Samsung smartphone owners have expressed their frustration after a recent security patch disabled one of the key features of the Galaxy S10 5G. The update was released earlier in July, to address more run-of-the-mill software and performance issues.
The problem is that the update seems to have had a few bugs of its own. Galaxy S10 5G users who downloaded the update have reported that they can no longer unlock their devices with facial recognition, thereby negating the utility of the 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor that was a key selling point of the device.
That ToF sensor was intended to serve as Samsung’s counter to Apple’s flagship Face ID system. However, the technology has yet to gain traction with Samsung customers, due at least in part to performance complaints. The Galaxy S10 5G is still the only Samsung device to feature front-facing ToF technology, even though it has been nearly two years since its debut in late 2019.
At the very least, the ToF sensor seems to be far less popular than the S10 series’ other biometric authentication option. The original Galaxy S10 was the first Samsung phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and subsequent Samsung smartphones (including the flagship Galaxy S20) have followed that lead and placed a fingerprint scanner under the screen.
It is worth noting that Samsung did have some trouble with the in-display fingerprint sensor in the months following the release of the first Galaxy S10. The company launched the device in early 2019, and then pushed a series of urgent updates to address spoofing concerns.
The latest ToF bug does not necessarily seem to be a security concern, at least in the sense that the camera does not seem to be any more or less vulnerable to spoofing. The sensor simply isn’t working, for both hackers and legitimate Samsung users alike. That remains true in any lighting conditions, and is yet to be resolved through conventional troubleshooting methods.
Samsung has indicated that it is aware of the issue, and is working to fix the problem. Until then, S10 5G users who have not done so may want to avoid downloading the patch, while those who have should consider another authentication option.
Source: Slash Gear