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What method do you use for unlocking your phone or tablet's display?

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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What method do you use for unlocking your phone or tablet's display?
Apple's Touch ID started a fingerprint sensor craze, LG recently introduced its Knock Code display unlocking method, and there are numerous other ingenious ways to get your phone out of its slumber, and start using it. Ever since the slide-to-unlock feature on the first iPhone, manufacturers have been clamoring to differentiate their phones or with sliding, tapping, or other gesture unlocking maneuvers.

Then there is the added protection against intrusion into your phone's or tablet's personal space, in the form of fingerprint sensors, face recognition, keying in PINs/passwords, drawing patterns, screen tap combinations, and so on. Some third party apps even go as far as making you solve a puzzle, or play a short quiz before you can reach your homescreen. Alternatively, some people can't be bothered, and have removed the lock screen step altogether, so pressing on the power/lock key takes them straight to the homescreen. That's why we wanted to ask how do you personally unlock your display, and whether you use extra protection like passwords or pattern draw unlocking. Pick your method of preference below, and tell us why did you go with this one in the comments.

Phonearena polls
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What method do you use to unlock your phone or tablet's display?
35.92%
578 votes
(578 votes) I slide my fingers on the display
8.08%
130 votes
(130 votes) I use screen taps
4.6%
74 votes
(74 votes) I use biometrics like a fingerprint scanner or face recognition
24.43%
393 votes
(393 votes) I draw a pattern or a secret gesture
16.59%
267 votes
(267 votes) I use a PIN or password
0.87%
14 votes
(14 votes) I use a 3rd party app to voice unlock, play a short game, solve a puzzle/quiz, etc.
9.51%
153 votes
(153 votes) Nothing, my lock key press goes straight to the homescreen

1609 votes


35 Comments
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posted on 03 Apr 2014, 06:43 4

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I slide my fingers on the display. My phone is with me virtually every moment of my day, so I value convenience over security. Of course, my phone's active display makes that option even easier. Though I do have one of those NFC security things so I could try that and keep my phone locked. Though then I'd have to remember to wear that everywhere.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 06:52

2. Finalflash (Posts: 1433; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


You could get one of those NFC rings that was on kickstarter. Other than that I have just removed the lock screen altogether so pressing power goes straight to home screen now.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 20:18

31. Nexus_bear (Posts: 32; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


I used to use Samsungs Smart Tags when I had my S3 and S4 but now I tried the App "UNLOCK WITH WiFi" so that if I am at a trusted WiFi hotspot (my house, work, family) my device wont lock but once I leave the hotspot I am required to enter my PIN. Its pretty awesome, and works with any Android device except it only works with PIN and PASSWORD options.

posted on 04 Apr 2014, 10:47

33. buccob (Posts: 1306; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Sadly my country is not a good place for unsecured phones...

I've been robbed twice already...

I would love fingerprint scanner like my old Atrix. (which to me it still have the best placement for the sensor), but I have to settle for pattern now...

And hope I don't have to use Android Device Manager in the future.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 06:58 5

3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7326; Member since: 14 May 2012)


PIN for me. I'll be transitioning to biometrics next week with my S5 though.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 11:51 1

21. Sauce (unregistered)


Let me know how it goes. I've been hearing that the S5's biometric system is a complete flop. Looking for first hand feedback.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:02 2

4. Lt.Green (Posts: 317; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Nothing for me. I find them tedious.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:15

5. firozerakib (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Apr 2014)


Regular lock screen. Simple is awesome :)
Also, some people would notice "Apple...started...craze"
Gotta admit, though, the Touch ID was fun!

