It's not just the Pixel 6 series fingerprint scanner causing Pixel fans to pull their hair out

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It's not just the Pixel 6 series fingerprint scanner causing Pixel fans to pull their hair out
There are plenty of good reasons to be a Pixel fan, especially if you love Android. Pixel owners get the first crack at Android updates and they are also able to receive the Quarterly Pixel Feature Drop which adds some great new features to your Pixel phone every three months. The cameras on the back of Pixel handsets combined with Google's processing acumen and computational photography make the line one of the best when it comes to snapping photos.

It used to be accurate to say that the Pixel had one of the best rear-facing fingerprint sensors. The one on the Pixel 2 XL, for example, was a delight. When the Pixel 6 series was first released and the under-display fingerprint sensor turned out to deliver an experience that was less than what buyers had hoped for, Pixel users became nostalgic and wished that they had the rear fingerprint scanner from their older Pixel model back.

Owners of older Pixel models say that the March update broke their fingerprint scanners

At that time, Google started working on making the experience of using the Pixel 6 series' under-display fingerprint scanner the same as the experience of using the rear fingerprint scanner found on older models. And bless their hearts at Mountain View, they succeeded. However, it appears that Google went about this the wrong way.

Instead of raising the ability of the Pixel 6 series' fingerprint scanner to match the biometric reader on the Pixel 4a 5G, or the Pixel 5 for example, the March update disseminated last month took the fingerprint scanner on those older models and made them as laggy and as hard to use as the under-display scanner on the latest Pixel models.

Mission accomplished Google?

All you need to read to get the lay of the land are some comments posted on Reddit by some of these Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a5G and Pixel 5 users. Just the other day, a Reddit subscriber with the user name "notmacdemarco" wrote, "The March update has really messed up my 4a5g. This fingerprint issue came about from that update. It's definitely slower to open via fingerprint. Also, you know the dull click sound to say it's registered a fingerprint? It makes that noise 5-6 times in rapid succession as though it's reading the fingerprint multiple times."

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The post goes on to say, "Apps that involve scrolling, such as reddit or twitter, will reset to the top randomly. The other day I received a phonecall which somehow triggered google assistant, and I couldn't close the assistant. I had to wait for the call to ring out and then phone them back. These issues, among others, pushed me to order an S22. But then I read about the issues with Exynos S22's. These companies are really making Apple's life easier."

Pick up the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 is also available at BestBuy with our without carrier plan activation. All storage and color versions are in stock.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Same BestBuy conditions apply to the Pixel 6 Pro too. You can get an unlocked version or a version with a carrier plan.

Another Reddit user who goes by the name of "ChowBoyDan" noted that several Pixel users still were saying that their rear fingerprint scanners were working immediately after the March update. But as the message pointed out, those people had their phones' Always-on display (AOD) enabled which made their Pixel appear to unlock instantly when the fingerprint button was pressed.

Another possibility, according to "ChowBoyDan," was that those satisfied after the March update are "are experiencing the delay but are overly-tolerant to long pauses from their phones." He also explains that he doesn't like to keep (AOD) enabled even though it solves the issue it seems to cause "noticeable battery drain."

Keeping the Always-on display helps with the fingerprint sensor on older models, but kills battery life

Users of older Pixel models are beside themselves. A Pixel 4a user who posts on Reddit under the handle "WayneJetSkii" revealed that the fingerprint scanner on his handset stopped working last month. Deleting the fingerprint scan already saved on the device and starting from scratch failed to work and so a call to Google Support was made. And the only assistance that they could give was to utter the two words that strike fear into the heart of every smartphone user: "factory reset."

And Google Support didn't say that wiping the device and starting again would definitely fix the issue. All it said was that a factory reset might help. But this Pixel 4a owner strangely found that the scanner started working again (albeit very slowly) about two weeks ago. But then came the April update and, well, let's hear what happened directly from "WayneJetSkii."

"I just installed the April 2022 security update and the first thing that I noticed that the fingerprint reader is totally not responding to any of my inputs. Not having a reliable fingerprint reader is driving me crazy."

One day, we hope to be able to write that Google got it right and every Pixel owner is satisfied with the fingerprint scanner on his phone. Right now, even those Pixel models that had no issue at all with their fingerprint scanner before the March update are now having problems.

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