Owners of the Nokia 9 PureView have had a rough go with the in-display fingerprint sensor they've bought their phones — our Ryan Whitwam was not impressed with the fussing around and finger-jambing he had to do in order to achieve authentication. A software update last week was supposed to loosen up and get the sensor working as it should. But manufacturer HMD Global is now investigating a complaint saying that the phone is too loose, producing false positives from unknown fingers and even a packet of gum.
On Monday, @DecodedPixel on Twitter went public with videos demonstrating how they were able to trick the phone.
Here is my Nokia 9 Fingerprint sensor issue, phone can be unlocked using a chewing gum packet or someone else's finger. Even unlocked with a coin or leather gloves. Please do help me get my Nokia 9 sorted. pic.twitter.com/Thce3nB2fr
— Decoded Pixel (@decodedpixel) April 21, 2019
@NokiaMobile @TechAltar here is another video of Nokia 9 being unlocked with a chewing gum packet. Phone has no tempered glass screen protector and display was cleaned before recording. pic.twitter.com/GqBVhmTiTZ
— Decoded Pixel (@decodedpixel) April 22, 2019
The user was able to consistently reproduce the fault with quick, repeated, gentle tapping of an unregistered object onto the sensor zone. The device would unlock after a burst of vibration.
@DecodedPixel claimed that they have had the problem for at least two weeks — preceding this month's software update. They have exhausted a multitude of troubleshooting routes and have tried to contact Nokia support in vain. At least one other Nokia 9 owner has voiced similar concerns on Reddit.
In publicizing the matter, he has tagged Marton Barcza, the YouTube personality behind TechAltar, who was also able to generate a false positive.
— TechAltar (@TechAltar) April 21, 2019
We held back reporting on these serious allegations until we made a good faith attempt to get a response from HMD Global. While we have yet to receive one, today, the company acknowledged the issue to both Barcza and @DecodedPixel.
HMD has just gotten back to me about the Nokia 9 fingerprint reader. They are investigating it. pic.twitter.com/EbeqQ35422
— TechAltar (@TechAltar) April 23, 2019
@DecodedPixel was contacted by chief product officer Juho Sarvikas, who promised that they would swap out their Nokia 9 and investigate.
Hi there! We have not been able to reproduce the issue. Our team in UK will reach out to you. It would be super helpful if we could swap your unit so that we can investigate this. Thanks!
— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) April 23, 2019
We'll be tracking further reaction and will update this story as needed.