Best Android Phones with Gyroscope and Accelerometer in 2020

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Winner
Huawei P30 Pro 8 Stunning 6.47 Inch OLED Display, Android.TM 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.1.0 Sim-Free Smartphone - International Version/No Warranty (Midnight Black Dual Sim VOG-L29, 256GB)…
Best Price
Samsung Galaxy S10 Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone | US Version | 128GB of Storage | Fingerprint ID and Facial Recognition | Long-Lasting Battery | Prism Black (SM-G973U1ZKAX)
LG G8 ThinQ with Alexa Hands-Free – Unlocked SMARTPHONE – 128 GB – Aurora Black (US Warranty) – Verizon, AT&T, T–Mobile, Sprint, Boost, Cricket, & Metro
Sony Xperia 1 J9110 Dual-SIM 128GB/6GB Dual Sim - International Model - No Warranty in The USA - GSM ONLY, NO CDMA (White) - White
HTC U12 Plus 128GB/6GB Dual SIM - Factory Unlocked - GSM ONLY, No CDMA - International Version - No Warranty in The USA (Blue)
Honor 20 (128GB + 6GB RAM) 6.26" HD 4G LTE GSM Factory Unlocked Smartphone - 48MP Quad Main Camera + 32MP Frontal Camera - International Version No Warranty YAL-L21 (Blue)
Model
P30 Pro
Galaxy S10
G8
Xperia 1
U12 Plus
20
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.4/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Test Result 8.9/10 Very Good April 2020
Test Result 8.8/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Huawei
Samsung
LG
Sony
HTC
Honor
Display Diagonal Size
6.5 inch
6.7 inch
6.4 inch
6.5 inch
6.0 inch
6.3 inch
Storage
256 Gb
256 GB
128 GB
128 GB
64 GB
256 GB
Battery Capacity
4,200 mAh
4,500 mAh
4,000 mAh
3,330 mAh
3,500 mAh
4,000 mAh
RAM
8 GB
8 GB
6 GB
6 GB
6 GB
8 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.42 lbs
0.43 lbs
0.72 lbs
0.39 lbs
0.41 lbs
0.4 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • High Quality
  • Long Battery runtime
  • Great Performance
  • Good Camera
  • Fast Speed
  • Good Software
  • Excellent Camera
  • Bright Display
  • 5x Zoom Camera Technology
  • Upgradable Storage
  • Great Performance
  • Great Performance
  • Slim Design
  • Good Camera
  • Awesome Price
  • Good Performance
  • Good Camera
Cons
  • Just the Price, but Performance is never cheap
  • Less free Storage because of Samsung Software
  • Battery just average
  • Fast empty Battery if using 2 SIM cards
  • Not very Cheap
  • Camera lense protrude quite far out of the Case
Winner
Huawei P30 Pro 8 Stunning 6.47 Inch OLED Display, Android.TM 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.1.0 Sim-Free Smartphone - International Version/No Warranty (Midnight Black Dual Sim VOG-L29, 256GB)…
Model
P30 Pro
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Huawei
Display Diagonal Size
6.5 inch
Storage
256 Gb
Battery Capacity
4,200 mAh
RAM
8 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.42 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • High Quality
  • Long Battery runtime
Cons
  • Just the Price, but Performance is never cheap
Best Price
Samsung Galaxy S10 Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone | US Version | 128GB of Storage | Fingerprint ID and Facial Recognition | Long-Lasting Battery | Prism Black (SM-G973U1ZKAX)
Model
Galaxy S10
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Samsung
Display Diagonal Size
6.7 inch
Storage
256 GB
Battery Capacity
4,500 mAh
RAM
8 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.43 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Great Performance
  • Good Camera
  • Fast Speed
Cons
  • Less free Storage because of Samsung Software
LG G8 ThinQ with Alexa Hands-Free – Unlocked SMARTPHONE – 128 GB – Aurora Black (US Warranty) – Verizon, AT&T, T–Mobile, Sprint, Boost, Cricket, & Metro
Model
G8
Test Result
Test Result 9.4/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
LG
Display Diagonal Size
6.4 inch
Storage
128 GB
Battery Capacity
4,000 mAh
RAM
6 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.72 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Good Software
  • Excellent Camera
  • Bright Display
Cons
  • Battery just average
Sony Xperia 1 J9110 Dual-SIM 128GB/6GB Dual Sim - International Model - No Warranty in The USA - GSM ONLY, NO CDMA (White) - White
Model
Xperia 1
Test Result
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Sony
Display Diagonal Size
6.5 inch
Storage
128 GB
Battery Capacity
3,330 mAh
RAM
6 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.39 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • 5x Zoom Camera Technology
  • Upgradable Storage
  • Great Performance
Cons
  • Fast empty Battery if using 2 SIM cards
HTC U12 Plus 128GB/6GB Dual SIM - Factory Unlocked - GSM ONLY, No CDMA - International Version - No Warranty in The USA (Blue)
Model
U12 Plus
Test Result
Test Result 8.9/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
HTC
Display Diagonal Size
6.0 inch
Storage
64 GB
Battery Capacity
3,500 mAh
RAM
6 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.41 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Great Performance
  • Slim Design
  • Good Camera
Cons
  • Not very Cheap
Honor 20 (128GB + 6GB RAM) 6.26" HD 4G LTE GSM Factory Unlocked Smartphone - 48MP Quad Main Camera + 32MP Frontal Camera - International Version No Warranty YAL-L21 (Blue)
Model
20
Test Result
Test Result 8.8/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Honor
Display Diagonal Size
6.3 inch
Storage
256 GB
Battery Capacity
4,000 mAh
RAM
8 GB
Performance of Smartphone
Value for money
Weight
0.4 lbs
Water Resistant?
Pros
  • Awesome Price
  • Good Performance
  • Good Camera
Cons
  • Camera lense protrude quite far out of the Case

