Android phones have sensors. I heard about following sensors but there is need to identify difference (or different use) between following terms:

  • Accelerometer
  • Orientation
  • Auto-Rotation
  • G-sensor & Gravity sensor

From above which deals with auto-rotation of screen and what are other different specific use of them

2 Answers 2


The only "real" sensor there is the accelerometer. The other 3 are actually synthetic; the device uses the data from it's accelerometer to find "up" and down" (relative to the ground) and magnetometer to identify which direction is "north". From those pieces of information it is possible for the device to know it's absolute 3-dimensional orientation relative to the Earth. Your best bet is to read the explanation of the sensors provided for Android developers.


In simple terms, Accelerometer is a sensor(Hardware) in your Smartphone which is Highly accurate can detect small changes in the position of your phone.

While Orientation sensor & Gravity sensors (Hardware) refers to a less accurate accelerometor sensor can detect only when major change occurs(Ex.Changing the phone from portrait to landscape or vice versa) . As the Orientation sensor & Gravity sensors are less accurate,They cost low. So, they are used in low cost android phone.

Auto-rotation is a software in Android which gets the information from Accelerometer(or Orientation sensor/G-sensor) and changes the your screen orientation.

Note:In phones, Accelerometer can be used for screen rotation,gaming purpose & also to measures the force. But Orientation sensor & Gravity sensors can only used for screen rotation.

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