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Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint sensor accidentally revealed in screenshot (report)

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
(Image credit: Google)

Google's Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have a rapidly diminishing collection of secrets left after the company revealed numerous details about the flagships before their official launch.

One detail that hasn't been revealed yet is the biometric login method for the phones. At least, it hasn't officially been announced. Google's Senior VP of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, may have accidentally given us the answer in a now-deleted tweet that shows a fingerprint icon on the lock screen, something that only appears for phones with an under-display fingerprint reader (via TechRadar).

The screenshot is likely from a Pixel 6 Pro due to the WQHD+ 3200 x 1440-pixel resolution. The phone was connected to Wi-Fi and Verizon's 5G network, although the signal indicator doesn't reflect whether it is sub-6Ghz or mmWave. 

In the tweet, Lockheimer was trying to draw attention to the new Material You design language in Android 12, showing off a new wallpaper he created from Google Photos. Given the quick deletion of the tweet and the discrepancy between the fingerprint sensor placement and that of existing phones eligible for Android 12, it certainly seems like this is the Pixel 6 Pro. The tweet was captured by Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers before it was deleted.

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We knew from previous images that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro had ditched the rear fingerprint reader, but that left open the possibility that Google was returning to a facial recognition system as on the Pixel 4. That somewhat unlikely possibility can now safely be ruled out. 

This will come as good news to most Pixel fans as facial ID has a number of issues beyond the current mask-related difficulties. Many apps and services have been slow to adopt facial ID as acceptable login methods, making a fingerprint reader the preferred biometric login for now. 

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don't have a confirmed launch date yet, Google has only indicated that they are coming this fall, but the expectation is that they will arrive in early October. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.