If you buy an Android smartphone with a gyroscope and Accelerometer, you will get a model that can be used many times. An Android mobile phone with a gyroscope is not just a model with a compass, but in this case you get a device which is also essential for VR applications. A smartphone with a gyroscope helps the smartphone to detect height differences and movements.

How a gyroscope and Accelerometer Smartphone can be found and which possibilities such a mobile phone with gyroscope has, you can see in the following lines. If you are looking for the best Android smartphones with gyroscope, you will find the Ranking above and the in-depth tests of each Android Smartphone below.

What is a Gyroscope Sensor in a Android Smartphone?

Many Android Smartphones (as well as airplanes) have a gyroscope sensor built in, which is also called a gyroscope instrument. It allows you to determine the orientation of your mobile phone (north, west, south, east) very precisely.

In the Google Maps app, for example, you can see where your Android Smartphone is pointing (gyroscope) while you are determining your position (using GPS). How exactly does this work?

How does the Gyroscope Sensor work in a Android Smartphone?

  • A gyroscope consists of a small wheel that rotates in a small spherical frame. From the outside it looks a bit like a spinning top in a round cage.
  • When the wheel is not turning, it behaves like any other object that is held on the ground by its weight.
  • However, if the wheel turns very fast, the spinning top will keep its position, even if you lift it only one side, like video above shows.
  • Because the gyroscope is a constant reference, you can deduce how an object containing the gyroscope moves.

In a mobile phone, the gyroscope technology is implemented on a much smaller scale in the form of a sensor.

Advantages of Android Smartphones with Gyroscope and Accelerometer

If you have an Android Smartphone with a gyroscope, there are the following advantages:

  • Apps can use the gyroscope to control a game by tilting or tilting the mobile phone, for example.
  • Navigation and positioning is much more accurate and reliable with a gyroscope than without it. In supported apps, you can see which direction your phone is pointing, for example.

So if you often use your Android mobile phone for navigation, you should pay attention to an integrated gyroscope.

Note: There are apps that simulate the function of a gyroscope with the help of GPS data. However, this technology is not as reliable as a real gyroscope. If your phone has a gyroscope, you can find out in the data sheet of the respective manufacturer. The LG G2 Mini (LTE) for example has a gyroscope; the Moto G4 Play has none.

