Gyroscope in the phone – what is it and the principle of the device, in which models of smartphones is installed

The content of the article

Mobile phones are getting harder every year. To count the number of all sensors built into modern smartphones, the fingers of both hands may not be enough. The gyroscope in the phone – what kind of sensor is it, how does it work, what is its application, can this device be turned off? These questions will be considered for those who want to be well versed in their smartphone..

What is a gyroscope

Yula, she’s a spinning top – a famous toy. With rapid rotation, it maintains stability at one fulcrum. This simple device is the simplest example of a gyroscope – a device that responds to changes in the orientation angles of the body on which it is mounted in three planes. The term was first used by the French physicist and mathematician Jean Foucault.

Gyroscopes are classified by the number of degrees of freedom and by the principle of action (mechanical and optical). Vibration gyro sensors, a subspecies of mechanical, are widely used in mobile devices. The use of GPS navigation pushed into the background the original function of gyroscopes – help with orientation on the ground, but this technology is still indispensable in modern phone models.

The difference from the accelerometer

On modern mobile gadgets, both of these devices are often installed. The key difference between a gyroscope and an accelerometer and other sensors lies in the principle of operation of these devices. The first determines its own angle of inclination relative to the ground, and the second is able to measure linear acceleration. Accelerometer advantage – knowledge of acceleration allows you to accurately calculate the distance over which the device was moved.

In practice, both devices can both replace and complement each other. In fact, both that and that only record the position relative to the earth’s surface. Like a gyroscope, the accelerometer can transmit acceleration information to the smartphone on which it is installed. Both sensors are often used; they interact well. The table fixes the key features of the devices.



Common features

Determine their position, interact with other software


Defining your own acceleration

Determines the angle of inclination

Measures distance

Measures device position

Smartphone and coordinate axes

Working principle

In simple words, a gyroscope is a spinning top that rotates quickly around a vertical axis, mounted on a frame that can rotate around a horizontal axis, and mounted on another frame that rotates around a third axis. No matter how we turn the spinning top, it always has the ability to still be in an upright position. Sensors pick up the signal as the top is oriented relative to the frames, and the processor receives information and reads with high accuracy, as the frames in this case should be located relative to gravity.

Gyro structure

What is a gyroscope in a smartphone

Most modern mobile devices are equipped with gyroscopes. They are also called gyro sensors. This element of the smartphone works on an ongoing basis, autonomously, does not require calibration. This device does not need to be turned on, but some phones have a shutdown function to save energy. It is made in the form of a microelectromechanical circuit located under the smartphone.

Gyro sensor circuit

What is it needed for

The introduction of gyroscope technology in mobile devices has significantly expanded their functionality and added a new way to manage devices. For example, just shaking the phone will answer an incoming call. Changing the screen orientation using the tilt of the smartphone is also realized thanks to gyro sensors; This device provides camera stabilization. In the Calculator application, a simple 90-degree rotation of the screen opens additional program functions.

The gyro sensor has greatly simplified the use of built-in smartphones cards. If a person turns his device “face” to, say, a specific street, then this will be displayed on the map with high accuracy. A good smartphone with a gyroscope provides a couple of interesting opportunities for mobile gaming. Driving a virtual car becomes incredibly realistic when you use the turns of a smartphone to drive a car. In virtual reality technologies, gyro sensors track head turns.

Phone in hands and memory cards

How does the gyro sensor

In the gyro sensor there are two masses moving in opposite directions. When the angular velocity appears, the Coriolis force acting perpendicular to their movement acts on the mass. There is a mass shift proportional to the applied speed. The distance between the movable and fixed electrodes changes, which leads to a change in the capacitance of the capacitor and the voltage on its plates, and this is an electric signal. Such electronic signals are recognized by the gyro sensor.

Chips and sensors

How to find out if there is a gyroscope in a smartphone

A simple way is to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the device on the manufacturer’s official website. If there is a gyro sensor, this will be indicated. Some manufacturers are silent about whether there is a gyroscope on the phone, not wanting to waste space on it. They can be understood – everyone is now striving to make the phone lighter and thinner. In such cases, third-party applications will help..

YouTube has a whole section of videos that you can rotate 360 ​​degrees. If you support the ability to control such a video through the turns of the smartphone, then the gyroscope works. You can also install the AnTuTu Benchmark application, which conducts a complete diagnosis of your device. There you will find a line about the presence or absence of a gyroscope.

Smartphone in hands

Which phones have a gyroscope

The first smartphone in which the gyro sensor was installed is Iphone 4. Customers reacted positively to this innovation and since then phones with a gyroscope began to fill the market. All subsequent versions of Apple smartphones have been equipped with gyro sensors. Owning android devices in this regard is a little more complicated, fortunately, you can ask a consultant before buying to have a sensor, or check it yourself. The gyroscope in the phone is an important bonus.

Menu on the screen of Iphone 4

Rate article
Tips on any topic from experts
Add comment

By clicking the "Submit comment" button, I consent to the processing of personal data and accept privacy policy