Testing out the VIVO V11's Face Unlock

Testing out the VIVO V11’s Face Unlock

Face unlock is starting to become a staple feature in not just flagship smartphones, but also in the mid-range segment. One such mid-range phone to have it is the VIVO V11, which uses the feature in tandem with its in-display fingerprint scanner. We shouldn’t sleep on that feature either, as it is perhaps one of the future paths of smartphone biometric security.

We wanted to put the VIVO V11’s face unlock feature to the test, to see where its limits are, so we had Kim test out as many scenarios as we could think of.


First, let’s set up the phone’s face unlock. It’s fast, simple, and only takes a few seconds once you get in the settings menu.

Nothing fancy

For our control variable, let’s establish the parameters we’re using. Kim has no make-up on her face, her hair isn’t tied, and she’s wearing a hat. Of course, since this is how she looked when face unlock was set up, it works fast and without hiccups if she just unlocks the phone normally. In fact, she’s not even wearing the hat for this test, but that doesn’t cause any issue, as expected.

Does it work? YES.

Head tilted at different angles

For our first real test, we had Kim tilt her head in various angles while breaking eye contact with the front camera.

Does it work? YES.

Nose covered

Next up, she covered her nose while looking right at the front camera with her head straight.

Does it work? YES.

Mouth covered

This test is the same as the last one, but this time the mouth was covered.

Does it work? YES.

Even if parts of the lower half of Kim’s face were covered, it worked. With the last two tests having a positive result, it can be said that one of the V11’s face-scanning processes heavily involves the subject’s eyes.

Half of the face covered (lengthwise)

Let’s change the angle of cover by seeing how it works with half of the face covered, lengthwise.

Does it work? YES. 

In the previous two tests before this one, we hypothesized that the eyes play heavily into the phone’s face scanning. But now that one eye was removed from the equation, it seems that the software also accepts partial data, scanned side-to-side.

Eyes closed

Now, let’s remove the eyes from the equation altogether.

Does it work? NO.

Now we see conclusively that the eyes really do play a big part in the V11’s face-scanning algorithm. Perhaps to not allow some creep to unlock your phone while you’re asleep? Who knows.


With sunglasses

Kim wore a pair of dark sunglasses for this test, but it’s worth noting that it doesn’t have mirrored lenses, so her eyes are still somewhat visible.

Does it work? YES.

Do let us know in the comments down below if you would like us to update this article with a mirrored lens sunglasses test.

With someone else in the frame

We had our intern Joaquin sit beside Kim and stay in the front camera’s view to see if that causes any issues.

Does it work? As we expected, YES.

Using a photo/video on another phone

Now let’s take things up a notch and see how secure the V11’s face unlock really is. Kim took a selfie photo and selfie video with another phone and showed them to the V11.

Does it work? NO (both photo and video)

Using a printed photo

We printed out the highest quality photo print as our abilities allowed us to. This was the same selfie Kim took on her phone to use in the previous test. We then shoved the print in front of the V11’s face.

Does it work? NO.

And it really shouldn’t! It would be horrible if this had worked.

Weird, wacky faces

Kim did various wacky faces while trying to unlock the V11.


Does it work? YES. All of them did.

Hair covering the face

Kim removed her hat and unleashed her inner lion, letting her thick hair fall and cover most of her face. How did the V11 react?

Does it work? NO. 

In relation to previous tests, we’ve established that the eyes are a key aspect to the way the V11’s face unlock works.

It’s not your only option

The V11 may have a pretty good face unlock feature, but don’t count out the in-display fingerprint scanner just yet. Yes, we know, it’s slow. But the most secure way to unlock the phone is to use both biometric features in tandem. Think of it as a two-factor authentication of sorts.

Now you know the limits of the VIVO V11’s face unlock. The phone is priced at Php19,999. You may read our full review here.

SpecificationVIVO V11
Display6.41-inch 19.5:9 Super AMOLED FHD+ HALO Fullview display @2340x1080px, 402ppi
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE 2.0GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 512 GPU
MicroSDexpandable via microSD card slot (up to 256GB) (dedicated)
Rear Camera12MP f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras
Front Camera25MP f/2.0 front camera
SIMDual-SIM (nano)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0
Biometrics-In-Display fingerprint scanner
-Face Unlock
Portmicro USB 2.0
OSFunTouch OS 4.5 (Android 8.1 Oreo)
Battery3,400mAh battery w/ dual-engine fast charging




Joey is YugaTech's Video Production Manager. He constantly puts effort towards his aspirations to be a filmmaker and journalist... when he's not riding his bike, playing games on his PC, watching anime, cooking, and petting his dogs.

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1 Response

  1. Mac says:

    You didn’t test the facial recognition on dark place or in a room with dim lights.

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