With some Pixel 6 owners still facing issues, it seems that the Pixel 6a will use a different in-display fingerprint scanner for biometric security.

The removal of the capacitive fingerprint scanner would likely have been less irksome if the optical in-display scanner wasn’t so finicky and unreliable for many people. Updates have helped to improve the overall performance and accuracy but it’s worth noting that this has not resolved problems for every Pixel 6 or 6 Pro owner out there. In most cases, it will work, but multiple finger scans are needed before you can unlock your device effectively.

Thankfully, Google’s Rick Osterloh confirmed to Android Central that the Pixel 6a is set to use a different in-display fingerprint scanner than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. While this sounds great in principle, it’s not clear just yet if we’ll see a better quality or more accurate scanner on the Pixel 6a. Instead, it could simply be an alternative that helps keeps costs low on the $449 smartphone.

pixel 6a fingerprint scanner

That said, we have high hopes for the device and if the Pixel 6a packs a faster, more accurate scanner than it’s more expensive counterparts, it could be a major plus point. Given that in-display scanner tech can vary from brand to brand, we do not expect Google to drift too far away from an optical reader. Samsung utilizes ultrasound in it’s flagship lines but offers optical in-display fingerprint readers on devices such as the Galaxy A-series smartphones.

Android Police previously noted that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro currently utilize a Goodix fingerprint scanner for biometrics. This is the same firm that provides OnePlus devices with the same device security tech. It’s not clear if Google will source fingerprint scanners for the Pixel 6a from other manufacturers or if a different model will be used moving forward. Let’s just hope that it unlocks every single time you try to use it — something that can’t often be said of the flagship Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com