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Huawei’s “iPhone X”: manufacturer copies Face ID, Animoji

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iPhone X launched earlier this month, and already we’re seeing Android devices copy its flagship features. Chinese manufacturer Huawei has just announced a front-facing 3D depth camera system that uses facial recognition to unlock the device. Sound familiar?

The system also unashamedly rips off Animoji, the light-hearted iPhone X feature that maps your face onto a 3D emoji in real time. Huawei’s version uses much more realistic 3D models, though, and can detect when the user sticks out their tongue – something Animoji, bizarrely, is incapable of.

Is this a dealbreaker?

Of course, it’s no surprise that competing smartphone makers would want to keep up with and surpass the latest iPhone. It’s not like Apple owns these concepts – don’t forget that Android devices had facial recognition features well before iPhone. (They just weren’t much good.) But it’s amusing to see Huawei react so directly these features in an attempt to one-up Apple. Check out the two competing systems below.

Huawei’s 3D depth camera (top), Apple’s TrueDepth camera (bottom)

For its part, Huawei says that its system captures 300,000 points of face data – ten times more than Apple’s TrueDepth camera. The numbers sound impressive, but Huawei doesn’t yet have a product that incorporates this technology, nor any indication of when it might be available. We’re curious to see how well these promises hold up to testing when the technology launches.

People from both sides of the fence love to argue about this stuff, but ultimately competition is a good thing for everybody and will force all parties to up their game. Huawei’s latest announcement will encourage Apple to make significant improvements to the second generation of Face ID, and we’ll all benefit.