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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Back before the iPhone X came out, there were rumors suggesting Apple would do away with the Home button by implementing Touch ID under the display of the device, preserving the fingerprint sensor while allowing for an edge-to-edge display.

That didn't end up happening and Apple ultimately replaced Touch ID with Face ID, but since then, other companies have implemented in-display fingerprint recognition technology.

OnePlus recently unveiled its new OnePlus 6T, one of the first commercially available smartphones in the United States that's using in-screen fingerprint recognition technology. We were able to get our hands on one of the new smartphones to see if Apple is missing out on anything with its Face ID implementation.

There are instances where a fingerprint sensor offers benefits over facial recognition. Face ID, for example, doesn't work well when you're laying in bed and the phone is held in landscape or when an iPhone is flat on a desk. With a fingerprint sensor, those are non-issues.

Fingerprint sensors have their own problems, though, and as we discovered with the OnePlus 6T, in-display fingerprint technology isn't as great as it sounds. OnePlus' implementation is slow and inaccurate, a major negative compared to Face ID.

With the OnePlus 6T, you need to make sure to place your finger in the designated spot on the display for your fingerprint to be recognized, and sometimes you need to hold it there for what seems like a long time before it reads the fingerprint. Touch ID and Face ID both unlock almost instantly, so the wait with the OnePlus 6T makes a huge difference.

Had Apple pursued in-display fingerprint technology its implementation might have been better than what OnePlus came out with, and there's still a chance the tech OnePlus is using will improve with software updates or future iterations, but we'll never know if Apple would have done it better.

Apple is all in on Face ID, which is now in both modern iPhones and iPads, and the company has said that other solutions, like in-screen or rear-facing Touch ID, were never under consideration once it decided to pursue Face ID.

Apple's Face ID technology is still so advanced that no other company, OnePlus included, has managed to match it as of yet. And in-display technology still has a ways to go, it seems, with most major Apple competitors instead opting for rear-facing fingerprint sensors as a way to achieve edge-to-edge displays.

Do you miss Touch ID and wish Apple would have worked towards an in-display fingerprint sensor, or do you prefer Face ID? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With the In-Screen Fingerprint Technology in the New OnePlus 6T


macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2018
I miss Touch ID. To be honest, on those occasions when I do have to use my phone quickly while driving, Face ID has made me less safe. Typing in a six-digit passcode is very distracting when I'm wearing sunglasses that FaceID doesn't like.


macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
Philadelphia, PA
Seems quick in the video, but they mention it takes a while sometimes. I guess if you have to look at it to find where to place your finger, it doesn’t add much value as Face ID would be unlocked by then. Apple should give the option to unlock to home screen just by looking at it and it would be better by far.


macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2007
Omaha, NE
FaceID has worked quickly and reliably for me. I expect a lot of notch hating on this thread but the notch doesn't bother me either. I also had a 6 Plus before this, and Touch ID also worked well, but for me Face ID has been faster and easier.


macrumors member
Nov 30, 2017
I honestly think the reason why iPhone doesn't have Touch ID anymore is because apple could not get the under glass Touch ID in time in combination with Face ID. Then full steam ahead with "Face ID is the future / replacement".

Apple is famous for never going back, so doubtful we will ever see Touch ID in iPhone again, even though a combination of the two would be killer.


macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
I like my XS, but I do miss TouchID. There are so many instances (in bed, in the dark, Halloween, etc) where FaceID just doesn’t work, and it’s frustrating.
Yes, in optimal situations it works great. But when it doesn’t, it’s annoying.

I wish future iPhones could implement BOTH, but I know that would be costly and unlikely.


macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2013
That is one of the major reasons why I am still using the iPhone 6s Plus. It had the best of everything. Touch ID and Earphone Jack. Those two things are a must for me when deciding on a phone. I have seen all the competitors but nothing has made when want to take out my sim from my unlocked iPhone 6s. Until that happen I will be in that ecosystem.


macrumors member
Mar 1, 2016
Face ID, for example, doesn't work well when you're laying in bed
Really? I have no issues unlocking my Xs while lying down on the bed (towards left or right side).

And yes, I do not miss Touch ID whatsover. In fact I find it weird when I use Touch ID on my wife's iPhone.
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macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
Even if this is a tiny bit slow, I'm sure Apple could have made it faster. I doubt the slowness is simply due to it being under the screen, but rather due to the company simply using slower tech. If something works, then making it work faster is usually not a big deal.

I haven't tried Face ID but to me Touch ID is perfect. It would seem logical to continue to use it and place it under the screen, rather than use a completely different method. There are so many times I unlock my phone when it's not facing me, like when I need to check something as it's on the bedside table and I'm in bed. Also you can't hide the face sensors under the display, while you can do just that with Touch ID.


macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
I do find it annoying unlocking my XS Max while lying flat on a table. In a sense, that's the only reason I miss TouchID. FaceID has worked so well for me even while driving since I use a phone holder clipped on the air vents. I'm sure this will only improve in future updates or better hardware. It is a fairly new tech so it can only get better from here.


macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2010
with eyestrain I really prefer touchID. FaceID is a great idea, but having something shooting at my face and eyes is not the ideal solution. Once its perfected and people will stop having eyestrain etc. then maybe its better but for now I prefer touchID


macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
It really stinks when you have to use both eyes when you're dead tired in bed to Unlock.

I have one eye resting in my pillow , and using another eye to use my iPhone.

I feel touch ID will make a comeback
Yeah no. They won't bring back the space penalty just for some fringe cases. Design is compromise, and the benefits gained by giving up the chin outweigh the cons and thus make the compromise worth it.
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macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2017
Face ID on my iPhone XS Max is better than it was on the iPhone X. It’s faster, more reliable, and works much better off-axis (like when my phone is sitting on a table). Not only does Face ID on the XS Max seem to have a larger field of view (FOV), it is much more reliable near the edges of its FOV.

With the iPhone X, Face ID was good enough for early adopters, but it had its issues.

With the XS, XS Max, and XR, Face ID is much more ready for prime time.


macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
La Jolla, CA
FaceID is an expensive addition to Apple mobile products ... TouchID was an inexpensive addition ... that's the main reason even the XR starts as high as $749 USD.

If Cook & Co want to RE-capture the true "mainstream" market, NOT strictly go after the High-End, they will need to offer a TouchID-based solution.

There is NO way around it.

Even a $749 iPhone is priced way above where most are willing to pay, even if they can afford it.
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