back to article First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Just as it was hard for courtiers to tell the Emperor he wasn't wearing anything, the first iPhone X phondlers won't admit that Face ID will frustrate owners and make them work hard just to unlock the phone without a PIN. The reviewers don't want to spoil the fairytale. Face ID is Apple's new and incredibly complex face …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

    A PIN number.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      Yeah, let's not pretend that Touch ID is super reliable. On my previous 5s and 6, and on my current 6s*, it's probably one time in five that Touch ID fails and just becomes the much more long-winded way that I get to entering my PIN. I'll bet Face ID works just as well as Touch ID ever did.

      * guess when I moved out of iOS development.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      > A PIN number

      That's much better better...

      Touch ID works pretty well actually, given the fallback to a more-secure-than-I-would-otherwise-use PIN... A fallback which is compulsory on power-on, or after a significant period of not having used the device (I can't recall if the timeout is configurable).

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        The HTC equivalent of fingerprint unlock is about 99.9% reliable. Damp or oily fingures send me to the pin. I am not sure what this whole face ID thing is for to be honest. If you didn't want to touch the phone (usually with my right thumb, conveniently as thats the digit in the right place) then why would ytou want to unlock it.

        I like the whole Android thing where if its within spitting distance of my car or headphones then its just unlocked. Feels a bit insecure to me though so never bothered setting it up. If I lived in my car or had headphones glued to my head then maybe I would. There might be a market for an implant . .

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        @John Robson except that a PIN is something you know (secret), whereas TouchID and FaceID are something you are (identity that can't be changed).

        Fingerprints and facial recognition are the equivalent of user names, not passwords or PINs.

        1. Lamont Cranston

          Re: "something you are"

          My 2012 Nexus 7 had a facial recognition unlock option, that would fail if I decided to grow out (or shave off) my beard. Don't think it was too fond of me sometimes wearing glasses, either. The novelty wore off pretty quick.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      A number number?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      Facial recognition worked just fine on Windows Phone over a year ago. How can apple screw up so badly?

      1. NeilPost

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        Everything else sucked though.... before you even get to the dearth of popular applications

      2. MiniVan
        Flame

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        They have more than 5 faces to detect.

      3. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        How can apple screw up so badly?

        1) Let's make a phone out of glass!

        2) Let's charge sheep customers over $1000 for it!

        3) Let's charge same sheep customers over $200 when the glass breaks!

        4) Let's pretend that it has awesome features that we sort of nicked off other inventors.

        5) Screw the fact that most of 4) does not work.

        Just sit back, wait and by God how quickly the money rolls in ..

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: How can apple screw up so badly?

          You forgot

          6) Different SIM (or none so Apple can be in control and make swapping phones or operators harder

          7) No SD card

          8) Have to use iTunes instead of Mass Storage to transfer music or photos

          9) No FM radio, even though you can buy a WiFi Chip with it "free". Cheaper phones have great FM radios

          10) Bad aerial designs, because they care more about their concept of appearance

          11) Bad design of Touch controller IC mounting

          12) Blocking 3rd party repairs

          13) Difficult to replace batteries

          14) Charghing for 2nd year warrenty in EU, where SOGA gives two years

          15) two to five times profit margin on phones compared to similar feature/quality others.

          16) 3.5mm phone jack, compatible cheaply with EVERYTHING and can easily be higher quality than Bluetooth (which needs another pair of codecs). The transducer to eardrum is an analogue signal.

          17) No SD card slot.

          My Sony Xperia has standard SIM, replacable cell, SD slot and is thinner, better signal than similar era iPhone.

          My Wristwatch phone works on Roaming, has micro SIM, Micro SD card, camera, voice recording, bluetooth control of phone media and camera, earphone option, media playback (internal or phone), works as handsfree for phone and makes two way calls ON ITS OWN, without a phone mothership (only GSM, but it is a five year old design and under $30).

          Apple stuff is fairly decent, up to iPhone 6. Now they are taking the piss. Interesting how well iPhone 6 sells. Same on newer model Mac Pro (aka waste bin). They have lost the fact that it must not just look nice and review good, but actually WORK!

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: How can apple screw up so badly?

            @Mage

            I agree with you but you are pushing it a bit to have both (7) and (17)

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          I've not had an Iphone since the 4, but I liked the glass back.

          Also you can't have wireless charging with a metal back - a minor irritation with my current phone ( Nokia 6 ) is that it doesn't have wireless charging.

      4. coolcity

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        @ Anonymous Content

        Yes I agree, Face Recognition, invented by Apple this year, works perfectly well on the Windows Phone I bought two years ago (not sure why anybody would mark that down). You did have to get used to holding it at a certain distance but it worked well for me in most lighting functions including sunlight and complete darkness but I still find it quicker and easier to use a PIN.

        Kind of obvious it's always going to struggle to get a focus lock quickly when you're moving of course, but yes, it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          wireless charging, Apple invented this year, has also been working on my windows phones for the past 5 years

      5. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        Does the Windows version work with a photo of your face? The Apple version is supposed to not work if you do that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          The Sony tech is proper 3d scan.

          https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/26/sony-to-demo-3d-face-biometric-running-on-xperia-smartphone/

        2. coolcity

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          @katrinab

          No it doesn't. I was actually very impressed with it, although I still find it quicker and easier to use a PIN. It's easier on a static system but the same system on the Surface computers I have seen, and on my Dell desktop, is incredibly fast.

        3. cosmogoblin
          Joke

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          Does the Windows version work with a photo of your face? The Apple version is supposed to not work if you do that.

          Well since it doesn't work with a real face, I see no reason it would work with a photo!

        4. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          Does the Windows version work with a photo of your face? The Apple version is supposed to not work if you do that.

          I can't comment on the Windows version, but my old Galaxy SIII required you to blink when prompted as some proof that it was looking at a real person.

          Pretty easy to fool with a mask or eyeholes with another sheet of paper behind, but at least a plain photo wouldn't work.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        Something worked on Windows Phone?

        Android has had face unlock for many years and it's worked pretty well, Sony demonstrated a much advanced 3d scanning tech 6 months ago,

        https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/26/sony-to-demo-3d-face-biometric-running-on-xperia-smartphone/

        So yes, how on earth did Apple screw up? We all know the answer, they bet on the wrong tech (under display fingerprint sensor), it didn't work out, and face unlock was the only path left open to them and they had zero time to perfect it, by the time they found out the original option was a non-starter, the rest of the hardware design was already done, and they couldn't miss the upgrade cycle/Xmas deadlines, so just shipped what they had, iPhone owners are either too stupid or too conditioned to care.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          The Windows system is the same as apple's, just the previous version. Infrared iris scan, couldn't be filled by a photo, as you need the heat signature as well.

          The Android system just used the normal front camera, which is why it could be easily fooled by photos. I used that on my old galaxy when it was first released, but it was pretty hopeless.

          The Windows, and Apple, system is more secure than the old Android one, but the failure rate is very high, when the lighting isn't perfect.

          1. Dr Mantis Toboggan
            Facepalm

            Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

            Lol the old "android system". You know android isn't hardware? Android is thousands of devices, all different, all different abilities. Someone already posted an android device that does 3d face scanning....