Ranking First: Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro review


Pros

  • Best Performance
  • High Quality
  • Long Battery runtime

Cons

  • Just the Price, but Performance is never cheap

The Huawei P30 Smartphone is a device from the higher priced Android Smartphone segment. We took a closer look at the product today and saw if it meets its requirements.

Hardware

The equipment of the P30 can be described as extensive and attractive. We find the 5.1 inch LTPS Full-HD display with 432 ppi, which corresponds to a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, particularly attractive. The device is also equipped with a fast Kirin 960 octa-core processor, which can access 4Gb RAM. The user has a total of 64Gb of memory available. However, the memory can be expanded up to 256Gb. The 20 megapixel monochrome + 12 megapixel RGB Leica-Dual camera is responsible for the convincing photo shoot. A 4K video recording is also possible here. We award 4.5 of 5 stars.

Ratings

The Amazon reviews of the P30 are extremely positive. Often reviewers have pointed out the technical aspects of the phone, which are quite convincing. The processor is supposed to enable smooth operation and also the execution of performance-intensive applications. The material processing was also repeatedly titled as very good, whereby it was especially noted that it should resemble the processing quality of an iPhone. Some users reported negatively about the stability of the Bluetooth connection to radios or other Bluetooth-capable devices. We award 4.5 of 5 stars.

Currently, you can get this model for $640 in the online shop of Amazon. The P30 from Hauwei can be described as a really well-equipped Android smartphone with Gyroscope Sensor and Accelerometer. It’s quite an expensive product, but we think the price is reasonable. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Verdict

Overall, there’s no doubt that the Huawei P30is a really good smartphone. The technical equipment is usually the focus of Amazon reviews and motivates us to give a very clear recommendation to buy. We think that the product is very well suited for potential buyers with higher budgets. We award 4.5 of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Second: Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10 review


Pros

  • Great Performance
  • Good Camera
  • Fast Speed

Cons

  • Less free Storage because of Samsung Software

The slim Samsung Galaxy S8 in Midnight Black comes with a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels, rounded edges, 64 GB and 8 MP camera. The following text reveals what else this eye-catcher can do.

Hardware

According to the manufacturer, the slim Samsung Galaxy S8 in Midnight Black is a unique, elegantly curved and symmetrical object. It comes with a 12 MP main camera and 8 MP front camera at a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels with the Infinity Display. The new iris recognition system ensures reliable user verification. Thanks to Smart Switch, a large number of files can be taken along when changing to Android smartphones with Gyroscope Sensor and Accelerometer. The powerful 10nm processor works fast and efficiently.

The memory can be expanded by 256GB. With IP68 certification the device is protected against dust and water. The Samsung Galaxy S8 (6.8 x 0.8 x 14.9cm ; 154g) in Midnight Black comes with headset, charging adapter, data cable, USB adapter, slot tool, manual. We award 5 of 5 stars.

Ratings

For Amazon customers, the Galaxy 8S feels very noble in the hand thanks to its good weight, round, hand-caressing shape and glass-like feel. According to customers, the cameras deliver amazing images: The resolution is bombastic, rich colors, razor-sharp. The performance runs at the highest level.

Disadvantage of the fantastic design is, despite the cover etc., the vulnerability, about which many customers are annoyed. The face recognition is good, but can certainly be fooled by a picture. A big point of criticism is the position of the fingerprint sensor and that after some time weaknesses become apparent, such as camera problems with focusing or problems with sound output.

128GB is a lot, so it’s hardly noticeable that you have less available. The battery is firmly installed. Customers advise against buying if you own a Galaxy S10, because the “upgrade” is not worth it, the devices are very similar. We award 5 out of 5 stars.

Usage

For Amazon customers, the Galaxy 8S feels very noble in the hand thanks to its good weight, round, hand-caressing shape and glass-like feel. According to customers, the cameras deliver amazing images: The resolution is bombastic, rich colors, razor-sharp. The performance runs at the highest level.

Disadvantage of the fantastic design is, despite the cover etc., the vulnerability, about which many customers are annoyed. The face recognition is good, but can certainly be fooled by a picture. A big point of criticism is the position of the fingerprint sensor and that after some time weaknesses become apparent, such as camera problems with focusing or problems with sound output.

