Samsung wants the Galaxy S8 to be a super safe device. With that purpose in mind, the company bundled the phone with several systems meant to ensure your personal information stays safely locked away from prying eyes. Apart from the traditional PIN, pattern or password unlock options, the Galaxy S8 also offers a fingerprint scanner authentication system, iris scanner (which was first made available with the Galaxy Note7) and an old fashioned face recognition system.

Iris scanning technology is advertises as being one of the most secure forms of biometric authentication, since an iris pattern is practically impossible to replicate. The iris scanner is practically a camera designed with a very specific function in mind which works alongside an infrared LED in order to recognize the unique pattern in your iris.

The camera includes a special image filter that receives and recognizes the reflected picture of the iris via a red IR LED light.

To use the iris scanner to authenticate yourself, users will need to lift the phone to eye level at arm’s length and wait for the iris scanner to capture the data. And compared to the scanner found in the Galaxy Note7, the one in the Galaxy S8 is a lot faster to process the information and unlock the phone for you. Samsung has improved the technology, so now you don’t even have to align the phone perfectly with your face, as long as the eyes are in the viewfinder. It also works from a considerable distance.

Like in the case of the Note7, once the iris pattern has been registered, the phone will store the information as an encrypted piece of code. Then, when a user tries to access the phone, the LED and camera combo work to capture the iris, then extract the code and compare the two against one another, before granting the owner access.

Users can also use the iris scanning technology for some of the most sensitive activities like paying with your credit or debit account. Scan your iris to make purchases with Samsung Pay (or Android Pay if you prefer this option) or check your bank accounts via Samsung Pass.

However, in recent days it was shown to have a loop hole. A user revealed that the Galaxy S8 can be unlocked by sampling using a picture of the phone’s user where the eyes are visible. By taking a photo of the Galaxy S8’s owner and by placing it in front of the phone’s iris scanner, the flagship can easily be unlocked. So the Galaxy S8’s authentication system is far from being bulletproof.

Actually iris scanning technology has limitation which Samsung itself acknowledged a while ago, like speed and accuracy (as demonstrated above). That’s why Samsung decided to add facial recognition to the Galaxy S8. With a face scanner, the phone can be unlocked with less than 0.01 seconds.

Face-authentication on Galaxy S8

In the end you’ll have to pick between the two, as you can have only method of facial unlocking activated on the device. Now if you are concerned about the security, we advise you to use the iris scanner. However, if you want speed above anything else, you should opt for face recognition.

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  1. Are you sure you aren’t confusing the facial recognition system with the iris scanning technology? They are two very distinct systems of verification on the S8. There are numerous other articles that agree that the facial recognition system can be spoofed by a photo, but they all mention that the iris scanning tech is much more secure. Considering that the iris scanning tech bounces an infrared beam off the users eyes and reads the signature of the reflection I would highly doubt that a photo can replicate the same signature.

  2. I’m pretty sure that this article has been messed up by the writer. Don’t confuse your readers by mixing up the facial recognition with the iris scanning method. It defeats the whole purpose of this article and spreads false information.

  3. The facial recognition can be tricked not the iris scan. Iris relies on unique points on your iris while the facial recognition does not due to lack of depth detection

  4. Fyi the iris can’t be hacked as said in this article. You need to take an IR photo of the person print it in life size then place contact lenses over the eyes and then steal the phone. Pretty difficult and honestly unrealistic. You cant even just go and buy a IR camera anymore.

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