The iPhone X was revealed this week and we finally got an official look at the device everyone has been talking about for the entire summer. There is no shortage of new features packed into the iPhone X. We finally get a bezel-less iPhone with a major new redesign from what we have become used to. This is also the first iPhone with an OLED display which will put it on a level playing field with most flagship smartphones on the market today. Apple also introduced wireless charging with this latest generation of iPhones. The A11 chip inside the iPhone X is an absolute beast that outpaces pretty much everything on the market including the iPad Pro.

FaceID vs TouchID
Image: Keynote / Screenshot

All of those new features are nice but if you watched the Apple keynote presentation then the feature that got the most time on stage was FaceID. This isn’t some basic facial recognition feature or gimmick. FaceID is one of the main draws in the iPhone X and it has the potential to be one of the coolest smartphone features in any device this year. Oh, and it has to be pretty good at actually doing its job because Apple completely got rid of TouchID in favor of a bezel-less display and FaceID combination. Basically, FaceID could be a make or break feature in the $999 iPhone X. So, let’s take a closer look and compare FaceID vs TouchID to see which one is best. Did Apple make the right decision when they removed their fingerprint sensor?

FaceID Is Really Secure

Your face is your face and nothing else will be able to unlock your iPhone X. TouchID was pretty secure but had a 1 in 50,000 chance of granting access to the wrong fingerprint. Pretty secure but far from perfect. FaceID has a reported fail rate of 1 in 1,000,000. If someone is able to trick FaceID they should probably go buy a lotto ticket because they just got lucky.

In addition, you can take steps to stop FaceID from being able to unlock your device. With TouchID, if someone wanted to unlock your device they could force you to place your fingerprint on the sensor. With FaceID, your eyes need to be open and you need to be staring at the camera. Someone can grab your iPhone X out of your hand and point it at your face if they want. All you have to do to stop FaceID from unlocking your device is close your eyes or look away. It also solves any issue where someone might try to access your device while you’re sleeping without your knowledge. It seems like Apple has taken a lot of security risks into consideration when creating FaceID. When it comes to being secure; if you want to compare FaceID and TouchID then it looks like FaceID is the winner.

FaceID Will Work In All Conditions

Now, I must begin this with a disclaimer. Apple says that FaceID will work in all conditions but we need to test it more in the real world to confirm if that is true or not. Basically, FaceID uses an infrared camera to scan thousands of points on your face to create a reference to work from. Growing a beard, putting on makeup, wearing glasses, or getting a bad pimple should not affect the ability of FaceID to recognize you. Short of major plastic surgery, it sounds like changes in your appearance will not hamper FaceID’s recognition of your face.

On the flip side of that is TouchID which is known for being pretty finicky at times. If you have wet hands or some dirt gets on the sensor then TouchID would fail to work. From what I can tell, in the FaceID vs TouchID battle: FaceID seems to have some more versatility.

No Fooling Around

If you’re like me, when you first heard about FaceID, you thought about the Mission Impossible movie where they have realistic masks made to impersonate people and commit nefarious acts. Well, Apparently Apple was thinking along the same lines. Who says watching movies all the time would have no benefit? FaceID cannot be fooled with realistic masks or high definition photos. FaceID knows your face and every intricate detail on it. With the tech inside the iPhone X, FaceID will be able to tell the difference between your face and a mask, no matter how good that mask may be.

Final Thoughts

FaceID also offers more than just security. There is also the ability to use FaceID to create animated emojis if you’re into that kind of thing. TouchID is simply a security feature and nothing more. If all the promises about FaceID are true in real world application then I would be happy to declare the feature the winner in the FaceID vs TouchID battle. With that said, I’m always the kind of person who appreciates choice. Even if FaceID is miles ahead of TouchID; it would have been nice for iPhone X owners to have the option to choose which feature they wanted to use. FaceID is awesome, no doubt. I’m sure, given the choice, most people would choose FaceID over TouchID when unlocking their device. However, that choice isn’t available and that’s my one complaint about the feature.