Google Pixel 7 Pro just fixed the biggest Pixel 6 Pro problem

An image of the Google Pixel 7 Pro and its fingerprint scanner
(Image credit: Future)

I really liked the Google Pixel 6 Pro, stating it was the Android phone I’d been waiting for. So why did I end up on an iPhone 13 Pro? Well the Pixel 6 Pro seemed to be rather buggy at launch, and its fingerprint scanner was not only slower than those on some of the best Android phones but also frustratingly unreliable. 

Sure ,Google pushed out some updates to make the overall Pixel 6 Pro experience a bit slicker, but the fingerprint scanner still wasn't up to snuff. But I’m pleased to say the Google Pixel 7 Pro has a much improved fingerprint scanner. And I reckon its software is more robust out of the box. 

Due to the Pixel 6 Pro updates, it’s tricky to immediately see dramatic differences in its fingerprint sensor compared to that of the Pixel 7 Pro when testing them side by side. But after multiple attempts and swapping hands as well as grip, I’m convinced the Pixel 7 Pro’s scanner is snappier and more reliable. 

And casting my mind back some 12 months, I definitely feel the Pixel 7 Pro’s sensor is much better than the Pixel 6 Pro’s. I’ve not had a flare up of temper tempting me to hurl my phone across the room when the scanner fails to unlock the phone and the slightly obnoxious haptic feedback buzzes me about such misreading; after multiple times it feels like it’s symbolizing my failings or inadequacy as a person. 

A photo of the Google Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

So if you’re concerned about the Pixel 7 Pro’s fingerprint scanner repeating the failures of its predecessor, then you can rest easy.

I’ve not had much time with the Pixel 7 Pro, but on the whole it’s clearly an excellent Android phone. Do I wish it brought a little more to the hardware table? Yes, as I’ve really enjoyed the different designs of Pixel phones generation to generation.

But the software is the star player here. And at a time when phones get more iterative on the hardware front, I can’t fault Google for looking to push software features and AI smarts ahead of massive megapixel counts or screaming fast benchmarks. For example, Photo Unblur is a pretty cool feature, making hastily shot photos, messy with blurring and artifacts, into more palatable pictures.

I’ll need more time before I decide if the Pixel 7 Pro is the Android phone to tempt me away from the brilliant but dull iOS. But I’m excited to see how Google can keep harnessing its AI tech further with Android and its Pixel devices.

Next: The Google Pixel 7 Ultra just leaked: here's what we know. And check out how this is the one Pixel 7 Pro feature that blew us away.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • Trake_17
    I cannot understand people's heartburn with the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6 Pro. Truly cannot. It started off fast, and now it's lightening fast. Granted I'm one person, but I find it difficult to believe I've some kind of fluke of a super Pixel or something. You just calibrate the stinking fingerprint from multiple rotations of your finger. My scanner has only been slow if my hands happened to be wet or something. Otherwise, it's been great, but all these reviewer types poo-poo the fingerprint scanner.

    I don't get it.
  • Bw1343
    My Pixel 7's fingerprint sensor works maybe 10% of the time.
  • RevGregory
    Bw1343 said:
    My Pixel 7's fingerprint sensor works maybe 10% of the time.

    I have tried redoing my fingerprints multiple times on my Pixel 7 Pro and the accuracy is absolutely terrible compared to the Pixel 6 Pro, I often have to enter my pin because it won't scan. Entered prints once on my 6 and never had an issue.
  • Just_scroll_down2
    It took me a few different phones to figure out how to not hate my fingerprint scan. What it basically came down to was not always the phone's fault but my own finger's fault. So I've came up with my own solution which has worked pretty much flawlessly since I figured all this out the hard way...
    When you first register your fingerprint on your phone, make sure your hands are clean and in a state of rest (meaning you didn't just get out of the tub, you didn't just finish eating something greasy, or working in your workshop)
    If you have a tendency to have very dry skin for your hands, and your phone isn't registering your preset fingerprint, just lightly breathe on the finger needed, rub together and then try the reading again. Works like a charm for me all the time.
    And for you hard workers out there who really use your hands a lot, you might have to re-register your fingerprint from time to time. One time I was working with drywall without gloves and by the end of the day no matter how much I tried to put my fingerprint on my phone it didn't work. So I reworked my fingerprint and didn't have a problem from that point on.
    Hope this helps a few people.... Happy scrolling!