Samsung adds 3D face unlock on the Galaxy S10 5G with One UI 2.0

Samsung adds 3D face unlock on the Galaxy S10 5G with One UI 2.0

When Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, they didn’t make a big deal out of the TOF (Time-of-Flight) cameras included in the phone. This was because even though they could be used for a lot of cool features, Samsung didn’t really invest in it on the software side. With One UI 2.0, Samsung is finally getting around to it by adding 3D facial recognition. They had the hardware, now they have the software.

This comes from Twitter user @TEQHNIKACROSS  who realized that Samsung had enabled the TOF camera for face unlock after installing the latest One UI beta on his Korean Galaxy S10 5G. While this won’t change the face unlock experience a lot, it does make it more secure. Before this update, the phone would use the front-facing camera only for face unlock. This is by no means secure. While it was fast and accurate, it still left the phone open to unlocking by using a photo of the owner. The Galaxy S10 5G should no longer have this issue.


While the software doesn’t say it specifically has it, TEQHNIKACROSS actually posted a picture of the 3D scanner working. While a normal camera uses light-sensitive diodes on the sensor to absorb light, a TOF sensor both sends out an IR blast and collects the light and depth data based on that blast. The red beam you see below is that IR blast being sent out of the Galaxy S10 5G by the TOF camera.

3D facial recognition is by no means new. Apple has long had it on the iPhone, for example. There have even been a few Android phones with 3D facial recognition before Samsung enabled it on the Galaxy S10 5G. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro and LG G8 ThinQ both use TOF sensors on the front for secure facial recognition, while the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Pixel 4 use a more Apple-like approach with their sensors.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G XDA Forums

If you have a Galaxy S10 5G and want this update, you’ll need to wait for One UI 2.0. The S10 5G is currently available in Korea for the One UI beta and could expand to other regions soon. If you have an S10 series phone running the One UI 2.0 beta, One UI 2.0 beta 3 is rolling out to devices right now.

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Max Weinbach
Max Weinbach

Former Contributor to the XDA-Developers Portal.

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