64GB is a lot, so it’s hardly noticeable that you have less available. The battery is firmly installed. Customers advise against buying if you own a Galaxy S10, because the “upgrade” is not worth it, the devices are very similar. We award 5 out of 5 stars.

Price

Currently you can get this model for $430 in Amazon. Great price with great performance – the price/performance ratio is very good. We award 5 of 5 stars.

Verdict

Super Android smartphone with Gyroscope Sensor and Accelerometer with functionality and great design. Clear buy recommendation at a good price, otherwise the S10might be the better choice. We award 5 of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Third: LG G8

LG G8 review


Pros

  • Good Software
  • Excellent Camera
  • Bright Display

Cons

  • Battery just average

The manufacturer LG Electronics has given its G8 smartphone a 5.3 inch touch display and a sufficiently large internal memory. We were able to research which other product features this smartphone has integrated and put them down on paper in a short report.

Hardware

This G8 smartphone is equipped with a 13.5 cm touch display and 32 GB of internal memory, as mentioned above. It can also be seen that this Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer Smartphone Titan has a 4 GB RAM, which together with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Quad-Core processor ensures sufficient performance and fun during operation.

For photo fun, the G8 smartphone has a 16 megapixel main camera and an 8 megapixel secondary camera with 135° wide angle. In addition to the equipment, a fingerprint sensor, the connection technologies 4G-LTE, 3G, WLAN and Bluetooth as well as a powerful battery for a call duration of up to 18 hours. We award 4.5 of 5 stars.

Ratings

What you can read in the customer reviews of the Amazon online shop for this G8 smartphone from the manufacturer LG Electronics is clearly in the positive and satisfied area.

Starting with the already very large internal memory, which is additionally expandable up to 2 Terabyte, it continues seamlessly with the high-performance performance, the sharp display and the good handling and operation of the product. We award 4.5 of 5 stars.

Price

Currently you can get this model for $600 in Amazon.

But as this product is currently available in the Amazon online shop at a more than 50% reduced price, the relation between price and performance looks much better. Because the sum of product data, functions and of course positive customer reviews exceeds the currently reduced price by far. We award 4 of 5 stars.

Verdict

If you consider that this Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone comes to the customer reduced by over 50%, and then look at the great features and outstanding performance, it is definitely worth looking at and buying this product. We award 4.5 of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Fourth: Sony Xperia 1 (J9110)

Sony Xperia 1 review


Pros

  • 5x Zoom Camera Technology
  • Upgradable Storage
  • Great Performance

Cons

  • Fast empty Battery if using 2 SIM cards

With the Sony Xperia 1, users can get not only high quality pictures but also the best sound quality from the device. In addition, neither water nor dust will harm the device.

Of course, these are just a few of the Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone features that distinguish the Sony Xperia 1. All of these features of the device will now be discussed in more detail in the following.

Hardware

According to the manufacturer, the Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone not only has a 5.2 inch Full HD IPS display with integrated BRAVIA TV technology, but also a 23 megapixel main camera with a very fast autofocus of 0.03 seconds. Sony has also equipped the device with a 5 megapixel front camera and a 25mm wide-angle lens.

In addition, you can use the 32 GB internal memory, which can be increased to 200 GB. The music can be played optimally with the help of the high-resolution audio and digital noise reduction. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Ratings

According to customer statements on Amazon, the battery life of up to two days is very good. However, according to several customers, battery life can be significantly reduced by using multiple SIM cards.

According to customers, users can use several different SIM cards in their mobile phone, for example to be able to use it for private and business purposes. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Price

Currently you can get this model for $700 in the online shop of Amazon. The price for the smartphone from Sony is, in combination with the offered services, within the usual market range. We award 4 of 5 stars.

Verdict

All in all, the Sony Xperia 1 is an excellent phone that allows you to take photos quickly. It is also very good to use several SIM cards (e.g. for private and/or business purposes), although this will reduce battery life. We award 4 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Fifth: HTC U12 Plus

HTC U12 Plus review


Pros

  • Great Performance
  • Slim Design
  • Good Camera

Cons

  • Not very Cheap

The HTC U12 Plus is a mid-range Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone with a design that takes some getting used to. We took a closer look at the product and formed a precise opinion about it. Especially important for us was the price-performance ratio.

