YunTab S5 Android phone uses 3D infrared for secure face unlock

Want to keep your phone secure with just your face? This $152 Chinese handset will do just that.

Here's my ugly infrared mug being used to unlock the phone. Aloysius Low/CNET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Everyone knows how easily you can beat Android's Face Unlock feature with a simple photograph, but it will take a lot more to crack Chinese smartphone maker YunTab's solution.

Found on the company's $135 S5 Android-powered smartphone (not to be confused with Samsung's Galaxy S5), the 5.5-inch handset uses two infrared emitters, a secondary infrared camera to map a 3D image of your facial features.

Setting up the process is simple -- like Android's Face Unlock, the Facial Identification Technology (FIT) feature takes a scan of your face, and then requires you to enter a pin code.

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This basically means unless someone gets plastic surgery to look just like you, no one will ever be able to unlock your phone (well -- unless they know your PIN). Since it's using infrared, you'll also be able to use this unlock feature even in low-light conditions (which you can't most of the time with Android's default version).

The specs of the handset aren't that bad for its price -- it uses a quad-core MediaTek 1.5GHz processor, has 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage with microSD support. The S5 has a 5.5-inch HD (1,280x720-pixels) IPS display and runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

Sadly, it's only available in China for now, but the company is sourcing for distributors.

About the author

Aloysius Low is a Senior Writer at CNET Asia and covers all things mobile. A former World of Warcraft addict, he now dabbles in social media to stave off the withdrawal symptoms. As a lover of all things furry, he's also the unfortunate slave/minion of two adorable cats.

 

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