            Some people.....

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

              The 3D face scanning on the Sony is new (2017), the photo-face recognition was PURE Android and came out half a decade ago as part of Google's new features (2012?) and none of the devices back then had a 3D camera, just a normal front-facing camera. It was proven to be fooled by a photograph within a couple of days of release...

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        "How can apple screw up so badly?"

        Testing - automate everything they said, no more expensive manual testing they said......

    5. Colin Tree

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      Iris scan ?

      fingerprint scan ?

      pin number ?

      swipe pattern ?

      voice ?

      any of the above ?

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        NFC implant?

    6. steve 124

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      Know what doesn't work as good as Face ID?

      Mr. Orlowski's editor: "Just it was hard for courtiers"

      ^

      missing "as"

      Couldn't resist.

      ~grammar nazi

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        "Know what doesn't work as good as Face ID?"

        That's "as well", Mr. nazi

    7. Steve Channell
      Facepalm

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      Facial recognitions on phones is boring once you get past the humour of people thinking your looking at porno.. I only use the face recognition on on mu Lumia 950 when drunk

    8. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      I had this type of face recognition on my old Lumia (I think it uses a previous generation of the same sensor, as Apple have bought the company that Microsoft used for its sensors). The results in the reviews corroborate the experience I had.

      In a normal room (not wearing my glasses), the unlock was reliable. Put glasses, sunlight or florescent light into the equation and the whole thing is hit and miss. I switched to just using the PIN as it was quicker and more reliable.

    9. A.A.Hamilton

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      3.1415926..... for example?

      1. the future is back!

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        No periods

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      I'm surprised so many upvoted you.

      In the context of comparison: someone can view you entering your PIN number, no matter how long, from which they can then steal your phone and have unlimited access.

      They can't do this with your face, without restoring to extreme violence and removing your head to carry with them. Less extreme example for your finger of choice for touchID.Thus:

      Face recognition, for all its faults, is safer than simply solely using a PIN.

      1. elgarak1

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        "Face recognition, for all its faults, is safer than simply solely using a PIN."

        Not entirely true. Say you're crossing the border in or out of the US. The border patrol agents can take your phone, hold it up to your face, and it unlocks. They can then proceed and go through your stuff. Legally.

        With a PIN or passphrase, it gets a whole lot more complicated for these agents.

        1. Naselus

          Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

          "The border patrol agents can take your phone, hold it up to your face, and it unlocks."

          Provided the lighting is right, and they're holding it about 50cm from your face, and you're not wearing glasses or have an unusually dense amount of stubble that day, and they have the angle just right...

          Actually, I think the problem is more that, while a PIN can be stolen giving anyone access to your phone, FaceID doesn't even let YOU into it under most circumstances...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

            Oh, don't worry, the lighting will be good and they will hold YOUR HEAD within the limits of FaceID.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

            "The border patrol agents can take your phone, hold it up to your face, and it unlocks."

            It won't if you close one eye... Or open your mouth wide, etc etc...

      2. tfb Silver badge

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        But there are regimes (including the US I think) where they can't force you to reveal a password (without going through hoops) but they *can* force you to touch your phone. And I'm quite sure they can hold your phone in front of your face.

        So, not so clear then.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

        Whilst I'm surprised at the downvotes!

        I work in development for Android and can't bash Apple on this occasion! Having no home button means that to maintain security the primary method should be one that a hacker or thief has minimal chance of reproducing. A PIN on your debitcard is as vulnerable to an over the shoulder attack. Someone steals your phone with the PIN can then proceed to do whatever they want!

        Have an upvote from me and ignore the apple-haters, who would hate almost anything they produced out of some bizarre ethos of anti-corporative ethos. Apple hardware and security methods are excellent. I wish I could say the same of Android. Keep in mind I aid development of the core Android OS!

    11. the future is back!

      Re: Do you know what works better than Face ID and Touch ID?

      The thumb print dimple is perfect for me when finding my [SE] in the dark or or in my pocket. Not that I unlock with the thumbprint, mind you. Pin only. In certain static situations (like perched above a desk, or for handicapped users, or at the beach in Cancun partying with the trend setters), Face ID will be useful but I have no problem with a Pin at all, in fact see it as more secure.

      I AM anticipating applications that can leverage the tech for 3D modeling in DIY manufacturing and printing. Let the emoji obsessed fund the development say I. Real usage will develop as Apple scrambles to get it right.

  2. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Big Brother

    We expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication...

    And so does the police...

    Though i'm not sure if it's still able to recognize you after being beaten to a pulp by the plods...

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: We expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication...

      hehe hehe hehe you said facial...

      1. malle-herbert Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: you said facial...

        Would you rather I said fecal ?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: you said facial...

          ..no that would be a crap joke.

        2. Dave Pickles

          Re: you said facial...

          Maybe that's what the poo emoji is for...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget the gimmicks-facial recognition just create a £699 (or there abouts) iPhone XE.

    I'd happily lose the facial ID for just the PIN and a full edge to edge screen.

    There are obviously too many people looking to justify their job at Apple and forgetting the bigger picture. A PIN alone would have worked until they got the 'anywhere' screen touch ID to work.

    I'd prefer a secure iPhone XE with just a PIN, if it's all the same. Simple, secure enough and it works every time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forget the gimmicks-facial recognition just create a £699 (or there abouts) iPhone XE.

      I'd happily lose the facial ID for just the PIN and a full edge to edge screen.

      There are obviously too many people looking to justify their job at Apple and forgetting the bigger picture.

      I saw what you did there :).

      Personally, the facial thing ruins it for me. I was interested in the new phone as it holds new ideas, but I'll probably get the 8, also because it looks less "look at me, I have the latest". I like iOS and what it does, but I must admit I have never been put off so much by new tech than when they demonstrated the face emoji thing. No thanks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forget the gimmicks-facial recognition just create a £699 (or there abouts) iPhone XE.

      In the context of comparison: someone can view you entering your PIN number, no matter how long, from which they can then steal your phone and have unlimited access.

      They can't do this with your face, without resorting to extreme violence and removing your head to carry with them. Less extreme example for your finger of choice for touchID.Thus:

      Face recognition, for all its faults, is safer than simply solely using a PIN.

    3. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: full edge to edge screen.

      a) The GLASS may go to the edge. Even at the sides the IMAGE does NOT.

      b) The NOTCH is a gimmick. The extra screen either side of the camera notch is useless for web or documents, only good for a couple of touch buttons or status indicators.

      No Apple phone has an Edge to Edge image screen. Putting the glass to the edge is stupidity as it makes connections less reliable and the glass more prone to damage.

      Though people put stupid "rubber bumper" and other covers on their iPhones. I regard a phone that needs a bumper as a design fail. My Nokias, Sagem and now Sony phone have all survived dropping, except the E65 didn't like immersion in water. Pity. Actually I had an iPhone 4s, S/H, it survived dropping too. Gave it to a friend recently.

  4. Rob Moir

    I'm really happy with my iPhone 8. It all works well, screen looks good to me, camera works great, system very quick.

