Face Unlock is coming to the OnePlus 5

Start talking about the differences between the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T, and one of the major ones is the way you can use your face to unlock your phone on the newer handset. Now OnePlus has announced the older phone is getting the same feature too.

"Due to popular demand, Face Unlock is coming for the OnePlus 5," tweeted out OnePlus chief Carl Pei on Christmas Eve. "Thanks for the feedback, and merry Christmas!"

Pei didn't dive into any details so we'll have to wait for more information to know exactly how this is going to work, but presumably a software update for the OnePlus 5 will be enough to enable the forward-facing camera to recognize faces and let you past your phone's lock screen.

Best face forward

It makes sense for OnePlus to roll out the feature to its original 2017 flagship, as the front-facing camera is the same on both these devices - there's really no reason why one handset should have the capability and the other not.

As the OnePlus Face Unlock feature only uses the standard camera sensor, without any of the advanced 3D scanning in the TrueDepth system Apple uses for Face ID on the iPhone X, it's not quite as accurate or as secure - it doesn't work in the dark, for example. We might have to wait for the OnePlus 6 to see a system as good as Apple's.

Still, it's a convenient option for getting into your phone, and no doubt OnePlus 5 users would rather have it than not, as Pei's tweet suggests. How fast OnePlus will be able to get this update out to its users remains to be seen.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.