Apple’s Face ID Faster Than Touch ID in Day-to-Day Usage


According to a report from Tom’s Guide, Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone X unlocks the device more slowly than Touch ID.

Reviewer Mark Spoonauer compared Face ID and Touch ID unlock times with a stopwatch, using an evaluation unit of the iPhone X that he was provided with this week. In a blog post, Spoonauer said:

“With Face ID on the iPhone X, it took 1.2 seconds from pressing the side button to the iPhone X’s screen turning on and for the phone to recognize me and unlock the device. And it was another 0.4 seconds to swipe up to get to the lock screen. Total time: 1.8 seconds.”

When using the Raise to Wake feature and swiping up on the display, unlocking the device only took 1.16 seconds, which was still slower than Touch ID.

In a tweet, TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino points out, in day-to-day usage, Face ID has benefits over Touch ID because it’s a more streamlined interaction.

With Touch ID, to do something like open up a notification, you need to tap the notification and then use Touch ID to open the notification, a two step gesture. However, with Face ID, it recognizes your face as the phone is raised while you’re tapping the notification. This leads to faster unlocking time.

Face ID is still a first-generation technology. When Apple first released Touch ID it was also much slower than it is today. As the company continues to improve the hardware and software behind Face ID, it will also improve and get much faster. However, in the meantime, Face ID seems like a much more natural method of biometric authentication.


  • Michal

    just because it’s faster by miliseconds doesnt mean it’s “more natural” … i for one, prefer touch id

  • Widohmaker

    I too was skeptical. But I think the Face ID has less friction then Touch ID from a usability perspective. It seems to be bearing out.

  • aRhyno

    I often have little cuts on my thumb from stripping wire which makes Touch ID frustrating sometimes. And when I wear gloves at work. I’d like both but I think I’ll prefer Face ID. Also when you have wet hands…

  • Steve

    Exactly. Anyone working in the construction/mechanical trades will understand that Touch ID is useless. Face ID is the way to go.