Hardware

The main features of the U12 Plus are clearly the Full HD 5.2″ display and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor. In addition, a camera that supports 4K video recording is also integrated, which is particularly worthwhile for owners of 4K TVs.

Also included are the HTC USonic earphones, which have been praised in several magazines for their clear sound. The phone is equipped with a back panel made of acrylic glass and can therefore be titled visually appealing. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Ratings

On Amazon, the buyers of the U12 Plus have usually left good reviews. Often the reviewers praised the case and the general appearance of the phone. Technically, the smartphone is said to be only mediocre in terms of price. It was noted here that cheaper smartphones with similar or better technical specifications are already available.

The camera is said to deliver very good pictures, provided that sufficient ambient light is available. This applies to both photos and videos. Many reviewers remarked that the phone is only worthwhile for buyers who want to have the new Android 8.0 and thus benefit from Android One. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Price

Currently, you can get this model for $495 in the online shop of Amazon. You can classify the U12 Plus as a mid-priced smartphone.

We think that this is a quite reasonable price-performance ratio. Nevertheless, we have to point out that some cheaper models do much better here. We award 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Verdict

All in all, from our point of view, the U12 Plus can be called a good middle-class solution. This is especially true if you want to have access to Android 8.0. We therefore recommend a purchase. We award 4 of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Sixth: Honor 20

Honor 20 review


Pros

  • Awesome Price
  • Good Performance
  • Good Camera

Cons

  • Camera lense protrude quite far out of the Case

The Honor 20 promises extensive equipment at an entry-level price. We have taken a closer look at the product to see if it offers an attractive price-performance ratio.

Hardware

Despite the low price, the features of the Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone can be described as really attractive. The 5.5″ Full HD display is particularly convincing, which makes watching videos or playing games on the smartphone especially pleasant. The integrated 12 megapixel main camera also ensures crystal-clear photos, which can be shown very well on the display.

Further functions are a dual-SIM compartment and an integrated fingerprint sensor. The battery can also be mentioned as a clear feature and should be sufficient for two days of continuous operation. We award 4 out of 5 stars.

Ratings

The Amazon reviews of Honor 20 read very positively. Well over 1000 reviewers have given an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, often focusing on the technical aspects of the phone. The phone is supposed to be sufficiently equipped technically and should be able to handle multitasking without problems.

The camera was also described as very good and ideal for holiday photos, which was also the reason for some recommendations. The only negative point was that the camera lenses on the back protrude quite far, which requires the use of a cover. We award 4 of 5 stars.

Price

Currently, you can get this model for $299 in the online shop of Amazon. In terms of price, the Honor 20 can be described as really attractive. We think that there is still a lot on offer and buyers can expect a very attractive price-performance ratio. This applies especially to the technical aspects of the device. We award 4.5 of 5 stars.

Verdict

All in all, the Honor 20 is a very good smartphone and an optimal way between good features and an attractive price. We think that this is a consistently good product and can therefore give a clear recommendation to buy. We award 4 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews.

Ranking Seventh: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review


Pros

  • Fast work speed
  • Storage Upgradable
  • Big Screen

Cons

  • Expensive

According to manufacturer information, the elegant, seamless 16.05 cm / 6.3 inch Infinity display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 enables its users to work really efficiently with multitasking and gives them more freedom to implement their own ideas. More details about the product can be found in the following text.

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with the large 6.3 inch Infinity Display and improved S-Pen with fine, pressure-sensitive tip and extensive functions. The dual camera shows qualities of a professional camera. Equipped with a telephoto and a wide-angle lens, the 12 MP main camera with a large aperture enables vivid, clear pictures to be taken even in low light.

Thanks to IP68 certification, the Android Gyroscope sensor and Accelerometer smartphone is protected against moisture and dust. Thanks to the powerful 10 nm octa-core processor, 6 GB memory and a battery capacity of 3300 mAh, the Galaxy Note 8 (0.9 x 7.5 x 16.3 cm; 195g) in Midnight Black makes anything possible. It comes with a quick charger, AKG headset, USB adapter, spare tips for the S-Pen, small tool. We award 5 of 5 stars.

