24 November 2021
Since the release last month, Google's Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been well received in different aspects except for fingerprint scanners. A number of users have complained on Reddit and other online platforms about the unreliability and sluggish performance while trying to unlock the smartphone. Google has finally offered an official response but it is not what you might have been hoping for.
The official Twitter account for Made by Google responded to a user's tweet acknowledging that the Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner can be slow at unlocking the device. It added that this is not exactly a performance issue and is actually an intentional behavior. Google says the fingerprint scanner utilizes "enhanced security algorithms" to recognize the device owner. This is what results in the phone taking some time to verify and getting unlocked.
We're sorry for the hassle. The Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor utilizes enhanced security algorithms. In some instances, these added protections can take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor. Try troubleshooting steps: https://t.co/uTbifE5Uyo. Thanks. ^Levi— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) November 6, 2021
This is pretty much what Google has said so far. It cited algorithms to justify the slow performance but did not explain what exactly those algorithms are or how do they work. It did share a link to the official support page for troubleshooting steps to improve the performance. However, those are actually your standard ones like ensuring that your finger is clean, you are using the same finger that you registered, placing the finger correctly, etc.
Some have speculated that the Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner is slow as it is an optical in-display fingerprint and not the more advanced ultrasonic one. But then we have devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro that have optical tech but end up unlocking the phone much faster than the latest Pixel. Google's current response suggests that it will not be rolling out any fix but if its stand changes in the future, we will keep you posted.