    I can't justify the money for an iPhone X to myself and I will freely admit to being an Apple enthusiast normally. There are some ideas in the X that might work really well one year but I'm not convinced that year is now. Next year isn't looking promising either. I just don't think I'd like Face ID very much, and I actually find Touch ID to work very well in all circumstances for me, and lets be honest, falling back to PIN is hardly the end of the world either.

    What if the iPhone 8 turns out to be a better iPhone than the iPhone X. Given how Google seems to also have a few problems with the Pixel 2 (I helped my step-daughter buy a Google Pixel last year, lovely phone but I just don't like Android personally) and Samsung's recent problems, maybe the pace to keep up with each other on on systems that aren't about to have a fundamental change just yet isn't helping.

    1. Blotto Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      @Rob Moir

      its not like the X is a lot more than the 8.

      your paying £949 for the equivalent iphone 8 to the x's screen size and no point not going 256GB drive. You save a not insubstantial £200 but your spending £949 anyway so you must be able to justify that extra £200 if you can justify £949.

      if you're buying the basic iPhone 8 @ £699 & 64GB drive its not the same beast, as the X and not worth comparing. Its like buying a BMW 1 series and complaining about the cost of the M3 and that you couldn't possibly justify it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " Its like buying a BMW 1 series and complaining about the cost of the M3 and ..."

        Ahh, the old tried and true BMW comparison. Nothing is more understood by the common man. I typically like to go further and reach out to even the third worlders with yatch* comparisons.

        *(No Gandhi, it's not a yatch if it's only 200ft. long!)

        1. techdead
          Facepalm

          what is a *yatch* and can i buy one from Apple?

  5. HxBro
    FAIL

    Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

    Same sort of issues.

    If it's not the right light it doesn't work, if it's not held at the right angle is doesn't work, if it's dirty it doesn't work.

    Basically it only works when I've taken the bumper case off and cleaned it (and put the bumper back on), sitting in a nicely lighted room, or for some unknown reason it unlocks when I'm eating breakfast on occasion - I think it's the way I hold my toast.

    1. Christopher Rogers

      Re: Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

      I actually moved to iris recognition and it works significantly better. The only problem I have found with it is when my glasses are filthy (which my kids ensure happens lots). But i do not need to be holding the phone in any unnatural way to make it work, it just does.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

        Out of curiosity, does any other phone (besides S8) offer iris recognition?

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

          "iris recognition?"

          Hello Mr. Yakamoto.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gimp

    I like Touch ID...

    ...it's always been utterly reliable on my iPhone 6 Plus, so I'm watching the impact of Face ID with interest. The sort of interest that lets others spend their £1000 first. Given the need to hold the phone up to your face for Face ID, vs no such need for Touch ID, I can't see how Face ID could be better. But perhaps for those more intimately involved in their phone's front facing camera, it just means that unlocking your phone will be yet another selfie pose, so perhaps it'll work ok for them.

    I've also reached 'peak phone' with my iPhone 6 Plus - it's thin enough, fast enough, has enough storage, a good enough camera, more than good enough screen - so I see no compelling reason to upgrade. I'm expecting to be in the minority here, though.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: I like Touch ID...

      Yiu will be made to upgrade - security patches will stop giving you choice of insecure phone or getting a new, more secure, phone.

      Or the other option, the updates cripple a once working phone as upgarde makes phone run like treacle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like Touch ID...

      Of course it'll be useful for the plod as all the X5, Q7 and Range Rover driving Shoreditch hipsters won't be able to tweet and text with the phone on their lap without holding it to their face to unlock

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: I like Touch ID...

      @teahound "I see no compelling reason to upgrade. I'm expecting to be in the minority here, though."

      If you're in the minority I'll join you and make that minority a bit bigger. I have a 6s+ and I rather like it. Touch ID works well, the camera is good enough for my needs and I easily get a day of use from a charge based on my usage pattern. I looked at the 7 in the local Fanboi Boutique(TM) and I wasn't that impressed. I haven't bothered looking at the 8 as it strikes me more as a 7S presented to be not a "S" incremental release. Since I'm just not ready for the brave innovation of removing the headphone socket I guess I'll stick to my 6S+ for another year.

    4. Christopher Rogers

      Re: I like Touch ID...

      To be fair, i thought i had hit peak phone with the Samsung S6, but the S8+ has been a bit of a revelation for me. The key point is the battery though. Its amazing how much more you do when you dont worry about battery life.

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    Biometric free options for me thanks

    I'm not unlocking a device of mine with my face, fingerprint or whatever. It may be more of a PITA, but I prefer a pass phrase.

    It also makes it harder for others to unlock my phone (e.g. US cops now allowed to try suspects fingers on phone to validate with touch ID)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pin/Phrase

    Fingerprint

    Face ID

    Where next? Will I have to lick my phone to unlock it in the future?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Joke

      May I suggest

      the iSmell ID option?

      On second thoughts, maybe not

    2. Jim 48

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI6Ci-fkFtA

      1. SmellyOdour

        https://youtu.be/m7xmCCTVS7Q?t=13s

    3. eswan

      Rectal scan.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Rectal scan

        They'll probably make an arse of that as well.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where next? Will I have to lick my phone to unlock it in the future?

      I think they abandoned the nostril scanner idea. In London it either got messed up by collected pollution or by people having colds on account of too much rain which required more waterproofing.

      Sorry, it's late here and I'm waiting for a backup to finish..

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Coat

        You're biting it wrong!

        Bite marks are also distinctive, and biting can be a healthy and natural channelling of aggressive instincts in deeds of senseless violence (perfectly natural behaviour for a Vogon), especially when it refuses to open by facial recognition.

        Sorry! I really should get me coat.

  9. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Trollface

    LOL

    Sorry but i have to smile a the ITax has gone up by more than my phone costs and reduced usability into the deal.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    So the conclusion is...

    Meh!

    We were led to believe that Apple had really cracked this Facial ID thingy. But it is a V1 release and those of us who have been around a while avoid V1 releases. It may turn out to be better than the technology used in the S8.

    I'll be waiting a year at least before even thinking about getting a phone with FacialID tech in it.

    All of us who have eschewed the S8 and iPhone X 'upgrades' will be sitting pretty if not a bit smug.

    It is still a bit Meh though and you can hold it wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "

      "It may turn out to be better than the technology used in the S8."

      The S8 uses retinal scans and works just fine for me.

  11. Fuzz

    Same as the Lumia 950

    When the Lumia 950 came out I tried out the face unlock. It seemed pretty cool until you realise you have to hold the phone closer to your face than you would in regular use and very quickly I turned it off and went back to using a PIN. I'm sure the iPhone X is better than the Lumia, it's a much newer more sophisticated system but it looks to have the same basic flaws (wrong kind of light, holding it wrong etc.)

    Even if they work these problems out it's never going to be as good as a fingerprint in some situations.

    Apple pay, in the car when the phone is in a holder and when the phone is on your desk at arms length. I've not used Apple's fingerprint reader but I'm assuming it's as quick as the one on my OP5, in that case everyone who upgrades from the 7 to the X are going to be very dissapointed with this aspect of the phone.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Same as the Lumia 950

      Strictly speaking, the Lumia had iris recognition, not face recognition.

      And honestly speaking, it didn't really work. Doubly so if you wear glasses. Even when it did work, the tiny delay between registering and unlocking was far longer than just using a fingerprint sensor, and that's without considering that you can start the sensor's job as you're taking the device out of your pocket.

