Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Google could be preparing to finally enable facial recognition in its Pixel 6 range for the first time since launch, at least, if a couple of snippets of evidence are anything to go by. 

According to a user on Reddit, their Pixel 6 Pro showed Face Unlock as an option during set up, where usually the only biometric option is fingerprint scanning. 

Following this user report, 9to5Google did some digging and found that Pixel 6 Pro Android 12 builds have referenced the facial recognition refresences as early as October 2021. 

What's unclear is why it was triggered recently, or if it was just an error/random bug. Because - although it had appeared in the initial set up - the feature wasn't available to the user when they went into the Settings app to set it up afterwards.

With evidence suggesting the feature has been hidden away for so long, it could mean that Google opted not to release it. Or, the recent appearance could mean it's almost ready to make it available. 

The difficulty - of course - with any purely camera-based facial recognition is that it's not anywhere near as secure as systems like FaceID or the Pixel 4's facial unlocking which combine the camera with a form of depth sensing. 

It is intriguing, however, that the smaller Pixel 6 doesn't appear to be in Google's thoughts for this feature, just the Pro model. 

Doogee S98 Pro with thermal imaging and night vision goes on sale today

Writing by Cam Bunton.