Does Face ID drain your phone’s battery? (Explained!)

iPhone Face ID and Android face unlock allow you to easily unlock your phone. Thanks to Face ID and face unlock, you don’t have to remember your password or enter a key pattern every time you want to unlock the phone.

However, what about the battery drain of Face ID and face unlock? Does Face ID and face unlock consume significant battery power on your smartphone?

Does Face ID drain your iPhone’s battery?

Face ID doesn’t drain your iPhone’s battery to any noticeable level.

Your iPhone’s Face ID only tries to scan your face when you hold the iPhone in front of your face. It can detect when you try to unlock the phone by using low-power orientation sensors and other low-power sensors.

For example, your iPhone won’t try to scan your face when you place the phone on a desk or into your pocket.

Because Face ID doesn’t try to unlock your phone continuously, it only drains minimal battery power.

iPhone Face ID also only takes 1 or 2 seconds at most to unlock the phone. It only consumes very little battery power for the IR dot projector and IR camera for that brief period of unlocking. As a result, your iPhone’s Face ID won’t affect the battery life at a noticeable level.

Does face unlock drain your Android phone’s battery?

The Android face unlock feature also doesn’t drain that much battery power. Similar to iPhone’s Face ID, Android face unlock only tries to unlock your phone when you place the phone in front of your face.

Face unlock can detect the phone’s orientation using low-power sensors and identify whether you want to unlock your phone using the face unlock feature. As a result, face unlock can unlock your phone without continuously scanning your face.

Face unlock also only takes minimal time for the unlocking. It only consumes very little battery power for the face unlock to unlock the phone during that brief period.

So your Android phone’s face unlock feature won’t consume significant battery power.

Does your phone’s fingerprint scanner drain the battery?

Fingerprint scanners on smartphones only consume very little battery power. They only scan your finger when you place the finger onto the sensor. They don’t scan continuously.

As a result, fingerprint scanners have negligible battery drain on smartphones.

Face ID vs. Touch ID: which drains more battery?

Generally, Face ID drains more battery power than Touch ID.

Face ID uses an IR dot projector and an IR camera, which consume significantly more battery power than a simple capacitive fingerprint sensor.

However, both fingerprint scanners and Face ID sensors only consume minimal battery power compared to other components on your phone. For example, cellular modems, mobile processors, and mobile displays consume significantly more battery power than fingerprint scanners or Face ID sensors.

Because they both consume minimal battery power, the battery drain difference between Face ID and Touch ID is not noticeable in most cases.

Does your phone’s camera drain the battery?

Unlike Face ID and face unlock, your phone’s camera can significantly drain battery power for both photos and videos.

When you take a photo using your phone’s camera, the camera itself consumes battery power. It consumes more battery power for image processing.

If you use the inbuilt flash for smartphone photography, it increases the battery drain of your smartphone.

Recording videos using your smartphone consumes much more battery power than capturing photos. Recording videos require the phone to capture multiple image frames per second. It also drains more battery power for video processing.

Conclusion

Face ID on your iPhone and face unlock on your Android phone both consume minimal battery power. Compared to other components like the cellular modem, mobile processor, and mobile display, Face ID and face unlock have a negligible effect on your phone’s battery life.

On the other hand, capturing photos and recording videos on your phone can significantly increase the battery drain. Unlike Face ID and face unlock, capturing photos and recording videos require the phone to process the recorded pictures and videos using more hardware resources, increasing the total battery drain.

Smartphone fingerprint scanners consume negligible battery power. Their battery consumption is even lower than that of Face ID and face unlock.

References

How Face ID works

Smartphone Face recognition