      Some Windows laptops and tablets support a far superior face ID system from Intel which uses a secondary IR-spectrum camera as well as the laptop's front-facing one. In this, it's like Apple's system. Where it differs is that, as far as I have read, the laptop setup works reliably.Hardly a surprise, as Intel and the PC OEMs are using the technology appropriately: you're usually looking straight at a laptop when you want to log in to it, so facial recognition can genuinely save time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same as the Lumia 950

        "Strictly speaking, the Lumia had iris recognition, not face recognition"

        No, "Windows Hello" is full facial recognition.

        1. Another Developer

          Re: Same as the Lumia 950

          Windows Hello covers a range of biometrics depending on the device; face, fingerprint & iris. For the Lumia 950 it was iris and I'm looking at the setting page on it right now where it says so to check that! Face recognition on my Surface works almost every time, love it.

      2. coolcity

        Re: Same as the Lumia 950

        @ Kristian Walsh

        Sorry but the facial recognition system works very well ok my Lumia 950, in all types of light and with dark or with mirrored lens sunglasses on, which surprised me but I assume used the infra red light to do that.

        You do have to hold it at a fairly precise close distance but once you're used to doing that it works for me every single time, except if I have my reading takes on. I can understand that because that changes what the camera sees slightly by during and magnifying it.

        It's not instant though and can take a second or two. The thing with the Lumia is the PIN code option is right there on screen if you prefer to use that instead.

        I just don't think it's right that Apple once again get the credit for introducing/inventing the system. I've read a number of reviews that mention the S8 but never mention the fact that Microsoft had face recognition two years ago

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          @coolcity - Re: Same as the Lumia 950

          Where Microsoft (or rather Microsoft and Intel) did have face recognition two years ago was in the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and all subsequent devices. I've seen that system in action, and it's really good - I'd go as far as saying it's faster than fingerprint reading, especially if you've just opened up the laptop.

          Lumia's system was "iris recognition". Neither my wife nor I could get it to work. We both wear prescription glasses full-time, though, and I think that's the major factor that separates your experience from ours.

          For a phone, I think fingerprint is probably the quickest, simply because you can get a head-start on unlocking the phone as you're picking it up or taking it from a pocket. It's not really a surprise that Apple has ditched an ergonomically good mechanism in favour of a much more complex and less useful one that sounds better right up until you use it... it's their modus operandi these days.

          1. coolcity

            Re: @coolcity - Same as the Lumia 950

            @ Kristian Walsh

            Yes I agree, I wear glasses for reading and they do fool the system on the Lumia into not working most of the time. It's no doubt because the image is distorted by the glasses because it does work fine without or with my sunglasses which don't have prescription lens so are relatively flat lens.

            From the comments I have read here though it certainly sounds as though it's better than iPhone's version, and actually seems to work better/faster in the dark using the infra red, maybe due to a lack of reflected light from elsewhere, I don't know. But as I've said I still prefer to use the PIN code.

  12. D Moss Esq

    Granted but ...

    ... Face ID is still fine for little things like authorising payments and granting access to secure areas and letting the surgeon into the operating theatre.

    Only the British police could be so plodding as still to believe that "the technology is not yet at the maturity where it could be deployed" (para.95).

  13. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Hmmm

    David Phelan over at the Independent says in his review that he had his test X for a whole week. Maybe it's just in the US that the 24hr thing applies?

    He loves the face recognition btw only reporting that his sunglasses foiled it. Not his normal glasses or contacts or no glasses or contacts though. Works with some sunglasses, apparently.

    Of course as mentioned using any phone in bright sunlight with darkened glasses is very hard anyway. I have reactive lenses and have to lift the glasses up in sunlight to see anything at all.

  14. ratfox Silver badge

    The sad thing is that the only reason they went with face ID is that they wanted to have a full-face screen, they didn't manage to integrate the fingerprint sensor within the screen, and they balked at copying from Android the quite convenient fingerprint sensor on the back of the device.

    If anybody needs a proof of how much they were willing to compromise to have an full-face screen, you only have to look at the ridiculous notches at the top of the screen. In my opinion, the fact that they went with face ID is a second proof.

  15. Tim99 Silver badge
    Gimp

    10"- 20"

    I'm a pensioner with sub-standard eyesight, and an iPhone 6. I just held my phone at the distance from my face that I use for Touch ID and then to read the phone; the first distance is roughly 25" and the second is about 15". I can't read the screen in bright sunlight, and feel like a prat using Siri outside, so Facial ID would probably work OK for me. The main problem that I can see is that I am unlikely to spend £1,000 on the new phone when I would expect my 6 to last another 2 years.

    According to Apple, Face ID is designed not to work unless the phone is roughly in front of you and your eyes are open, so if you are nicked, try to keep your eyes closed if the officer starts waving it in front of you.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: 10"- 20"

      "The main problem that I can see is that I am unlikely to spend £1,000 on the new phone..."

      Sentence complete.

      Because, seriously, that's two laptops and a phone to me. Or a laptop, a phone and a tablet. Or a phone, a year's worth of box-sets, and enough chocolate to kill myself.

      I honestly don't get the fascination for these substandard devices. If you gave me one, if I won one in a competition, I'd sell it and buy something else and pocket the change.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: 10"- 20"

        You don't drink? Just sit around watching box sets and eating chocolate . . .

        You will get loads more down-votes on here if you start drinking as well :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10"- 20"

          You don't drink? Just sit around watching box sets and eating chocolate

          He's going to be one big boy with that lifestyle.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: 10"- 20"

            One does not purchase drink.

            One merely rents it for a short period of time.

  16. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Face ID is a solution...

    ...but not to the problem of unlocking a phone. I can just pick up my 6s and it's unlocked before I look at it. This can be done discreetly. Holding a device 25-50 cm directly in front of my face fails on both convenience and discretion. IMHO, anyway,

  17. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    swipe unlock is all I need

    Strange to me to see/hear about so many people talking about how they want their device locked, or encrypted, fingerprint sensors etc, but then so many of the same people install apps on their phone with slurp their data or spy on their location etc.

    The only reason my Galaxy note 3 daily driver has a pass code on it is because I needed to install a 3rd party cert to sync with my personal server, and android requires installing a lock in order to do that (not sure why). It also reminds me (on bootup) that my device could be snooped on because I installed this cert (a cheap wildcard ssl cert from comodo).

    I never do any banking on my phone, and any purchase activity is typically limited to the google store(pretty rare these days) where I use virtual credit cards generated on my laptop (Bank of America uses a Flash app to generate them).

    I've never lost my phone, never had it stolen, last phone that broke down for me was 2005. So I'm more concerned about remote data slurping than I am someone physically getting at my device. I use my 2nd Note 3 (and Note 4) for apps that I'm curious about that ask for more permissions than I'm willing to give on my main device (and neither device has access to my internal networks, my wifi is on a separate port on my firewall - also those devices are not linked to my personal or work email/etc). If I need the 2nd Note 3 with me and it needs network access then I fire up the hotspot on my primary device to get it online.

