While the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are off to a good start, it seems that some of the phone’s warts are starting to pop up. Those flaws don’t seem to be as bad as previous Pixel phones, though there still seems to be some minor issues with the screen. The most vocal complaints, however, come with the weirdest issues, all of them revolving around the Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor. Although Google pretty much brushed off complaints about its speed, it seems there is at least one bug that couldn’t be explained away so easily.
The initial complaint that Pixel 6 owners had with the fingerprint sensor was that it was slow or unreliable, sometimes requiring multiple attempts before an enrolled print is recognized. Google explained that its advanced security algorithms might impact the speed or performance of the sensor, implying that it’s a known and expected tradeoff. Whether or not it plans to actually address that to improve the situation is still unknown.
That, however, holds no water compared to these new reports from Pixel 6 owners. It seems that there are a growing number of people saying that the fingerprint scanner stopped working altogether at some point, and they all have only one thing in common. The phone apparently fully discharged, and the in-screen fingerprint scanner simply started to fail after the Pixel 6 rebooted.
Trying to re-enroll fingerprints proved to be pointless, as the sensor seems to be unable to properly process fingerprints at all. The only proven solution is, unfortunately, to do a factory reset. That means wiping your phone clean and starting from scratch, just to get secure authentication working again.
That does suggest that this is at least a software problem that can be fixed by an update that should probably be rolled out immediately. It still boggles the mind, however, why draining the battery would have such an effect. Considering this is Google’s first in-display fingerprint scanner, it could be forgiven for a few missteps. That said, the technology isn’t completely new, so it’s still surprising and disappointing that it would mess up on something that has become a basic smartphone feature by now.