LG V30 closer look: Security features, including facial and voice recognition

Yesterday, LG launched the V30, the latest flagship from the company's V-series. It uses a 1440p OLED FullVision display, a Snapdragon 835 chipset, and more, but it also has a number of security features for unlocking the device, including fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition.

I don't want to go too deep into the fingerprint reader, as those have been somewhat commoditized at this point. The sensor works well, it's fast, and I haven't had any issues.

Facial recognition can be a hot issue though, as there are different ways of it being implemented. Unlike Windows laptops that have an infrared camera to do the job, the V30 uses the front camera, which means a few things.

For one thing, unless you turn on "Advanced face recognition", you will certainly be able to unlock the phone with a picture of yourself. I tested this out myself, and I took a selfie with my PC's camera, turned the V30 to the screen, and it instantly unlocked. It's worth noting that I was not able to fool it at all with the Advanced feature turned on. Clearly, that's why it's there.

I also didn't notice it being much slower with Advanced turned on. The phone makes a stop at the lock screen before it unlocks, so it's about an extra second.

The other issue with using a regular camera for facial recognition is that it doesn't work in the dark. This probably won't be an issue for many; after all, the fingerprint reader is still there, but it's worth mentioning.

Ultimately, while it works quite well (and as described in settings), I'm not a fan of facial recognition. One of the hallmark features of the V-series has been the secondary display, and that's gone now in favor of the Floating Bar and an Always-On Display. If you're one to use the Floating Bar on the Always-On Display to control music playback, you might end up frustrated with the phone unlocking while you're trying to control your media.

The voice recognition feature is pretty cool, and like the others, it works quite well. Once you turn it on though, you'll be greeted with a message about how it's not quite secure, as someone could use a recording of your voice to get into your phone; there's really no way around that. Luckily, you can choose to only have it turn on your screen - perhaps if you only want to see your notifications on the lock screen - or you can have it completely unlock the device.

You can set it to recognize any phrase you want. Personally, I switched it up a bit, using phrases like "hello, Galaxy Note7", or "hello, V40"; you know, just to screw with people in public. It will ask you to repeat it four times, and then it's set. As long as you don't have a lot of background noise when recording it or when unlocking the V30, you shouldn't have a problem.

But while it's great to have options - as I know that not everyone has the same preferences that I do - I'm happy with a solid fingerprint reader, and the one on the V30 hasn't given me a single issue. If you're not a fan of any biometric authentication, you can always use a PIN, pattern, or LG's knock to unlock.

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