    Just bought a Sony XZ1 (Pink) for my girlfriend - and while it apparently has a fingerprint sensor Sony disables it via software in the U.S. Her current and previous phones had no fingerprint sensors either(no pass codes either), so I guess we agree on that bit.

    Only reason I'd use just swipe to unlock is to help prevent accidental unlocks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: swipe unlock is all I need

      The only reason I have a lock on my phone is so if someone pinches it they can't use it easily.

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: swipe unlock is all I need

        Do what I do and own a Windows Phone. No risk of someone pinching it so I don't even have a lock on it.

      2. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: swipe unlock is all I need

        The only reason I have a lock on my phone is so if someone pinches it they can't use it easily.

        The problem with this was emphasised by my finding a phone left behind by someone in a public space not too long ago (left on top of a catalogue in an Argos...) Only thing I could (and did) do was hand it in, and hope that they would realise where they left it and come back for it.

        If I had been able to get in, a quick call to "home", "mum", "dad", "wife" or whatever could have ensured that somebody connected to the owner knew where it was.

        I would have thought that a "dial home" option would be a useful thing for phones to have, even if locked.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. JimS

    Does it work in the dark?

    I'm quite often out and about at night where there's almost no light at all (no, I'm not carrying duct tape, a stanley blade or a balaclava (well the last one depends on the temperature!)), will it turn on a torch and ruin my night vision for me as well?

    No thanks Apple, even you're touch ID is bloody annoying and temperamental at the best of times. If you're not a coffee shop dwelling hipster that is.

    They (tech firms collectively, not just Apple) need a new tag line, something like "Technology without thought" would suit most of them at the moment.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Does it work in the dark?

      In THRY*, it (a) works in the dark (b) without blinding you, because the face reader uses infrared from an IR emitter that is built in for that purpose.

      * But we all know that "theory" is a four-letter word...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it work in the dark?

      “Your”, not “you’re”! Jesus, you don’t deserve a decent phone if you can’t write English.

      1. JimS
        Headmaster

        Re: Does it work in the dark?

        Posted in a hurry.

        From an iPhone that auto-corrected itself.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg Apple news...

    ...as usual. Pretty sure it’ll work fine. Like all the other times ElReg said Apple was broken...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg Apple news...

      Actually the Reg, not being sent a review unit, largely just lifted quotes from an article on The Verge... ...and then proceeded to mock the Verge and a member of its staff. Stylish.

  20. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

    Couldn't they buy the technolody from whoever build Nexus 4

    I think it was LG, but I might be wrong. You had the option of still eyes or blinking to avoid people unlocking it using pictures. It used to work fine, I asked other people to test it and not a single false positive. It would have been cheaper and more reliable than reinventing a buckled wheel

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  22. John Sanders
    WTF?

    Apple...

    Is holding the youtubers the wrong way.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Apple...

      "youtubers"? Are those some sort of potato?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Apple...

        Couch potatoes. Obviously.

      2. PNGuinn
        Holmes

        Re: Apple...

        ""youtubers"? Are those some sort of potato?"

        No, spuds are MY tubers. Couldn't give a yam what yours are.

  23. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Innovation vs "innovation"

    The last several phone generations -- both Android and iOS -- have been woefully short on actual innovation, and long on the sort that gets enclosed in quote marks.

    Are we really supposed to get all tingly about a slightly smaller bezel? A half-baked biometric unlock? Onscreen vs physical buttons? Crappy "assistants" that have to upload your entire @#$% life to some cloud server, in order to surface marginally useful information that you could have easily gotten anyway?

    Maybe we've hit peak smartphone. Or maybe manufacturers have stopped trying, because the margins suck (Android) or they just no longer feel the need (Apple). Whichever the case, there hasn't been a "new" phone in years; just incremental re-hashes of existing designs, at ever increasing price points.

    /rant

    1. Paul Chambers

      Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

      It's worse than no more actual innovation, it's things getting worse.

      I'd still like a micro sd card slot, and a replaceable battery, please. Replaceable battery particularly. I know a number of people with phones that they are perfectly happy with, but they are getting rid of because of failing battery. The more slimline and over glued the damn things are, the more eyewateringly expensive to repair or DIY replacement is impossible. Unibodies efficiently transfer shock into the internal components, and are normally hard as hell to get into to repair. Also, I find, innnovation like wireless charging cooks the battery and the phone internals and shortens life. At a battery fail every two years, the cost of ownership of a device priced at a grand is five hundred notes a year. That's bloody outrageous. Give me a nice flexible plastic click to open body, and I'll coat it in a shock absorbing case of my choice, and pop a tempered glass screen protector on so I only have to replace that, rather than my phone screen. I will still be able to get this into my pocket, or bag, so it's fine. It will also be big enough for me to be able to see, and not so slippy that I drop it or knock it off things every other time I try to pick it up. Note also, no curved backs to the phone for this reason.

      My phone is fine, my camera is fine, unlocking it with my miband2 [insert your preferred trusted bluetooth device here] is fine. I don't keep, or do anything *really* important on my phone, because you would have to be an idiot to think that any of them are in any sense secure. It runs cyanogenmod/lineageOS so is more up to date and less cluttered than most oem "enhanced" phones.

      My phone is really easy to teardown and re-assemble. That's the sort of innovation that I'd like please. I'd also like that conventional HD shaped screen, I don't want some sort of idiot tall thin widescreen so that i can strap it to my head and pretend that I'm not in the real world. There's far too much of that sort of thing going on in general, never mind for a communications device.

      If I have to hold a screen that close to my face, for facial recognition to work, I wont be able to read the screen. So, no thanks.

      Perhaps it's just me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

        At a battery fail every two years, the cost of ownership of a device priced at a grand is five hundred notes a year. That's bloody outrageous

        Well, there's your problem. Not the two year life span, but spending a grand on a bleeding phone. Get yourself a Xiaomi Note 4X, and see what £160 buys you. Admittedly a similar sized iPhone beats it on paper, but here in the real world the Xiaomi has a good camera, takes an SD card, has a monster battery that is a fiddle to replace, but isn't glued in (ten minutes to replace) , has an octa core processor, 3.5mm jack, full suite of GPS, compass, fingerprint sensor. Feels well built, works really well.

        Apple (and to an extent Samsung) have been really successful in one respect that they don't get much credit for: Stopping loyal customers realising what stonking value is coming from some quite large companies they've never heard of.

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

        "I don't keep, or do anything *really* important on my phone, because you would have to be an idiot to think that any of them are in any sense secure"

        So, out of curiosity - what non-phone device do you keep or do *really* important stuff on? Because whatever it is, you would have to be an idiot to think it is in any sense secure. Of course, it's entirely possible you only do that kind of thing wholly via traditional non-digital media - in which case I sincerely hope you own a bank-style vault in your basement, because the typical home safe is so bloody secure you can watch it getting broken into in ten different ways in ten minutes on Youtube.

        Now, where is my CinemaSins style "hahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahahaha" icon...?

        1. Paul Chambers

          Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

          "So, out of curiosity - what non-phone device do you keep or do *really* important stuff on? Because whatever it is, you would have to be an idiot to think it is in any sense secure."

