So Xiaomi has done it before schedule – while the company had said that it’ll push the Face Unlock feature to Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphones by the end of March, it has done that thing already so users can get the feature right after they unbox their devices. The first flash sale was held two days ago on Flipkart, so users who bought the devices might not have received them by now. It will be a great thing that they won’t have to wait for the feature.
The update is called MIUI v9.2.4 NEIMIEK and it’s 1.6GB in size. Besides Face Unlock it also brings a number of system stability and camera related improvements. Company’s Product PR Lead Clinton Jeff announced the update on Twitter:
If you bought a Redmi Note 5 Pro today, you’ll see an update to v9.2.4 available out of the box – Brings significant camera improvements, stability optimizations, and Face Unlock! 😱 pic.twitter.com/3ORMHhTFs3
— Clinton Jeff (@clintonjeff) February 22, 2018
The update, according to Jeff, will be available out of the box. But if you don’t get its notification you can also update your device manually by navigating to Settings >> System Updates. Or if you wish, you can also use company’s Updater app to do this.
Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched on 14th of February alongside Redmi Note 5. The device comes with Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB RAM, 5.99-inch display having FHD+ resolution (1,080 x 2,160 pixels), 12mp dual-lens primary camera, 20mp secondary camera and 4,000 mAh battery. The device also includes Beautify 4.0 and comes with MIUI 9 based on Android Nougat.
Redmi Note 5 and 5 Pro Selling Like Hotcakes
On the other hand, both these devices are selling like hotcakes. The company said after the first flash sale on 22nd of February that it sold one lakh units of smartphones per minute as 3 lakh orders raked in within 3 minutes. But will all of these buyers be delighted to have purchased these smartphones? I’m not so certain, especially after getting the first impressions of company’s Face Unlock feature.
How Good is Xiaomi’s Face Unlock?
I got a chance to try the unreleased beta version of this update recently, and I was not very pleased with the Face Unlock feature included in it. The feature has two notable shortcomings:
- It struggles (and occasionally even gives up) under low lighting;
- And secondly, it’s slow!
Yes. The feature is far from the speed of a fingerprint sensor. It takes a good 1-2 seconds to unlock the device, which can be frustrating when you’re in a hurry. Besides that, it also struggles under low lighting. The already slow verification process becomes slower if lighting is not good enough. Different lighting in various parts of your face can also impact the recognition process – in such case, the device takes longer to verify, and sometimes even throws up an error message.
So, while Xiaomi’s Face Unlock is a fine first step, it’s far from being a good one. OnePlus and a number of other Android smartphone makers have better alternatives. Hopefully, the company can improve it in future.