Huawei Mate 20 Pro might have an easily fooled face unlock

If you’ve heard me on one of our recent podcasts, you know that I’m not a big fan of notches, especially on Android phones. The iPhone X from last year introduced this monstrosity and Android manufacturers were (VERY) quick to copy. The iPhone X’s notch at least had a purpose – it housed new facial recognition tech that replaced their iconic home button (and, of course, Touch ID). Android phones simply adopted the notch to copy Apple without including new tech (it did enlarge the screen, however, but with a chin). Huawei’s new Mate 20 Pro is supposed to have an advanced facial recognition feature inside its giant notch, but it looks like it’s being easily fooled.

Android Pit is reporting that their Huawei Mate 20 Pro test unit has been fooled by two different staff members with similar beards and hair styles. Huawei’s new system makes a 3D map of faces, which supposedly makes it all but impossible to fool with a flat image like a photograph. It’s a problem, however, if people with similar features can simply unlock each other’s phones.

Android Pit claimed that when one staff member was simply looking at another’s device, it unlocked without even a deliberate attempt to fool the system. Following multiple deletions and re-scanning of faces, the system was still able to be fooled. A screenshot from their video (below) shows that both have similar features, but are clearly not identical.

To its credit, Huawei does have a disclaimer that the software isn’t perfect and can be fooled by similar faces or objects. It’s also noted by Android Pit that the phone was a pre-release unit, which could have software that isn’t final. And Huawei claims that they can’t replicate the issue, even with identical twins.

The bottom line is if you’re going to have a massive notch, your facial recognition tech should make it worth it. Hopefully Huawei can fix this with software updates if it becomes a widespread issue.

Source: Android Authority


About the Author: Erik Slaven

He was born and raised in Virginia, but escaped to Southern CA. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC’s Droid Eris and never looked back. He's owned dozens of Android devices and can rarely settle on a daily driver for more than a few months. He's currently using a Galaxy S8 and BlackBerry KEYone. He rides motorcycles for fun and would live on the beach if it was legal. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.


  • nagnag

    Essential phone was the 1st to have a notch. Don’t fall in classic apple were the 1st .. All your article is after that not interesting.

    • Erik Slaven

      This is a common “argument” that has no merit. Yes, the Essential Phone had a small notch before the iPhone X, but it was a very different concept. The size and style introduced by Apple was clearly copied by most major Android manufacturers. Show me the ones that copied the Essential Phone… I’m not praising Apple for the notch, but it’s a huge shame that Android OEMs made an immediate and drastic shift in design to follow the new iPhone.

      • ZBlade

        I would disagree with you. In the end, a notch is a notch. Even though the size and style is different, the concept of the notch is the same. The whole point of the notch is to increase screen size and reduce screen to bezel ratio. Essential first introduced the notch but it was Apple that made it infamous. Android was “very quick to copy” simply because they didnt copy and they already had all of the ground works done by Essential.

  • boring people suck

    You are very boring, nagnag, like your naggardly name and the very, very boring Essential phone, which ended up being very non-Essential. Don’t end up the same way, nagnag.