          No, quite. When i said *really* important, I meant in context to me. Not "really" important stuff in the grander scheme of things. I accept that in order to have a degree of convenience in interacting with the modern world I will have to engage with devices and systems that are largely out of my control and understanding. My communcations profile does not merit a network of embedded agents passing memorised verbal coded messages across the globe. I am sceptical about devices like phones, that suddenly have to have permanently installed batteries, and may or may not be doing all manner of things for which I have not given an informed consent. There is much circumstantial evidence of us being violated (from a data perspective - see the facebook "listening in" controversy/conspiracy theory for example - and no, apart from trying it initially when it was released outside colleges, I do not log in to facebook).

          When I do online banking, bill paying, and anything involving confidential information or registrations, then I tend to use qubes and perform these more sensitive tasks in a disposable VM. At least that way I know that I'm not getting persistence and crosstalk/data leakage beyond the duration of the activity. Or at least I think i do...I've not checked every line of code. I am cautious, I am not important enough to be comprehensively locked down verifiably secure. It's a balance. I haven't tried routing these particular activities over Tor, for example. For a start it tends to be unusably slow at shifting data about, and secondly my inherent cynicism makes me assume that it's just a construct to highlight to the security services that you think that you might have something to hide, and they should scrutinise you more (which might help explain why it's so bloody slow). I'm not doing anything wrong, and I'm really not looking to make my life more difficult than it need be. So moderate sensible precautions is what I'm aiming for.

          I wont be doing these sorts of things on any phone, any time soon, i don't expect.

          YMMV.

      3. welshie1701

        Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

        You left out the still-as-yet-properly-justified move towards the extinction of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

    2. oldphart

      Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

      Yes, it is obviously very innovative to release a new phone which has IR-based facial recognition just like Windows 10 has on devices that have an IR camera. Works OK most of the time on a Surface Pro, which seems to be slightly better than on the iPhone. Innovation seems to be releasing something almost as good a year afterwards...

    3. SpiderPig

      Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

      None of the current "smartphone" manufacturers actually innovate anything. All they are involved in, especially Apple and Samsung, it's a "mine's bigger than yours" competition.

      Apple is a great one at "innovation" or should I say taking credit for stuff that already exists in other phones like, for example, internet access or email which the Nokia Communicators introduced in the late 90's around 10 years before the iPhone was ever released.

    4. jimbo60

      Re: Innovation vs "innovation"

      Ironically, some of the last real innovation was in the Nokia-made Windows phones. You can see what good that did for them...

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. unwarranted triumphalism

    Apple product doesn't work

    Must be a day ending in a 'y'.

  26. Ilsa Loving

    Less gimicks, more stability

    I wish Apple would go back to making a robust product instead of coming up with goofy gimicks. There are advanced facial recognition systems out there that cost millions of dollars and arn't completely reliable. It's arrogant for Apple to think they can get it working in a $1000 phone. It's a completely unnecessary feature that causes more problems than it solves, IMO.

    Meanwhile, I have had more problems with iOS 11 than I *ever* had with *any* previous version of iOS. I had to do a factory reset just to get my Beats BT headphones working properly again. I mean, come on, an apple phone having issues with apple headphones? Really?

    Meanwhile the Hey Siri feature has been completely broken with my car whereas it had worked perfectly in iOS 10. And Apple's support response was, "It's up to other vendors to be compatible with us." Yeah, I'll just rip out the entire stereo of my car and replace it then. TYVM.

    I think it's time Apple stopped being "courageous" with their product lines and go back to making products that weren't crap.

    1. SpiderPig

      Re: Less gimicks, more stability

      A Robust Apple is an oxymoron, they have never made a product that you could throw across a room and still have it work.

      1. Phil 54

        Re: Less gimicks, more stability

        I beg To differ....

        The Mac Classic

        1. Ivan Headache

          Re: Less gimicks, more stability

          And the original iMac that fell down the stairs.

    2. Flywheel Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Less gimicks, more stability

      I get the impression that Apple (and maybe others) are working through a list of biometric data that the Security Services are asking for. Every year, Apple add a new type of biometric capture system that helps GCHQ et al "complete the picture", and of course, punters rush out and buy.

      I confidently predict that when the ironically-pitched "XI" phone comes out (in honour of our new Chinese overlords) that the biometric capture of choice will be a DNA sampler, which coincidentally let the Police unlock your phone as they'll already have samples.

      How's *that* for conspiracy theory?!

  27. DougS Silver badge

    Having it for 24 hours doesn't leave much training time

    Just like Touch ID, after the initial setup it will take a bit of time to get really good. The only time I ever fail to instantaneously unlock my phone with Touch ID is if my fingers are wet. A quick wipe on my sleeve or whatever and it is good to go.

    Obviously I have no experience with Face ID (and neither does the author) but I applaud the Reg for trying to create some baseless FUD instead of reporting what everyone else is reporting - that the huge demand for it at launch has resulted in the stock price shooting to records highs in the past few days. Not that I think it is reasonable to bid up a stock based on high demand for a product Apple will struggle for months to supply in quantity sufficient to meet that demand due to a lack of sensors (and by the time they can meet demand people will probably say "eh, the new one is coming soon, I can wait another few months") but since when has anyone ever accused Wall Street of being reasonable?

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: Having it for 24 hours doesn't leave much training time

      Popularity doesn't equate to quality; just look at the Top 10 singles chart.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Having it for 24 hours doesn't leave much training time

        There's no way to measure the quality of Face ID yet since the phones don't get into consumer's hands until Friday. Which is why El Reg was a bit premature to try to start stirring up FUD over it. If it has real ongoing issues it'll be everywhere including the evening news.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Having it for 24 hours doesn't leave much training time

          But DougS, it looks like it's all over the TechPress (TehIntraWebTubes equivalent of the evening news). ElReg is merely reporting same. Doesn't look like FUD from here.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Having it for 24 hours doesn't leave much training time

            Uh, what training time, exactly? I seem to recall Apple's blurb on this was that it was the bestest thing ever that worked regardless of whether your face was obscured by a comedy Groucho Marx costume or whatever, not that it would require a load of training time to occasionally work if it was at the correct angle and you had just the right lighting.

  28. SpiderPig

    They've said this before

    I seem to remember Apple carrying on about "holding it the wrong way" quite a few years back, at that time it was to do with the phones reception.

    Nokia had a go at them stating that you could hold a Nokia phone anyway and it still had network connection.

    I think they have something else in their hand and it's not a phone.

  29. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Happy

    Duckface Unlock..

    Call it what it is....

    ... or would be - if it worked ...

  30. doug_bostrom

    So it's scrabblepad ("touchpad") redux.

    I'm guessing the reason why is the same: it's less expensive to manufacture and more profitable to clone software, similarly to the scrabblepad which was cost reduction first, convenience second. As with other beancounter dung we'll get used to it.

  31. PNGuinn
    Thumb Up

    + several for "phondlers".

    That's all folks - don't need no stinkin' post.

  32. Rob D.
    Gimp

    Kiss me quick

    The solution is Lip ID which involves passionately snogging your new iPhone to unlock. Only if it recognises the sweet caress of a trusted lover's lips would you be permitted to partake of its hidden delights.

