S23 Have Face ID? All The Ways You Can Unlock The Phone

Samsung‘s Galaxy S23 series comes with plenty of features for users to play around with, but does that also include Face ID? Facial recognition technology was popularized by Apple when it launched the iPhone X with Face ID in 2017. Since then, all subsequent flagship iPhones have shipped with facial recognition technology. Face unlock has also been available as a native Android feature for years, but it’s not as secure as Apple’s Face ID.


Like previous Galaxy S-series models, all devices in the Galaxy S23 lineup come with facial recognition technology that allows users to unlock them by just pointing the screen at their face. While many other Android vendors also offer a face unlock option in their smartphones and tablets, the underlying technology used in iPhones and Android devices is vastly different, and there are some restrictions on what can and cannot be done with it in the Galaxy S23. To use the facial recognition feature in a Galaxy S23 series device, users will first need to set a PIN, Pattern, or Password.

Related: Does The Galaxy S23 Need A Case? What You Need To Know

Face Unlock Limitations On The Galaxy S23

The Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra, showing their rear cameras
Image: Samsung

Once that’s done, go to ‘Settings,’ tap ‘Security and privacy,’ and then select ‘Biometrics.’ Now simply tap ‘Face recognition’ and then enter the PIN, password, or pattern to confirm identity. Once that’s done, hit ‘Continue’ and then hold the phone 8-20 inches away in a way that the face is positioned inside the on-screen circle. Hold the position until the progress bar reaches 100 percent and follow on-screen instructions to register the face on the device. Once the face is registered, users can unlock their phone just by looking at it.

While face unlock offers convenience, there are a few things that users need to be aware of. Unlike Face ID in iPhones that uses dedicated hardware like a dot projector, a flood illuminator, and an infrared camera, the facial recognition technology in the Galaxy S23 (and most Android phones) only uses the front-facing camera. In additional to facial recognition, all Galaxy S23 series devices also have an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner that uses specialized hardware placed underneath the screen to identify the legitimate owner, enabling them to unlock the device, access compatible apps, authorize transactions, and more.

The lack of dedicated face unlock hardware makes the facial recognition technology in the Galaxy S23 series devices relatively less secure, meaning it can only be used to unlock the device and not to access banking apps and other high-security features. To approve payments in apps or do most other things that require biometric authentication, users will still have to use the fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S23, as it’s far more secure than the software-based face recognition.

Using biometric security isn’t a requirement, though. Galaxy S23 owners always have the option to choose a different method for protecting the contents of their phone. Samsung allows smartphone owners to unlock their phones by PIN, pattern, and passwords. For the first option, users must create a unique PIN containing 4-16 numbers that they’ll have to punch in every time they unlock the phone. Similarly, they can create a password of 4-16 characters. The difference between these two is that the latter must contain at least one letter, and can also include symbols. With the pattern security method, users must draw a shape on the screen by connecting at least four dots in the provided grid.

Source: Samsung

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