iPhone’s removal of the fingerprint sensor and the huge bet on facial recognition was one very controversial decision, but as with everything Apple, it was just a matter of time until Android rivals started embracing the same approach as well.
Xiaomi, for example, appears to be one of the copycats, as the Chinese firm plans to give up on the fingerprint reader and offer only facial recognition on its next flagship called Mi 7.
While at this point this is just speculation, Xiaomi is believed to be testing facial recognition systems for its phones with increased focus on security, especially because it would serve as the only authentication method on the device. It’s not known if Xiaomi wants to develop this system in-house or purchase the tech from a different company though.
The facial recognition push
Xiaomi isn’t the first company that invests heavily in facial recognition features, though it is one of the first that follows in Apple’s footsteps and plans to abandon fingerprint sensors entirely.
Companies like Huawei and Vivo, for example, are also exploring the idea of embedding fingerprint sensors in the display in an effort to stick with this feature and at the same time offer facial recognition.
On the other hand, Samsung plans to keep the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone on its next generation, though reports from people familiar with the matter suggested that it might also be looking into putting the sensors under the glass on the upcoming Note 9 phablet.
Facial recognition systems have been around for a while, but 3D sensing tech is only now being adopted after Apple introduced the iPhone X. Security is obviously a main concern and one of the roadblocks for more companies adopting it, especially because Apple’s system itself proved it’s not flawlessly several times.
It remains to be seen how Xiaomi plans to deal with the criticism of becoming an Apple copycat, but the company is probably betting big on high-end hardware like a Snapdragon 845 chip, edge-to-edge 5.65-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio and high-quality cameras.