  33. Jamesit

    In the USA you're better off using a PIN, The police can compel you to unlock your phone with biometric ID but not with a PIN.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      The police can compel you to unlock your phone with biometric ID but not with a PIN.

      For now, anyway.

  34. Wade Burchette

    Call me paranoid

    What is to prevent the police from taking your iPhone, pointing at your face while you are in custody, and access every bit of information on it that they want? You aren't testifying against yourself because you said nothing and did nothing. So how is that more secure than just a pin code alone?

    The same with fingerprint readers. What is to prevent the police from swiping your fingerprint off a public device you touched and then creating a fingerprint device to unlock your phone?

  35. Wibble

    Retro?

    Retro, as in retrograde, going backwards.

    I've an iPhone 6 with the wonderful touch ID which is really reliable and incredibly convenient. The phone seems to work well enough and as a little computer/smart phone is fine.

    I fail to see any reason for spending any money on an "upgrade" to any of the current phones whilst my existing one works. There's so little benefit in the new phone compared with the iPhone6. Sure, the new one's lightly waterproof which would be nice to have, although in ten years of owning iPhones -- since the iPhone 1 -- I've yet to drop one in the bog (phone that is).

    Aside from waterproof, there's sod all else which is worth spending how fecking much you piss-taking greedy bastards...!!! Honestly it comes to something when they're quoting "better graphics performance" as a benefit when there's sod all wrong with the old one (that's a feature not a benefit BTW).

    Anyway, the only reason they need facial recognition is because some bellend removed the wonderfully slick fingerprint reader.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I show my face to my iPhone X

    And it just calls my Doctor....

  37. Milton Silver badge

    Tech's worst instincts

    Tech's worst instincts are on full display here.

    1. "Solve" a problem that doesn't exist. People were not crying out for a new way to authenticate their devices. They already had touch, and PIN.

    2. The "solution" is technically advanced—but actually worse than what it's supposedly replacing. Face isn't reliable, but in any case has the glaring weakness that it's now even easier for the Stasi to get into your device. They just show You to It.

    3. Even the previous "solution" was no good, in this case. You leave fingerprints everywhere. You probably wouldn't do that with your PIN. Lifting and copying prints isn't even hard, and fooling touch ID has been shown repeatedly to work.

    4. The original solution was actually the only effective one, when implemented correctly. A random PIN of at least ten or a dozen characters, hashed and secured within the device, which in turn would not allow fast repeated attempts, could withstand any attempt save mining the PIN from your brain.

    Watching Apple use wonderfully advanced tech and the full force of marketing to lead the ignorant into buying something more expensive and worse than what they had before might stand as a perfect analogy for what's wrong with tech. Whether it's the constant barrage of ill-informed rubbish about non-existent "AI"; the endless security, privacy, performance and reliability nightmare of "cloud"; the avalanche of problems brought by the Internet of (Unnecessary) Shit; or cutting-edge software solving confected problems by making them worse—until people demonstrate more intelligent scepticism about the relentless activity of marketurds versus their real daily needs, we're gonna see a lot more of this crap.

  38. Andy3

    What is it with Apple? They seem so hell-bent on incorporating 'cool' tech into their products that practicality goes out of the window. What's wrong with a password FGS?

  39. coolcity

    @ Milton

    That's the problem though isn't it? We're all blaming Apple but at the end of the day it's the people who are stupid enough to buy into these things, and the one thing Apple are extremely good at isn't manufacturing great products, it's marketing.

    I mean, I get it, if you have the money to spend then spend it on what makes you feel good. But the iPhone never did anything so well that it was better than phones costing half the price. Many of us do it. I run my own business and I have a decent car, but is it really any better then the old runabout I had 10 years ago? Does it do anything that old car didn't do? Not really, and in my opinion it's the same with phones.

    There is nothing new because they have reached a plateau. We have the optimum screen size and resolution, they are as powerful as they can be and in most cases probably ever need to be, the screens and cameras are as good as they need to be so the manufacturers have nowhere else to go. I have always thought Apple could be particularly vulnerable as most of their eggs are in the iPhone basket, and they are now reaching a limit of what can be improved or enhanced, and this is now what it has come down to

  40. ukgnome Silver badge

    Currently I am a bearded fool. If I give in to all the razor adverts and shave, would I need to remind the X who I am?

    Personally I don't think you should experiment with tech on a live audience.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Only if you purchase one.

      Are gnomes well known for paying to beta test high-tech gear?

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Personally I don't think you should experiment with tech on a live audience.

      "Paying customer" and "beta tester" have been synonymous for decades...

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Joke

      murdering your audience before testing is frowned upon,. and skews the results

  41. Timmy B Silver badge

    They couldn't get inscreen touch id to work...

    Isn't that the real reason they went for face id? I would hate it for several reasons. 1. The cost - blimey a grand on a phone should be illegal. 2. Using it on a desk - I often have my phone sat on my desk next to me and reach with my hand, press the button and use it from there. If I had to pick it up, line it up right with my face and then put it down it's just a pain.

    Perhaps I'm getting old but I fail to see what I can do with this phone I can't do with one half the price. I may wait 3 nano-seconds longer for an app to load and have a bezel top and bottom. I simply don't care as long as for the few years I have it I get good updates and security patches. My OP3 seems to be giving me all that being already on android O with Septembers security patches.

  42. Louis Schreurs BEng

    No doubt,

    but facial authentication is still a solution looking for a problem.

    Seems it found a problem

  43. confused and dazed

    nob

    I like the convenience of apple pay, but feel a little bit of a nob using it. Touch ID at least allows me to be discrete, while talking to the cashier. Staring at a phone just in front of my face instead .... no thanks

  44. Joe Gurman

    Well, maybe not so bad after all

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/10/31/apples-iphone-x-passes-twin-test-in-early-hands-on-with-face-id

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple has given selected media (not us, obvs) 24 hours with the iPhone X before snatching them back"

    Apple never snatch back, it's all about press freebies (bribes), everyone in the media knows this...

  46. Slabfondler
    Pint

    I think I'll wait...

    for the iPhone 10 - they should have the ironed out the wrinkles in the facial recognition by then. Pun almost intended.

  47. born_free_taxed_for_life

    Give them a chance they've only just entered this into their Market - I don't think this is what Apple planned. I love android but in apples defense they will get this right by launch.

  48. NeilHoskins

    Hehe

    Windows 10 Mobile having the last laugh. It's there on the 950 and 950xl and doesn't really work very well. New game: put a crappy technology on your flagship and wait for Apple to copy it.

    1. coolcity

      Re: Hehe

      @ NeilHoskins

      Works perfectly well on my 950, it's a matter of getting used to where you need to hold the phone but I have mentioned earlier in the thread that I still prefer to use a PIN.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Hehe

        Works perfectly well on my 950, it's a matter of getting used to where you need to hold the phone

        So...you were holding it wrong?

  49. richsouth

    Apple Pay

    Does FaceID work with ApplePay? I wouldn't want to be in a queue behind someone whilst they try to pay with the iPhone X with FaceID; having to manoeuvre their face into just the right place to get it to work and even worse if you're on the underground in the UK (I think it can accept ApplePay).

    I think for most things fingerprint ID is much more sensible, quicker and reliable

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. Fenton

    Apple Pay?

