Face ID Stops Working, Why and How?

It’s annoying if the phone Face ID stops working, since a lot of people with a smart phone rely on it to unlock the screen, login to accounts, do payment etc. If it stops working, we will have to fall back on passcode, which is not as convenient as Face ID. And what’s more, if the Face ID doesn’t work we might have to use different passwords to login to social medias, online shops, bank account etc. It’s not secure to use a same passwords for all different apps and impossible to keep all different passcodes in mind. That’s why we rely on Face ID for everyday life.

Why is Face ID Fragile and Easy to Break?

Strictly speaking, Face ID is not a single component, it’s a group of components which work closely together. The main parts include Flood Illuminator, Dot Projector, Infrared Camera. These parts are all fragile and only one of them broken can make the Face ID unavailable or disabled. Check the link below for more information if you’d like to go deep into it. Apple Denies Lowering Face ID Camera Quality to Boost iPhone X Production – ExtremeTech

iPhone 11 Front Camera & Face ID assembly

How Comes My Face ID Stops Working?

Heavy Shock

The most common reason for a Face ID that stops working is heavy shock. We have seen up to 100 of phones with broken Face ID due to heavy shock. Heavy shocks not only do harm to Face ID, but also commit irreversible damage to almost all components of a phone including screen, camera, motherboard. It’s a well know principle that the more complex a component is, the easier it can be damaged. A Face ID is much more complex than a Touch ID, needless to say it’s composed of several different parts.

Sometimes customer doesn’t know the Face ID was gone after the phone suffered a heavy shock, especially the damage point was around the top of the screen. Because the screen didn’t show anything and it’s impossible to check the Face ID before a new screen replaced. The image shown below can give some idea of this case.

Face ID Stops Working-2
Screen Shocked Very Close to the Dot Project

Water/Liquid Damage

The second reason is water/liquid damage. All electronics components in a phone are connected together with copper wires and tin, and water/liquid can corrode into these metal materials and thus cause short circuit which leads to unexpected current wave to damage relating components.

non-Professional Repair

The third reason is non-professional replacement of a screen. Dot projector and infrared camera reside on a part that stays inside the housing of a phone, but the flood illuminator is with the top speaker flex, which is assembled together with the screen. Top speaker flex needs to be moved from the old screen to a new one when repairing. Top speaker flex cable is fixed with adhesive into a slot that resides in screen, which is easy to tear by inexperienced technician.

Static Electricity

Static electricity can also damage a Face ID, especially the Dot Projector. It can do fatal damage to electronics components by causing high voltage and local area temperature to destroy tiny wire or microchips internal structure. That’s why we always use ESD safe mat or ESD worktop for phone repairing.

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