Ratings

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with the large 6.3 inch Infinity Display and improved S-Pen with fine, pressure-sensitive tip and extensive functions. The dual camera shows qualities of a professional camera. Equipped with a telephoto and a wide-angle lens, the 12 MP main camera with a large aperture enables vivid, clear pictures to be taken even in low light.

Thanks to IP68 certification, the smartphone is protected against moisture and dust. Thanks to the powerful 10 nm octa-core processor, 6 GB memory and a battery capacity of 3300 mAh, the Galaxy Note 8 (0.9 x 7.5 x 16.3 cm; 195g) in Midnight Black makes anything possible. It comes with a quick charger, AKG headset, USB adapter, spare tips for the S-Pen, small tool. We award 5 of 5 stars.

Customers on Amazon are very enthusiastic about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and the performance increase is absolutely noticeable according to customers, the Note 8 “runs” literally, without any delays, the page structure while surfing, the retrieval of emails – everything goes faster than ever before. The reception characteristics are also much better.

The AKG headphones are well received: the sound is very good and the workmanship leaves nothing to be desired. The camera with optical image stabilizer works incredibly professional: according to customers, the live focus works great and any competent but “ignorant” viewer would say “the photo was definitely taken with a SLR”.

For a high-end Android smartphone with Gyroscope Sensors and Accelerometer of the newest generation, customers would have expected a little more battery capacity or at least a replaceable battery. We award 5 out of 5 stars.

Price

Currently, you can get this model for $460 in the online shop of Amazon. A lot of money for a lot of performance – the price/performance ratio is fine. We award 4 of 5 stars.

Verdict

The Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung is a high-end device, without any big ifs and buts. The purchase is recommended. We award 5 of 5 stars based on customer reviews and product reviews. At Amazon we currently find 160 customer reviews, which award an average of 4.2 stars.

How do Android Smartphones Sensors work?

How do Android Smartphones Sensors work?

Gyroscope Sensors and Accelerometer in Android Phones

Gyroscopes or gyros are devices that measure or maintain rotary motion. MEMS gyros (microelectromechanical system) are small, low-cost sensors that measure angular velocity. The units of angular velocity are measured in degrees per second (° / s) or revolutions per second (RPS). The angular velocity is simply a measurement of rotational speed.

Gyroscopes, similar to the above, can be used to determine orientation and are found in most autonomous navigation systems. For example, if you want to balance a robot, a gyroscope can be used to measure the rotation from the balanced position and send corrections to a motor.

When things rotate around an axis, they have a so-called angular velocity. A rotary wheel can be measured in revolutions per second (RPS) or degrees per second (° / s).

If you connect the sensor to the wheel shown above, you can measure the angular velocity of the z-axis of the gyro. The other two axes would not measure rotation.

Imagine that the wheel rotates once per second. It would have an angular velocity of 360 degrees per second. The direction of rotation of the wheel is also important. Is it clockwise around the axis or is it counterclockwise?

A MEMS gyroscope with three axes, similar to the one shown above (ITG-3200), can measure rotation around three axes: x, y and z. Some gyros come in single-axis and dual-axis versions, but the three-axis gyro in a single chip is smaller, cheaper and more popular.

Gyroscopes are often used for objects that do not rotate very fast. Planes do not (hopefully) rotate. Instead, they rotate a few degrees around each axis. By detecting these small changes, gyros help to stabilize the flight of the plane. Also note that the acceleration or linear velocity of the airplane does not affect the gyro’s measurement. Gyros only measure the angular velocity.

How does the MEMS gyro detect angular velocity?

The gyroscopic sensor in MEMS is tiny (between 1 and 100 micrometers, the size of a human hair). When the gyroscope is rotated, a small resonant mass is displaced when the angular velocity changes. This motion is converted into very weak electrical signals that can be amplified and read by a host microcontroller.