    So if the only biometric system on the phone does not work, you surely can't use apple pay?

    Or can you use apple pay with a pin unlock?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Pay?

      Touch ID and Face ID always revert to pass code if not stressful.

      You dont even need to enable Touch ID and Face ID if dont want to.

      Face ID is getting far too much focus on the iPhone X. The large display in the smaller form factor is probably the driving factor for most people.

      1. coolcity

        Re: Apple Pay?

        @ Anonymous Coward

        Maybe Face ID is getting too much focus overall, but in this case it does happen to be the subject of this thread.

      2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Apple Pay?

        The large display in the smaller form factor is probably the driving factor for most people.

        ...the utility of which is seriously undermined by that stupid 'notch' in the top of the display, and by the onscreen machinations that are needed to compensate for the lack of a physical Home button.

  52. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Technology for technology's sake

    Always carries the smell of a company with too much money losing focus. Silicon Valley ADD strikes again.

    Meanwhile Google has rolled out Smart Lock, which in many situations removes the need to unlock at all. Not perfect and you need to think a bit about when you want it on but much closer to how people behave.

    1. Paul Chambers

      Re: Technology for technology's sake

      @ Charlie Clark

      Meanwhile? Over two years ago.

      Smart Lock (On-body detection, Trusted Devices, Trusted Places, Trusted Face, Trusted Voice) can be configured simply to your preference in android. That tends to be the advantage of android. It can be configured to your preference.

      The advantage of iphone (where i is them, not you), is that you are assimilated by the borg, resistance is futile, you will do as you are told for the greater good of the collective. With a bit of Shiny! as a distraction.

      That this is the notable talking point about the upcoming round of a new apple phone release tells you all you need to know. It's more overpriced shiny, with little or no bang per buck advantage over anything else.

      Let's be honest, there are relatively few people that something like a Moto G5 wouldn't be perfectly adequate for. This isn't primarily about technology any more. It's about fashion...and the design and pricing is predominantly market positioning based, not cost based.

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. Nifty

    So, you're in a meeting and an alert arrives on your iPhone. You want to unlock it discreetly while it's lying on your desk or in your hand at waist level, like you would do with fingerprint unlock..

  55. Tithras

    Apple Pay

    The main issue for me, and the reason I wont be buying the X, is that they seem to have forgotten that you do more with the bio-metric system than just unlock the phone!

    You are going to look like a complete plum when you try and contort your face to the right stability and angle just to pay for your McDonalds drive-through via apple pay contactless!

  56. Naselus

    "How it has dealt with my own real-life face is another matter."

    As opposed to what other face?

  57. David Lawton

    If you are not sold on Face ID just get an iPhone 8, thats what i did. Since i do things like use banking apps on my phone i kinda prefer iOS to Android, i don't mind the closed system in this instance, i value security more than being able to skin the GUI.

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Holmes

      @David Lawton

      Alternatively, spend half the price to get something better - just not an iThing!

  58. BugabooSue
    FAIL

    I’m done.

    As a confirmed lover of shiny gadgets, I have got to add my 2c worth (sorry)

    I have a 6S+ that I use as a portable computer and entertainment system (that occasionally makes phone calls).

    I use a headphone socket daily - I find it convenient as it makes it easy to connect to older audio equipment without the need for a powered Bluetooth receiver.

    I use the fingerprint scanner daily - I find it convenient as I can unlock my phone without looking at it, such as for using ApplePay.

    What I don’t need is an overpriced trinket that requires me to gurn at it each time I need to unlock it.

    I skipped the 7 series because there was nothing really new.

    The eight is the same.

    The “X” is a fucking bad joke.

    I moved to iOS because of the hazpazard way Android phones have their security updates released - or not.

    Now that the Pixel range has also turned into an overpriced gold-plated turd-fest, I think it’s time I went back to a cassette tape player, and my old Nokia.

    How hard is it to listen to customers?

    Oh and why we are at it - fuck Windows 10 too!

    1. cosmogoblin

      Re: I’m done.

      Trying to figure out whether you're a fanboi, wintard or androne.

      Do we have a word for "none of the above"?

  59. Spanners Silver badge
    Meh

    Sounds like a downgrade then

    I got a OnePlus 5 a few months ago. I had not been impressed with fingerprint unlocking od previous (samsung) phones and had reverted to PIN.

    I tried the fingerprint sensor on my new phone and it is excellent. It requires a pin less than once a week or if it has been off. It works any way up and it any lighting or complete darkness. Anything less than that reliability is ridiculous on any new phone costing half the price of apples latest gullibilty tax.

  60. Slx

    Given that it is almost inevitable that a % of people will hate FaceID or will have difficulty with it, who in their right mind would remove touch ID entirely ?!

    They could have put a sensor on the back or the phone! Yes, it would be aping a lot of android manufacturers, but really who cares ?!

    I have a feeling the PR will be very mixed on this one.

    (By mixed I mean disastrous)

  61. Philip 5

    ArseScan™ Now there's a technology I can get behind.

  62. Colin Bain

    You know what DOESN'T work?

    There are some people for whom technology doesn't work well at all. I know one person not a million miles away from where I am sitting, who has a problem at least once a day. And it is always weird. We even bought Oyster cards once at the same time with the same value. We went on the same journeys exactly. That person said, it won't work for me. Of course it will was the response, with hope and a prayer sent off. Yup. On the third journey, after lulling me into a false sense of security, bing. I got through the gate and she didn't. (Didn't I mention it was my wife?). Once again her electricity field had mysteriously caused a personal mini emp. And once again I resigned myself to a life of tech support to the anti-techno mage. After all, a good cook is hard to find. (Yes, I know it's sexist, but it happens to be true!)

  63. Colin Bain

    Guess what DOESN'T work add on

    ...and don't even get me started on that time we went through customs self service facial recognition....

  64. dave 93
    Stop

    You know what kinda sucks, reviewing a product you've never touched or seen.

    While other actual hands-on reviewers are impressed with the iPhone X, Orlowski gets his Apple hate on.

    What phone do you use Andrew? What laptop do you use Andrew? What desktop do you use at work Andrew? Surely not an Apple device...

  65. Slx

    What I don't understand is why they didn't just also include a sensor on the back of the phone until FaceID was tried and tested.

  66. Slx

    I'm not going to comment until I try it.

    With any technology like this, the proof is in the pudding and if it works, it works.

    It needs to be out in the wild for a few weeks before I really take any reviews all that seriously.

    Although, that being said, if Apple introduced ButtID, people would be singing its praises because it's Apple.

    Incidentally, I hold similar levels of distain for some Google and Samsung fanbois' and fangurls' opinions on questionable designs.

    These are consumer products, not religious cults.

    If they work, and I enjoy using them, I'll use them. If not, I'm off elsewhere.

  67. tell

    Works for me

    Face ID works just as well as Touch ID. Only difference have to be looking at the phone.

  68. Sandymcc

    A tip that works for me

    I find that moving the phone closer and further away from my face while recognition is happening increases the success rate. Over the period of a second I move the phone from 16 inches to 24 inches and back to 16 inches.

    Perhaps its different depending on your face size and/or the calibration distance that you used.

    If something like this works better for you please say so ;)

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