Nokia 9 PureView update fixes one major issue, causes an even bigger one

Nokia 9 PureView update fixes one major issue, causes an even bigger one
Last week, the Nokia 9 PureView received a software update which was meant to fix the unreliable fingerprint sensor. And while bad reads are now far less frequent, we won't go as far as to say that the fingerprint reader works better. Over the weekend, reports emerged on Twitter that after the update, users were able to unlock the Nokia 9 with unregistered fingerprints. Naturally, we put our unit to the test as well. Unfortunately, we can confirm that it is possible to unlock it with an unregistered finger. The false positive appears to be somewhat random, it's not just the phone mistaking another fingerprint for the real one consistently. There's no way to always force the error, but it didn't take too much time before we were successful with our attempts. This means that if someone gets a hold of your phone they'll likely be able to unlock it eventually. The most likely explanation for the vulnerability seems to be that Nokia tweaked the fingerprint reader algorithms to give a positive read with less certainty of a match.

Original article:

You might have read our review of the Nokia 9 PureView from earlier this month (check it out right here) and noticed that we gave the phone a score of "4" out of 10. We discovered that the optical in-display fingerprint scanner would not always register our attempts to unlock the phone. Sometimes it requested that we press harder, or told us to try again. But help is on the way to those Nokia 9 PureView owners who have suffered from the same problems.

A tweet disseminated on Friday by HMD chief product officer Juho Sarvikas (via Android Police) revealed that an update is being pushed out to improve the in-display biometric reader on the phone. The message suggests that after the update is installed, Nokia 9 PureView users should register their fingerprints again for the "best experience." The executive also notes that while the update is being sent out in stages, it is already available in most markets.

One Nokia 9 PureView owner who already received the 250.4MB update says that he saw a big improvement after installing it; he was able to unlock the phone using the in-display fingerprint scanner 9 times out of 10 without having to press hard. The update also improves the quality of photographs taken with the phone's cameras and speeds up the processing of such photos. It also boosts the color accuracy and contrast of the display and includes the April Android security patch.

If you own the device and have yet to receive the update, you can always try the face unlock option to open the handset. However, as we pointed out in our review, it is not as secure as the fingerprint scanner and can't be used to validate payments. In addition, facial recognition on the Nokia 9 PureView is not only slow, but is also a hit or miss proposition. Using a PIN might be the best bet until the update is received.

Related phones

9 PureView
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 20 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3320 mAh



1. notfair

Posts: 755; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

to be frank, NOKIA f**ked up with this one, the same way they did with scirocco. Maybe they learn something with a new true flagship?

3. Whitedot

Posts: 831; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

I doubt. Honestly, I am surprised how buggy and unprepared device was launched. Given its A1 device ot should be piece of cake to get soft working good. Seems software department is slow at HMD, surprisingly slow.

5. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Yup they definitely did, I agree.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

HMD screwed up, no question and no pass given by me, like others here have done with Essential, Google (Pixels), and Apple (iPhone). But this update has ironed out so many issues. It’s truly flagship-worthy now, with the exception of the camera app being slow switching between camera modes.

16. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I'm not going to give them a free pass or put on a fake act to protect an OEM. Definitely should have spent a little more time in the oven for sure.

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

People here have been putting on fake acts and giving free passes to Google and Essential for their mishaps, but a true fan wouldn’t do that, which is why I’ve verbally taken HMD to task.

24. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

No one here is giving Google and Essential a free pass. You are the only one who continues to bring them up in a hilarious bid to save face with the Pureview.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

You’ve given both Google and Essential a free pass multiple times, and still do. I bring them up for comparisons sake, and it’s hilarious how triggered you get over it.

2. rsiders

Posts: 1976; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

This is promising. Given that the phone is still new, the all important camera updates will take this phone from ok to great in the photography area.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. Glad I decided to go ahead and purchase it.

14. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

All this bad press on this phone means I'm going to watch for a good deal once people start dumping it. Things like this are never as bad as they sound and I'm looking forward to picking up a good phone for cheap.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

That’s exactly what the bad press will do, just look at the Essential Phone, for example. And definitely agree that it’s not as bad as it’s made out to be, from my personal experience with it. Just the FPS issue. When the price comes down, this will be a complete steal, but I just couldn’t wait and got one recently, lol.

17. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Nothing wrong with waiting for a sale. I think this device will be on sale quite often. I kind of figured it wouldn't really be as good as I thought it was hence why I stuck with the 7.1.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s $100 off on Amazon right now. This already inexpensive smartphone just got more so, and it’s much better than my Nokia 7.1 that I actually own.

25. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I'm glad I picked up the 7.1 that I actually purchased on sale. I found it to be a better phone than the Pureview imo. I said "imo" instead of just trying to force my opinion as fact.

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

I’m glad I actually own both the Nokia 7.1 and the Nokia 9 Pureview. Because of that actual ownership, I can actually say that the Nokia 9 Pureview is a better smartphone, besides just relying on the specs, as opposed to trying to pass off my “opinion” as facts.

4. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I think they screwed up big time with this one. They did delay the Pureview multiple times before it finally saw release.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Glad I decided to actually go ahead and purchase the Nokia 9 Pureview. I can honestly say that before the update, the fingerprint scanner, while not as bad as was made out to be, really did need some work. I can now say that after downloading the update, it is much, much better. The JPEGs straight from the camera weren’t as bad as was made out to be either, but after the update, they are better. The processing time for the photos is still slow, but that’s to be expected given the amount of information it has to process. The SD845 can’t handle all the information from all five cameras simultaneously, so I’m glad they added the co-processing unit. Considering the amount of information in the RAW photos and what you can do with it, this phone is a dream for camera enthusiasts that like to have the ability to tweak their photos, like I do. Stock Android on the Nokia 9 Pureview makes usage snappy with no lag, and the update fixed the camera crashing. Switching between camera modes still takes longer than it should, but not a deal breaker for me. I can honestly say that after this update, the phone performance overall is much, much, better. This is how HMD should have launched it to begin with, so they get no pass from me for launching it unfinished like Essential has done with the Essential Phone, and like Google has continuously done with the Pixel line, and like that Apple continues to do with iPhone launches. The plus that I can give HMD over Essential and Google is that they launched an update to fix the most pressing issues much faster than Essential or Google has for their respective smartphones. Kudos to them for that.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Forgot to mention earlier that battery life is much better than what was reported in the review, from what I’m seeing. It’s actually been getting better and better each day, but that may be because the Adaptive Battery feature, although iirc HMD said that they had that type of tech in their latest smartphones.

10. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

What I find funny is the complaints that the Snapdragon 845 isn't fast enough to compete with 2019 Flagships yet the Pixel 3 XL is the current flagship to compete against the iPhone XS both running for another half a year before they're replaced. It's got the same processor and same Android One os. Except the Nokia 9 has a proper 6 GB of RAM vs the Pixel 3 XL's 4 GB. So at least until September/October of 2019 when the Pixel 4 releases things shouldn't be too much of a problem. Here's to hoping they fix all the problems.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally agree about that SD845. It’s more than good enough, especially with 6gigs of RAM and Android One on board. This thing is really fast and snappy. Very smooth, too. The Pixel 3XL should have had 6gigs of RAM also, imo.

18. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. The SD 845 isn't really a bad chip at all. Given that it's running Android One with 6GB of RAM, it should be super buttery smooth. I definitely agree with you about the Pixel 3. It should have been 6GB of RAM at least. That's the one thing Google has fked up in. I won't put on a fake act like some are doing.

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Again, I totally agree about that RAM thing. I’m not going to put on a fake act and pretend I’m taking any OEM I favor to task like some are doing here.

26. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I have been wanting Google to bump the RAM up for a while now. It's one of the things I will hold against them, not the fake smear campaign the geek likes to go on about.

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Google should have added the extra RAM with the launch of the Pixel 3/3XL, and I’m glad that HMD did so on the N9PV. They make good products, which is why I actually buy them, as opposed to pretending to own them to justify a smear campaign against Nokia branded smartphones.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

Concerning the update posted: I read that on Twitter yesterday and tried to replicate what some N9PV owners are claiming. It didn’t work. My N9PV doesn’t unlock with anything other than my registered fingers. Not belittling the fact that others are having this issue, though. And while this is not nearly as widespread an issue as some other manufacturers have had with their smartphones *cough Google Pixels, Essential Phone, iPhone cough*, this is NOT cool, HMD. You have to get this in-screen FPS right, ASAP. Yeah, you fixed the other issues, but don’t get into that habit of updating some things while breaking others like Apple and Google do on their branded smartphones. No passes for you HMD because I favor your smartphones. Fix this. Anyone with a N9PV with this issue should use the face-unlock feature or pin-password until HMD pushes a fix for this.

13. Alter

Posts: 232; Member since: Mar 25, 2016

It's possible to unlock it with an unregistered finger? Test that on other phones with those types of fingerprint scanners. Maybe it's common

19. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

"Forgot to mention, but this article has reminded me why I am glad I decided to stick with my 7.1. I had a sinking feeling that the Pureview was going to be a disappointment and this article just proves it. Too many problems right out of the gate. I'm not going to deflect and continue with the same tired broken record complaints about the Pixel phones or the Essential phone.

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 22272; Member since: May 28, 2014

“Forgot to mention” that I believe I made an excellent choice in choosing the Nokia 9 Pureview as my new daily driver. Aside from that in-screen FPS and the camera app/processing being slower than it should, this is a really good smartphone. Those of us that actually own one, as well as other Nokia branded smartphones no how good they really are, and we aren’t afraid to provide proof of ownership. While it has had issues out of the gate, it’s nowhere near as much as the issues out of the gate that the Pixel line has been having for three generations, and the multitude of problems that Essential Phone has had. Those that feel that comparing similar situations is deflecting are simply continuing on with their same old tired broken record, thinking that only they are Justified when it comes to making a complaint.

27. Venom

Posts: 3723; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

"Forgot to mention" that I don't have to prove anything and justify my phone purchases just because my OEM made a misstep that is getting poor reviews across the board. It may be a good smartphone to some, but for me it lacks a few things that the 7.1 has and that's why I decided to stick with it. I have no problem with Nokia devices. Despite the issues I had with the 6.1, I still thought that it was a well built phone. Some people are just broken records through and through.

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