The vibrate strength of my Galaxy Nexus is incredibly weak. When I have the phone in my pocket I simply don’t feel the vibrate for incoming calls at all, which defeats its purpose. I’ve missed more than one important phone call due to that.

Is there a way to increase the strength? I haven’t found anything relevant in the settings.

  • 1
    Ob. IT crowd reference
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 10:53
  • When this showed up in my inbox I thought the question was for an entirely different device. LOL
    – Hyangelo
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:51
  • @Hyangelo And yes, there are apps for that. ;-) Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:53

6 Answers 6


AFAIK, the vibrator motor that are used in the phones are called Q-Coin motor as they are in a shape of a coin. They are of permanent magnet type accepting two leads for positive and negative DC voltages. The circuitry that operate this motor just can switch on the motor for a specific period of time and can change its rotation direction. All other parameters of vibration are set by motor's design.

Hence, for your need the amplitude of the vibrator motor has to be increased to make you aware. And unless the motor itself is replaced, this can't be done in my opinion.

This is a specification of such a motor and you can see it's details.

UPDATE: After searching Google, I stumbled on more info about these motors. With that information, it seems that there are two types of such motors. One being fitted with an eccentric rotating mass and another being a linear actuator (working more like a speaker). The article about linear actuator says that this is the present trend and beautifully explains how the motor works.

If the Nexus device that is in question is vibrating at its maximum amplitude, then there is no way any software component to increase its amplitude. Other way, if device is NOT vibrating at its maximum, then by increasing the applied voltage there is a possibility to increase the amplitude.

Thanks to @Konrad Rudolph who made me to know more about this motor.

  • Hmm. The GlaDOS kernel claims to be able to change the vibrate strength but there seem to be conflicting information about this. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:20
  • As I said that is what is my understanding is. MODS: Please feel free to remove this answer if found wrong.
    – Narayanan
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:34
  • I’m not actually challenging this answer. It’s entirely possible that the GlaDOS feature doesn’t work on all devices. I just wanted to point out the discrepancy. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:48
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    Nice answer! Both the Nexus S and the GNexus feature an LRA, you can see it in the ifixit teardown just right to the battery in this photo (looks like a button cell). Regarding the Glados/Trinity feature: I tried the Trinity kernel on my Nexus S, this feature only changes patterns (a longer vibrate period is called increased intensity here. However they also cannot bend the physical boundaries of the actuators of course).
    – ce4
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 10:33

Just install - Contact Vibrate

From the description:

Set a different vibration for each of your contacts and know who is it.

Set a different a vibration for each of your contacts

Know who is calling or texting you, just feeling it !
When you receive a phone call or a text message (SMS or MMS) Contact Vibrate will respond vibrating differently for every contact you have defined. If this particular number or contact has no vibration set a master vibration will be called by default.

  • 2
    @KonradRudolph - It's true that this doesn't answer your question, but it could be a helpful suggestion nevertheless. I have found in the past that changing the cadence of a vibrate pattern can have a marked effect on how easily it is noticed, so this may help with your underlying problem.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 13:46
  • 1
    Kudos for offering an alternative solution when the asker already has a preferred solution in mind.
    – ale
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 14:08

No easy way - you'll need to install a custom kernel like GLaDOS or Trinity kernel and the relevant apps for each kernel from the Play Store to adjust settings - one of which will be the vibration intensity.

Check out the relevant threads at XDA.

  • Installing a custom kernel to crank up vibrate? Cannons and sparrows. Sigh …. But have a +1, thanks for the info. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 9:50

On my Samsung S6 there is "Settings >> Sound and Vibration >> Vibration intensity" section. Where one can change vibration intensity for calls, notifications, and feedback individually.

screen shot


This seems to be fixed in more recent versions of the Android operating system – it’s hard to quantify but it appears that with the update to 4.2.1 the Galaxy Nexus saw a substantial increase in vibrate strength.


AFAIK, It's not easy to change the vibration motor in the phone. The vibration motor used in your phone called coin type vibration motor. The G force for this motor is very low. If you want to enlarge the vibration, you can use an LRA for replacement,which is also called linear vibration motor

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