With Apple debuting Face ID on the iPhone X last year, Samsung is going to make sure that its facial scanning feature on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are also as good as Apple’s offering. While Samsung offers two different types of face-related biometric authentication on its devices, Iris scanning and face unlock, they both have their own share of pros and cons.
An APK teardown of the Settings app from the latest unreleased Galaxy Note 8 Oreo firmware now points to a new feature called ‘Intelligent Scan.’ The feature is not present on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, and it is expected to make its debut on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The strings and associated video related to the feature point to it combining face scanning and iris unlock to offer a superior unlocking mechanism. Standalone, the iris scanner is a bit slow to unlock in most conditions and requires one to look at the device at a perfect angle. Similarly, face unlock struggles to work properly on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 in low-light scenarios and is not as secure as the iris scanner as well.
By combining the two, Samsung can possibly ensure that your Galaxy S9 will unlock itself even when the iris scanner detects that you are not looking at the phone directly. It will also be useful in low-light scenarios where face unlock might not work properly due to the limited amount of light available. Thus, Intelligent Scan makes a lot of sense and paves the way for Samsung to offer a face unlock mechanism that is presumably more secure than the face unlock mechanism used by other OEMs on their devices which solely relies on the front camera.
Samsung will be unveiling the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus on February 25, a day before MWC 2018 kicks off at Barcelona.