Face ID is the safest method

Test: Apple's iPhone face recognition is the most secure

Thomas Hartmann

Once again it has been confirmed that Apple's Face ID, with its three-dimensional image for face recognition, leaves most Android smartphones behind.

In 38 percent of the 110 cell phones tested, the smartphone's facial recognition was fooled, according to a test by a Dutch NGO, as reported by Heise.de. Accordingly, the testers were able to unlock the corresponding cell phones with a photo of the owner. The original report from Consumentenbond can be viewed here, there is also the list with the cell phones unlocked by photo, those that also have an optional increased security level and those that could not be outwitted. A total of 42 smartphones failed, including well-known and current models such as Huawei, Samsung or Sony. These were all activated by a photo of the owner.

The devices that were not fooled by a photo include various models of the AppleiPhone XR and XS (Max), but also from Alcatel, Huawei and Samsung as well as One Plus 6, with whose versions you can also feel on the safe side .

Incidentally, the Dutch page can be easily translated into passable German in the Google Chrome browser, and a corresponding function is provided in the context menu. But the model overview is also understood in the original.

Heise.de points out that the report does not describe exactly how the test was carried out. For this you can find a video with the colleagues in which they show how they were able to overcome the face unlock function of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Basically, after setting up facial recognition on your mobile phone, you hold a photo of the user in front of it, with Heise using a second smartphone. Then it turns out whether the smartphone can be fooled by an image via the device's camera or not.

For security reasons, experts recommend that you rely on conventional methods such as PIN or password when unlocking a smartphone. The consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia gives an assessment of the various methods for unlocking smartphones on this page.