How to choose the right Gyroscope Sensor for Android Smartphones

There are many specifications to consider when selecting the sensor to be used. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • The measuring range or the entire scale range is the maximum angular velocity the gyro can read. Think about what you are measuring. Do you need to measure the spin of a turntable, which is very slow, or a spinning wheel, which could be very fast?
  • Sensitivity is measured in mV per degree per second (mV / ° / s). Don’t be frightened by the strange dimension of this value. It determines how much the voltage changes for a given angular velocity. For example, if you specify a gyroscope with a sensitivity of 30 mV / ° / s and the output is changed by 300 mV, you have rotated the gyroscope by 10 ° / s. A good rule to follow: As the sensitivity increases, the range decreases. Take a look at the data sheet of the LPY503 gyro, for example.
  • Bias: As with any sensor, the values you measured contain some errors or deviations. You can detect the inclination of the gyro by measuring the output when the gyro is still stationary. Although you would think you would see 0° when the gyro is still stationary, the output always shows a small non-zero error. These errors are sometimes called bias drift or bias instability. The temperature of the sensor greatly affects the bias. To minimize the source of error, most gyros have a built-in temperature sensor. So you can read the temperature of the sensor and correct temperature-dependent changes. To correct these errors, the gyro must be calibrated. This is usually done by keeping the sensor still and setting all readings in your code to zero.

What is the difference between a gyroscope sensor and an accelerometer in Android Smartphones?

What is the difference between a gyroscope sensor and an accelerometer in Android Smartphones?

The main difference between the two devices is simple: one can sense rotation, the other cannot. In a sense, the accelerometer can measure the orientation of a stationary object in relation to the Earth’s surface. When accelerating in a certain direction, the accelerometer cannot distinguish between acceleration and acceleration due to gravity. If you consider this obstruction when using the accelerometer in an airplane, the accelerometer quickly loses its appeal.

The gyroscope maintains its effectiveness by measuring the speed of rotation around a certain axis. When measuring the rate of rotation around the roll axis of an aircraft, it determines an actual value until the object stabilizes. Following the basic principles of angular momentum, the gyroscope helps to determine orientation. In comparison, the accelerometer measures linear acceleration based on vibrations.

The typical biaxial accelerometer gives users the direction of gravity in an airplane, smartphone, car or other device. In comparison, a gyroscope is designed to determine an angular position based on the principle of spatial rigidity. Despite their similar purpose, the applications of the various devices vary greatly. For example, a gyroscope is used for navigation on unmanned aircraft, compasses and large boats, which ultimately contributes to the stability of navigation. Accelerometers are also widely used and can be found in the fields of mechanical engineering, machine construction, hardware monitoring, building and structure monitoring, navigation, transport and even consumer electronics.

The nine most common sensors in smartphones

The components permanently measuring in the background can also be misused. This is because they provide data that allow deep insights into the private lives of users*. A look at the areas of application and tasks of the individual sensors is necessary in order to identify risks of abuse.

  • Proximity sensor:
    A proximity sensor determines whether the device is being held close to the ear, for example. If this is the case, the screen must be switched off so that the ear does not inadvertently trigger actions such as ending the phone call. This sensor is indispensable and available in every device. Its range is between thirty centimeters and one meter. Within this range, it detects whether there is anything in front of the screen and at what distance.
  • Brightness sensor:
    It controls the screen brightness. For example, it adjusts the screen brightness to maximum in sunlight and minimizes it in the dark to save battery power. Old or simple mobile phones do not offer this automatic function.
  • Tilt sensor:
    This sensor is not only important for games that are partly controlled by tilting or change their behaviour. In combination with other sensors it is also needed to rotate the screen when the phone is tilted.
  • Gyroscope / rotation sensor:
    This sensor measures the rotation of the smartphone around its axes. Thus, the screen can be set to landscape or portrait format, depending on its position. So can the camera. This sensor is also used for image stabilization when taking pictures.
  • Acceleration sensor:
    It measures changes in the speed of the smartphone. Together with the tilt sensor and gyroscope, the smartphone thus detects changes in position. This sensor is also important for navigation, e.g. for determining the position between two GPS signals or in case of poor GPS reception. Tilt sensor, gyroscope and acceleration sensor are also used intensively by games.
  • GPS sensor:
    This sensor is used for positioning and navigation. It determines the location based on satellite signals. In closed rooms it does not work or works only poorly. In many devices, the sensor not only receives signals from the US-operated GPS satellites, but also from the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system. Users* benefit from this, because if GPS satellites are not available at the moment, the position determination still works, provided that GLONASS satellites can be used.
  • Magnetic Field Sensor / Compass :
    Also important for navigation and positioning to find out where the four cardinal points are and in which direction a smartphone is currently moving or being held. This also coordinates the line of sight with the orientation of a map. Many virtual and augmented reality apps also require the magnetic field sensor.
  • Thermometer
    The temperatures of the battery and processor must be monitored to prevent overheating and damage. The easiest way to do this is to measure the temperature of the smartphone. This can also be used to determine the ambient temperature at an approximate level.
  • Voltmeter:
    To determine the charge level of the battery, mobile phones use a simple voltmeter. It is also used during charging to switch the device into charging mode.

