Google Pixel 4 not for sale in India, facial recognition works with closed eyes
Google’s Pixel 4 will not be available on the Indian market due to critical biometric components that operate on a frequency which is not allowed for use in India, the company said to CNN Business. India did not give Google a license it applied for to use the 60 Gigahertz frequency.
The phone was introduced to the public this week and will be available for purchase as of October 24.
“We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India,” the company spokesperson said.
Older Pixel models such as the Pixel 3, the Pixel 3 XL, and the Pixel 3a are available in India.
According to CNN, although the Indian market has great potential, it is monopolized by Chinese companies that offer smartphones at lower costs, in contrast with Google products which are out of most citizens’ budget. This is probably why Google accounts only for 1 percent of the Indian market, according to Tarun Pathak of Counterpoint Research.
India’s Department of Telecommunications has not commented on the event.
The Motion Sense feature has caused release issues not only in India, but also in Japan where it will be available in the spring of 2020. Regardless, Pixel 4 will be available for sale in Japan and a number of other countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Singapore and Taiwan.
In other news, BBC News found that Google’s Pixel 4 Face Unlock system still allows access into the phone if the eyes are closed, which could pose as a major security risk because it does not check if the user is alert, writes the news outlet.
“Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric,” Google said in a statement.
“They are actually only two face [authorization] solutions that meet the bar for being super-secure,” said Pixel product manager Sherry Lin before the product launch. “So, you know, for payments, that level – it’s ours and Apple’s.”
BBC News ran a test on multiple people and got similar results. Although leaked images of Pixel 4 show a requirement for “eyes open,” BBC News says the feature was not available in the phones it tested.
According Google’s Pixel 4 support website: “Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed.”