Types of Sensors Used inside Mobile and Meaning

Smartphones in today’s time bundles a pack of sensors but hardly we know about them. In this topic, We will explain about different types of sensors used inside mobile along with their meaning and usage.

What is a Sensor ?

Sensor is a type of transducer which detects events and changes around us and then provides the output. Input here can be light, heat, pressure, motion, moisture. Output will be displayed by sensors.

Types of Sensors Used Inside Mobile

Smartphones are getting smarter day by day, but how ? They are making use of different sensors for automation of technology. These sensors includes fingerprint, magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity, barometer, thermometer, pedometer, heart rate monitor, light sensors and many others. We will discuss each in detail.

Diff Types of Sensors Used In Mobile

Magnetometer Sensor

Magnetometer is used in mobile very widely. It is used to measure magnetic field of earth along three axis. Earth has significant magnetic field so magnetometer can also be used by compass. It is useful to tell the orientation in NEWS (North-East-West-South) plane.


If we have magnetometer already inside mobile then why we need eCompass. It is usually using magnetometer as the base.

Due to eCompass, your mobile always know which direction is in North. So that it auto rotate according to your physical movement while using maps. eCompass also make use of accelerometer sensor.

Accelerometer Sensor

Another sensors used inside mobile includes Accelerometer very widely. It measures accelerations. Acceleration can be defined as velocity per unit time.

It is also used to detect the orientation and tilted motion of mobile phone. Various motion gestures like shake to change the song in music player is done using accelerometer sensor.

Gyroscope Sensor

The list also includes sensors used inside mobile a Gyroscope. It uses earth’s gravity to determine the orientation of the mobile phone. If we keep device on flat surface then reading is zero and it changes with change in position of mobile.

Main difference between Accelerometer and Gyroscope is that, accelerometer does not make use of earth’s gravitation pull. Auto  – rotation of screen when you tilt your device is due to gyroscope.

Proximity Sensor

Major sensors used inside mobile also lists Proximity Sensor. It is composed of LED and IR light detector. As the name suggests, it measures the proximity of an object to the screen of the mobile.

Proximity Sensors used inside mobile

You may have seen, When you are on a call and you put your phone to ear, screen light turns off automatically. It is due to proximity sensors used inside mobile. Proximity sensor is placed near to the speaker so that it can detect human face. It also avoids unneccessary touches that can be made if you are on a call.

Ambient Light Sensor

Ambient Light Sensors used inside mobile very widely. These sensors are made up of photo cells which detects the environment light.

You have seen smartphones automatically adjust brightness according to presence of light inside our outside. This adjusting of brightness takes place with the help of Ambient Light sensor.


Thermometer sensors used inside mobile to measure the temperature of battery and mobile. It is needed in any device, so that in case, mobile phone and its battery gets overheated then phones automatically shuts down to prevent any damage. In general, thermometer is used to measure room temperature.


Only High end mobile phones have barometer sensor inside them. Samsung and Apple mobile phones have barometer built in.

Barometer is used to measure atmospheric pressure. Mobile use it for improved performance of GPS.

Fingerprint Sensor

It is the latest sensor incorporated by any new device. Fingerprint Sensors used inside mobile to enhance security. It avoid the use of screen lock and swiping the screen to unlock the device.

Some devices also uses fingerprint sensor to take pictures from the camera. Mobile phones that includes fingerprint sensor are LeEco Le 2, Lenovo Z2 Plus, Apple iPhone 7 and many others.


Pedometer is enhanced add on for accelerometer. It is used to measure your walking steps, so health freaks can enjoy better analysis of their daily activity using the mobile phone with pedometer sensor inside them. Lenovo Z2 Plus make use of pedometer for their U-Health App.

Heart Rate Sensor

List of sensors would be incomplete without heart rate monitor sensor. It is used to measure pulse of human heart. It detects the pulsations of blood vessles inside our fingers.

So, these are the sensors used inside mobile very often. If we miss any, kindly tell us in comments. You can also ask about your queries regarding sensors.

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