Original topic:

A (Mostly) Satisfactory Solution for the Fingerprint Sensor Problem

(Topic created: 03-18-2024 03:54 PM)
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Sammix
Halo
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Galaxy S23

If you are in my situation ...

the fingerprint sensor unlocks apps without trouble, but fails to unlock the phone itself

... then I may have good news for you.

I recently discovered this, but you might already know about it: The fingerprint sensor is not an 'all or nothing' feature. Just because you have registered your fingerprints on the phone, that doesn't mean you have to  use the fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone. In Settings > Security and privacy > Biometrics > Fingerprints you can turn off Fingerprint unlock. This will turn off the fingerprint sensor as a means of unlocking your phone, but you can still use the sensor to unlock individual apps.

To unlock my phone, I now use face recognition, which is pretty much effortless. In bad light, face recognition doesn't work well, so in those situations, I use a PIN. And I use the fingerprint sensor to unlock my apps.

Except for one app: Google Wallet (and the same may apply for Samsung Wallet, which I don't use.) For some reason, Google Wallet does not have its own sign-in. Instead, it relies on your phone being unlocked, and Android face recognition is not (yet) secure enough to unlock high-security apps. To use Google Wallet, I have to sign out of my phone (press the side button) and then press the side button again, and quickly tap in my PIN before face recognition unlocks my phone. Slightly annoying, but that isn't Samsung's fault.

So aside from Google Wallet, and until Samsung improves the fingerprint sensor, I have my solution: My face unlocks my phone, and my thumb unlocks my apps.

6 Replies
Hake
Comet
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Galaxy S23
You can use both finger print and face unlock at the same time to unlock your phone to make it whichever works first and use pin as last resort if both fail.

I'm not sure if I'm understanding your issue correctly but please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Sammix
Halo
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Galaxy S23

In my experience, face unlock does not operate to unlock my phone if the fingerprint sensor is active. Could I be wrong about that?

Even if I'm wrong, it's so embarrassing to be trying to check out and fruitlessly tapping on my phone to unlock it. The PIN is much faster for Google Wallet, and it works.

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Hake
Comet
Options
Galaxy S23
Yes I just tested to make sure, and if both are enabled you can use whichever one works first.

You might have the setting "stay on lock screen until swipe" enabled so it unlocks your device with your face but you have to swipe on the lock screen to open the home screen. 1710811187261.jpg1710811297707.jpg
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Sammix
Halo
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Galaxy S23

Thanks, but I'm quite satisfied with my decision.

  • Face recognition to unlock the phone
  • PIN to unlock the phone in low light
  • Fingerprint sensor to unlock apps

The fingerprint sensor is not enabled to unlock the phone. (There's no point - it doesn't work.)

This works remarkably well.

The only 'problem' with this method happens when I want to use Google Wallet, which depends on the phone being unlocked in a secure manner. in good light, face recognition unlocks my phone so quickly that I don't have a chance to input my PIN. So when I want to use Google Wallet, I have learned to shade the selfie camera with a finger, so I can unlock my phone with a PIN. This is an inconvenience, but it's not Samsung's fault that Google Wallet doesn't have its own sign-in.

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realaud
Supernova
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Galaxy S23

 I don't have an S23, so I can't speak to that and its issues with the fingerprint.  However, I do sometimes use Google Wallet (primarily, I use Samsung Pay), and have no problem unlocking GWallet or SPay with just my fingerprint when I want to pay. 

It should not be a problem unlocking Google Wallet if your phone is unlocked, no matter by which method it's unlocked. If your phone is unlocked by pin/password/biometics, it is securely unlocked.

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Sammix
Halo
Options
Galaxy S23

Thanks very much for your reply.

Before posting here, I asked this question in the Google Wallet Help Community. Some of their "Experts" confirmed that Google Wallet does not have its own login, but relies instead on the phone being unlocked. I was never comfortable with this, but as long as the fingerprint sensor was able to unlock my phone, I was okay with it.

Now, the fingerprint sensor no longer unlocks my phone, and Samsung's selfie camera is not secure enough to unlock for financial transactions.

With all that said, you can imagine how surprised I was this morning, while waiting to pay at Dunkin Donuts, when I opened Google Wallet and, lo and behold, what did I see for the first time: a fingerprint sensor waiting for me to unlock the Google Wallet app.

I presume this is the result of my enormous influence over the Google company.  😆

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