Sensors and Their Functions: How to know Sensors Functioning on your Phone

Sensors and their functions

Sensor is one of the add-on that further enhance our mobile device to be able to do some specific task that requires them. It is very important and it can not be neglect when it comes to getting the best out of our smart devices.

Sensor has been in existence on mobile phones for a very long time - the most common and the oldest ones are Ambient Light sensor, which was featured on Nokia E65 that was launched in 2007, and the Accelerometer sensor that was also featured on Nokia's first touchscreen smartphone, the 5800 Express Music, launched in 2008.

Each sensor has different function, the most popular on Android devices are Accelerometer and Proximity, which most games and applications required.

Functions of each sensor are as follows:

1.) Accelerometer: It is used to detect the orientation of a device based on linear acceleration. The most common type on mobile phones is 3-axis accelerometer, which covers from 0 - 270 degree angle.

2.) Proximity sensor: It is a sensor that can detect nearby objects without physical contact. The sensor is normally placed above the phone display. When making calls, placing the phone near the ear will triggers the proximity sensor to turn the phone display off to save battery.

3.) Ambient Light: It is used to detect the amount of light and brightness. The sensor regulate phone screen brightness according to the light perceive in that environment. For instance, the screen automatically dim when indoor and brighten when outdoor.

4.) Gyroscope: Gyroscope works much like the accelerometer sensor, but it can only measure the angular rotational velocity, unlike the accelerometer that can measure linear acceleration of a movement.

5.) G-sensor: It determines the amount of movement made when accelerometer is in use. It is like an assistant that help give an accurate measurement of distance whether to the left or to the right when a device is tilt.

6.) Magnetic Compass: It measures the orientation of a device in relation to the earth magnetic field. Maps use compass to determine the exact direction of where a phone user is facing with the ability to detect the true north pole in judging all other directions.

7.) Barometer: While barometer in real life is used to measure the atmospheric pressure, the barometer sensor present on mobile phones does not work that way. Barometer sensor on mobile phone are used in delivering altitude data for GPS chip for faster lock on current position of the holder.

8. Heart rate sensor: It is used to measure the rate of heartbeat and pulse when idle or during exercise. Only few smartphones support this sensor. Most high-end Samsung phones comes equipped with one i.e Galaxy Note8 and Galaxy S8.

How to check the sensor that comes with your Android or iOS smartphone

For Android Users

Android users can check the sensor that comes with their phone by installing CPU-Z. The app can determine the sensors that are present on your smartphone and can show their output readings data. After installation, launch CPU-Z from the app drawer and navigate to the "Sensors" tab. Learn more about CPU-Z.

For iOS Users

iOS or iPhone/iPad users can check and monitor the sensor functioning on their phone by installing Sensor Kinects. This app let iOS users monitor their phone sensor output readings and data in real-time.

Download Sensor Kinects from iTunes.

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