Galaxy S10 5G update reportedly breaks face recognition

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Samsung has been making good in its promise to roll out Android updates more regularly, even if a bit belatedly. Part of that involves improving its process for integrating and testing those security patches and bug fixes so that they don't become disasters waiting to happen instead. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for bugs to slip into some cracks, like what some owners of the Galaxy S10 from 2019 are now reporting. According to complaints, the phone's facial recognition feature suddenly stopped working after installing the latest July update.

The Galaxy S10 series was notable for being the first Samsung phone to feature an under-screen fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy S10 5G, however, upped the ante by having Samsung's first and so far only front-facing 3D Time-of-Flight ToF sensor. This component was intended to be Samsung's answer to Apple's TrueDepth Face ID technology, so it's pretty ironic when it is now broken because of what should have been a simple update.

According to users on Samsung's official South Korean forums, the Galaxy S10 5G's face recognition stopped working correctly after the latest update. No matter the lighting condition, it failed to correctly authenticate users and unlock their phones. Even typical troubleshooting methods yielded no relief.

A forum moderator acknowledged the reports and promises that the company is looking into the matter. At the moment, however, there doesn't seem to be any solution, and users might want to switch to a different biometric authentication method for the time being. Those who haven't installed the July security patch, on the other hand, might want to forego doing that until a newer patch arrives.

The Galaxy S10 5G's signature feature has had a troubled beginning, so it isn't surprising that Samsung decided not to put a ToF sensor in its subsequent flagships. This latest bug probably won't endear the feature to more users, but, given certain situations, they might not have much choice but to use its special facial recognition system anyway.