Question

Mate 20 Pro Face unlock not working

  • 26 October 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 4612 views

  • Fresh Fortune Cookie
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Got my mate 20 pro today, and the face unlock if I am honest does not work with me, and I think it is due to my beard. I have tried it with other family members and it works flawlessly, and it works with my face if i have the phone at an extreme side angle. I have factory reset the phone and re-entered my face a number of times with no luck.

9 replies

What I've found out is that, although I have a beard too, it doesn't work reliably (i.e. Only 10% of the times) when I actually want it to work. Meaning when manually pressing the side power to unlock it or pick it up to my face etc. But every time I raise it quickly up or maaaaaany times when I don't expect it to unlock (bit sideways, playing with the phone in my hands and so on) it, then, fucking works and very quickly too!!

So I pick it up and quickly raise it to my face. It generally works. Bit of a joke.


I take your point; I had the P20 Pro previously and it had face unlock (not face recognition). Not as secure but super quick and worked every time.

With respect to the torch, if you pull UP from bottom of lock screen you'll find this and a few other things (calculator, etc.).


Wow, fantastic tip on swiping UP. I never knew about that, cheers.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Thanks for the reply. I had read about the beard before, and I did have a bit of a beard, but I've shaved it down to a 'stubble look' to see if that was the issue. No change though. The face recognition also seems to work slightly better if I rest my head on my hand with my thumb covering my eyebrow 🤔


I hear what your saying about the smart unlock, but as you say it isn't a fix - I could have used that on the S8 and isn't really convenient for me.

It just seems like I've 'upgraded' my phone which isn't working as well, and i'm paying for the privilege of it.

p.s Is there anyway of accessing the torch from the top sliding drawer without unlocking it?


I take your point; I had the P20 Pro previously and it had face unlock (not face recognition). Not as secure but super quick and worked every time.

With respect to the torch, if you pull UP from bottom of lock screen you'll find this and a few other things (calculator, etc.).
Thanks for the reply. I had read about the beard before, and I did have a bit of a beard, but I've shaved it down to a 'stubble look' to see if that was the issue. No change though. The face recognition also seems to work slightly better if I rest my head on my hand with my thumb covering my eyebrow 🤔

I hear what your saying about the smart unlock, but as you say it isn't a fix - I could have used that on the S8 and isn't really convenient for me.

It just seems like I've 'upgraded' my phone which isn't working as well, and i'm paying for the privilege of it.

p.s Is there anyway of accessing the torch from the top sliding drawer without unlocking it?
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hey @Skipraider

My face recognition is a bit sporadic too. After a bit of research I put it down to my having a beard (apparently that's a thing)! However, since I started using smart lock it hasn't bothered me as my phone is usually unlocked when I need it.

Smart lock is available via settings > security and privacy > lock screen password > smart lock.

You can set trusted locations, trusted devices, 'on-body' and voice unlock. With this set up, I rarely need to use facial recognition (or fingerprint sensor).

I know this isn't a 'fix' of the issue, but it's a great workaround and actually more convenient than facial recognition in most circumstances anyway.
I've had my Mate 20 Pro for a couple of weeks now and i'm finding the face recognition to be terrible. It only works about 60% of the time. If I pick the phone up from the desk and hold it in a 'normal' position, it rarely works. Only if I hold it up to the sky it will recognise me - which is a bit ridiculous. I have eye contact turned off, I've tried enrolling my face when looking down, up, different lighting etc but no change. To add to the frustration, if i'm out walking the dog and my hands are cold, the in-screen finger print sensor doesn't work grrr. My dad had a Mate 20 Pro before I got mine, and his seems to work fine, and mine works fine with his face - it's just me. I don't look like an alien or anything.

The main reason why I wanted to swap from my Galaxy S8 is because of the fingerprint scanner placement, but at least it worked. This is just really frustrating, taking 20 seconds to unlock my phone - by the time its tried 5x face unlocks, 5 finger print scans and a passcode.

Anyone have any tips before I go back to the S8?
Userlevel 7
Badge +7
Strange, mine stopped working but I had a screen protector over the Mitch which was affecting the sensor.

Have you tried deleting your face unlock and trying again?
(You probably have )

I only ask as when you re-add your face you can tell if the sensor is effective as you'll see the white dots on your face.
I got the same problem and I got a big beard. I have not covered the sensor. I hope they will fix this.
Userlevel 7
Badge +7
@i3kel are you using a screen protector or a case?

On the right side of the notch is a depth sensor that is used for face unlock, make sure that's not covered.

Only other suggestion is to try different lighting environment and double check your face and beard are in frame!

Not sure how if your a zztop type.

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