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:16

6. uchihakurtz (Posts: 208; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Swipe to wake and swipe (on navbar) to sleep

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:27 1

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2209; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Power button + a swipe is the best. Who would steal my phone anyways. And if does, it doesn't matter if it has a code or not.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:52

8. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 468; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I use both swipe and pincode. When I'm at work, at home or a friend's place, I can just swipe. In other situations, I need a pin

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:53

9. redbaronk12 (Posts: 23; Member since: 14 Dec 2013)


Pin lock. Not allowed to synch with work email and calendar without it. Would be nice to be able to put certain apps behind some kind of security so I could get to all the others without having to unlock.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:58

10. ecdumb (Posts: 7; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


Double tap to wake, then slide my finger up

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:02

11. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6125; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


pin makes it more convenient but that's just my opinion

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:05 2

12. tasior (Posts: 172; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


Symbian slider - if You don't need security it's the best solution ever. You can unlock the screen while You're taking the phone out of the pocket. Before it reaches Your eyes it's unlocked.

It's sad, that no other company adopted this solution...

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:14

13. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


I just use normal samsung lock screen....swype anywhere to unlock...and I use smart lock to safeguard some apps....

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:30

14. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


I press the Navi button and the * button.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:30

15. Leo_MC (Posts: 476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Touch ID; i'll never go back to anything else :)

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:36

16. Lyngdoh (Posts: 221; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Face recognition for quick unlocking.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 12:33

23. ZeroCide (Posts: 683; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)


THis is probably slower that the finger swipe method.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 09:24

17. Karriope (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


I use standard swipe. My devices are generally always in my care, plus I really don't like how inelegant security functions look, they don't seem integrated/visually customized at all.

If they managed to make a elegant pattern method in Android that didn't present me with the pattern pad first thing instead of showing me my wallpaper and shortcut/widgets I might change my mind, but other than that the inconvenience is annoying too.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 09:38

18. fzacek (Posts: 1194; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I like to switch mine up occasionally, so sometimes I use slide to unlock and sometimes I use pattern unlock. They're the fastest and most convenient options.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 10:08

19. ojdidit84 (Posts: 252; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Face unlock. I've calibrated so many different angles and lighting conditions. It recognizes me right away and I hardly ever see the face unlock screen searching for a face.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 11:35

20. Stuntman (Posts: 707; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


Pattern lock seems to be the most popular method that has some form of security. I use that because it is so quick to unlock and offers some security.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 11:53

22. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


For the time being, Swipe to unlock. But really wish that all android devices included the double tap to wake feature. Not a single custom kernel maker has tried to port it onto any device despite the possibility.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 14:27

26. marbovo (Posts: 584; Member since: 16 May 2013)


I don't know, but maybe if the phone does not have a specific core for those kind of low tasks, it will be a battery hunger feature

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 10:54

34. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2097; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Perhaps I'm confused by what you mean, but my friend ported Sense 6.0 to his M7. It has the double tap to wake feature. Is that what you mean?

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 13:04

24. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I slide my fingers too.

At one time I needed gestures, pins because my kids were doing too much on my phones.

I decided to do my job as a parent....and its not needed anymore....lol.

But...if my phone is ever lost or stolen... Even then I have everything set to not save passwords, password needed for the Play Store. They will see texts and pics tho... :-(

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 13:14 1

25. networkdood (Posts: 6247; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


"I use my buttocks" ~ Forrest Gump

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 15:40

27. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


I disable the lock screen, hate it

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 17:06

28. 3rdDegree (Posts: 170; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)


I use knock code™ on the G Pro 2, it actually is a really neat feature and not as susceptible to to compromise as some may think

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 17:27

29. pokerc (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 May 2012)


I think sliding is pointless either have a security lock or no lock at all

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 18:31

30. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Free will/choice is a bitch aint it?

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 10:58

35. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2097; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


It's not pointless. The power button on my phone gets pushed in my pocket occasionally. Without the slide to unlock feature, the screen would stay on in my pocket for 2 minutes. Any incidental touches in that time & the 2 minutes gets reset. With slide to unlock, if you don't unlock it within 10-15 seconds of pushing the power button, the screen turns off.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 21:49

32. someones4 (Posts: 618; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)


I just use the auto on/off feature of the s-view case with my note 3. The most convenient of them all.

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