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Opinion 145 Shares 17 comments

Why I stopped using the Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner after 24 hours

I've been using the Galaxy Note 7 since last Friday (September 2) and I will be publishing a review of the device soon. Before I do, however, I want to share some impressions, specifically regarding the iris scanner and why I won't be using it anymore. 

The Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner increases your safety?

It's said that the Galaxy Note 7's iris scanner can be used to increase device security. Everyone has a unique iris pattern in their eyes, which remains unchanged throughout a person's life, making this biometric data virtually impossible to replicate. For this reason, it's one of the most reliable ways to identify someone.

It's so reliable, in fact, that iris scanning is already widely used for security purposes. You'll often find it at border control in airports, for example.
 

 

androidpit note iris scanner
The iris menu (left) and some tips on how to use it effectively (right). / © AndroidPIT

I'm not questioning the main function of the Note 7's iris scanner: it may well be the most secure lock service on the Note 7. My complaint lies elsewhere.

The Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner is intuitive?

Every time you want to unlock the screen with the iris, you must 1) turn on the screen; 2) swipe your finger across the display; 3) place the device in front of the eyes. Thus, it takes three steps to begin using the device. If you consider that the number of times a user unlocks the screen per day, according to research conducted by app developer Locket, it's an average of 110 times.

This process, then, is not ideal when the Note 7 also gives you the option to use fingerprint unlock. Using the fingerprint method, even when your screen isn't 'awake', you can simply press your finger upon the home button to unlock the device.

androidpit note 7 retina scanner 7
For the best results, keep the camera clean (left). / © AndroidPIT

So then we have a three-step procedure versus a one-step procedure or, as I prefer to think about it, around 2100 processes per week versus 700 processes. 

CR
Camila Rinaldi
The Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner is just another gimmick
What do you think?
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Even with the increased security iris scanning offers compared to fingerprint ID, I just can't justify making these extra steps. The chances of someone stealing my phone and replicating my fingerprint must be incredibly low as it is.

samsung galaxy note 7 fingerprint reader
Unlocking the Note 7 with your fingerprint is easier than the iris scanner. / © AndroidPIT

Final thoughts

In a number of ways, this technology is excellent. The actual identification process (once you reach the part where it recognizes your iris pattern) is fast and it even works while I'm wearing sunglasses. But I can't help but feel like if Samsung would have simply made it activate when you pick up the device and hold it in front of your eyes, it would have been a feature worth buying the device for, not just something I switch off after one day. 

What are your thoughts on the Note 7 iris scanner? Let me know in the comments. 

Readers' favorite comments

  • mir0mik 2 months ago

    It's your choice... How ever you should name the article "Why I won't be using iris scanner as the primary screen unlock"

    First, the main issue can be easily removed by software, they can programme something like instant iris scan when you try to unlock the device (it will consume more battery as the IR need to blast always when unlocking).

    Second you can still have iris as a backup when your fingers are messy or wet (cooking, washing hands) or in winter when you have gloves on.

    Third even if you don't use it as screen unlock, you can use it for private folder. So if you forgot your phone unlocked still the most important data are secured with another layer...

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  • The phone actually wakes up AND unlocks with the fingerprint scan? I thought you still had to press a button to wake up and then scan - two steps, 1400 per week. And honestly my Note 7 has detected my irises like half the times or more without moving the phone to a "scan spot." Not to mention you can set smart lock do your phone requires no unlocking when you're home and/or your Bluetooth headset is connected and/or near your tablet or computer. Customizing, it's why we love Android.

  • I use the iris scanner often maybe not everyday but still use it...at my job I sometimes wear gloves

  • Omg who cares if u dnt like the iris scanner get the S7 don't write an article to try to get other ppl to stop using it ... That's hating u could have kept this to urself

  • That is a silly reason. I bet if Apple put it on the IPhone 8 next year you will think that it was the best thing since "electricity" was invented.

    • Bastian Siewers
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 months ago Link to comment

      And what exactly makes you think that Camila is an Apple fan? :)

    • James 2 months ago Link to comment

      Why is it a silly reason? An iris scanner might make sense if you need an above average level of security (though only if every other unlock method can be disabled, which I'm guessing they can't), but for the average user the extra time it takes to use makes it severely limited. Samsung might be able to improve it, even through a software update, but until it does I don't imagine many people will use the scanner. That doesn't make it a bad addition though, everything has to start somewhere.

  • mir0mik 2 months ago Link to comment

    It's your choice... How ever you should name the article "Why I won't be using iris scanner as the primary screen unlock"

    First, the main issue can be easily removed by software, they can programme something like instant iris scan when you try to unlock the device (it will consume more battery as the IR need to blast always when unlocking).

    Second you can still have iris as a backup when your fingers are messy or wet (cooking, washing hands) or in winter when you have gloves on.

    Third even if you don't use it as screen unlock, you can use it for private folder. So if you forgot your phone unlocked still the most important data are secured with another layer...

  • Spaldam 2 months ago Link to comment

    I see it as a good secondary way to unlock in case your fingers are covered or wrinkled from water. Since it works around water and has a stylus it's conceivable that these situations will exist frequently for some.

  • Solar One 2 months ago Link to comment

    Im sorry i feel the iris scanner is a little misrepresented i don't be leave it was put in the note 7 to unlock your phone hence why the fingerprint scanner is still there. The reason for the iris scanner is only to unlock your secure folder the place you store all your privet info and i really cant see you needing to unlock your secure folder anywhere near the amount of times you need to unlock your phone. So no I do not be leave the iris scanner is just another gimmick . It just takes someone with a few more brain cells to use it in the right manner. .

  • storm 2 months ago Link to comment

    Neither is legally secure. A password in your mind is costitutionally protected. Your fingerprint or iris are not. Fingerprints are easily hacked. We know facial recognition is easily hacked. I wouldn't expect iris recognition to be hard to defeat either.

    • Spaldam 2 months ago Link to comment

      Most of us are not that concerned about our data on our phones, and if we were we'd likely have a specially designed phone designed for security.

    • Someone could look over your shoulder and see your pass if it's pattern or digit..my gfs kids always trying to figure out my pass that way...have to change it every week...someone would really have to go out of there way to get your finger print or iris scanned..like way out the way.

    • Fingerprints and facial recognition are EASILY hacked? What are you? An AI?

    • How do you hack a fingerprint?

  • I don't think of it as replacement for fingerprint reader but a tool used when you just can't use fingerprint reader. Sometimes I wash my hands then I have to dry finger completely in order to use fingerprint scanner. And if I touched button with wet finger before drying it, I have to dry the phone as well, at least the button. Given note 7 is waterproof phone I think the iris scanner is helpful if you like to take your phone to pool / tub or shower. I don't know if its same on note 7 as note 5, I can't use fingerprint first time after reboot, if I can use iris scanner then its definitely helpful to me as I don't have to type the whole password (longer than 3 steps).

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