Extra Sensors in Android Smart Phones

Extra Sensors in Android Smart Phones

In addition, some devices contain other sensors, such as an electromagnetic sensor. Anyone who wants a foldable protective cover for their phone that activates the screen when opened needs this sensor. It is necessary so that the mobile phone registers whether a protective cover with a magnetic lock is open or closed.

A barometer can also be found in some devices. Newer devices can measure the air pressure. Mobile phones thus become weather stations. The smartphone also knows the altitude at which it is located. The accuracy is about one meter, so it is also possible to determine on which floor a person is located.

Samsung’s Galaxy models have an additional humidity sensor. This allows the weather forecast to be optimised. The device also measures whether water has penetrated the interior.

Biometric sensors, such as fingerprint sensors or iris scanners, are also becoming increasingly common.

What Sensor does my Android Smartphone have?

With different apps you can determine which sensors are available in your own mobile phone. Their data can also be read out. A search in the respective app store with the keyword sensor provides an extensive selection. For example, we recommend the open source and ad-free App Sensors Sandbox, which is also available in the alternative App Store F-Droid.

On some Android devices the sensors can also be accessed via the hidden test menu. To do so, select the code “##4636##” in the phone’s keypad and the menu opens. But be careful, sometimes phone settings can be changed here that affect the function of the device.

Sensor data in Android Smartphones can reveal location

Apps can easily access the built-in sensors of a smartphone. No special authorization is required and users are not informed about the access. The providers of the operating systems Google and Apple read out the measurement data of the built-in sensors by default. Exceptions are camera, microphone, GPS and fingerprint sensor, for which a special permission is required.

For a single sensor this does not seem to be a problem. However, in combination with other data, these readings can be very meaningful. In September 2017, for example, researchers at the U.S. university Princton presented the “PinMe” app, which enabled them to determine the exact location of a cell phone without accessing GPS or other authorization-protected functions.

The demo app combines sensor data such as acceleration, compass direction or air pressure with publicly available information such as the location of nearby WLAN networks, maps or a country’s elevation profile.

The app not only determines where you are, but also how to get around, for example in an airplane. Theoretically, sensors could tell you a lot more, such as whether you put the device in your pocket or hold it in your hand, or whether you’ve drunk too much alcohol, because then your movements change.

Among other things, the researchers in Princton wanted to use their work to show how important it is that the manufacturers of the operating systems, primarily Google and Apple, better protect access to sensors.

In the meantime, several research teams have even succeeded in guessing the PIN for screen locking based on the sensor data. To do this, an app reads the motion sensors while the user enters the PIN to detect the slightest changes in movement caused by typing or scrolling. For example, pressing button 1 on the left edge of the phone tilts the phone slightly to the left.

Scientists from Singapore and Germany presented an algorithm in a paper at the end of 2017 that enabled them to guess a 4-digit PIN in 83.7 percent of cases (20 attempts each) from unprotected sensor data alone.

In April 2017, researchers from Newcastle, UK, presented a similar attack in which a prepared web page queries sensor data from the browser of a smartphone and thus guesses the PIN entered. This works because web browsers also access sensors and pass the data on to websites on request.


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