One of the major new features of the Pixel 4 is face unlock, which replaced the rear fingerprint reader that had been used on all Pixels that came before it. Unfortunately, it seems that some Pixel 4 owners are having a serious issue with face unlock.
Several reports have popped up over the past couple of months from Pixel 4 owners who say that face unlock has broken for them. Owners have been chiming in on the Google Support Forums, Reddit, and XDA forums (via Android Police) since November, with some suggesting that a Google update may have cause the problem while others say that the issue began out of nowhere.
The problem apparently began when the Pixel 4 gave a notification to those affected that they needed to re-enroll in face unlock. However, deleting and re-adding their face scan didn’t actually do anything, and some are unable to even delete their old face scan from their phone.
Pixel 4 phones with the problem are displaying one of two error messages: “Can’t verify face. Try again.” and, perhaps more strangely, “Can’t verify face. Hardware not available.”
What’s more, some Pixel 4 owners can’t seem to figure out a fix. Restarting the phone in safe mode doesn’t appear to do anything, and while some people have had luck going with the nuclear option and factory resetting their phone, some are still having the problem even after a rest.
Google hasn’t issued a statement on this Pixel 4 face unlock issue, so right now it’s unclear what might be causing the problem and when it might be resolved.
While Pixel 4 owners affected by this problem can still secure their phone with a PIN or password, this face unlock thing is still kind of a big deal. Google touted face unlock as one of the highlight features of the Pixel 4, and it can be a fast and convenient way to unlock your phone, especially as you get used to using it several times a day for months. It’s kind of strange to see face unlock suddenly breaking for several Pixel 4 owners, and so hopefully Google can figure out what’s going on and get a fix out soon.
Are you having any face unlock issues, Pixel 4 owners?