Home Forum

Androids with gyros

The aim of this thread is to provide a list of Android devices (existing and coming) with gyros - And to promote the value of having gyros in mobiles.

IPhones have gyros, but unfortunately very few Android devices have them so far.

So what is the gyro good for ? In short, in combination with the accelerometer it can produce fast and reliable measurements of the angular position of the device in space - roll , pitch and yaw.

Okay, the accelerometer can also measure the angular position - but not fast and reliable. Measurements are either 'shaky' or 'sloppy'. What the accelerometer really measures is a combination of gravity and 'changes in velocity'. The gravity direction relative to the device changes with the angular position of the device, and so can be used to determine the angular position. But the measurements also contain a part coming from velocity changes caused by a shaking hand. Good enough for rotating the screen, but not for smooth control needed by a game for instance. To get rid of the shakiness you have to filter the measurements, and then you get a sloppy response.

The gyro, on the other hand, measures angular velocity or 'changes in angle'. It is very fast and measurements are not influenced by vibrations. But, because it doesn't measure exact angles but angular velocity you have to integrate the measurements to get angular positions, and small inaccuracies will cause the angular position to drift.

So a gyro alone is not good for measuring angular position. But if you let the accelerometer take care of precise but slow changing position and the gyro take care of the fast changes, you have an ideal combination which produces fast and precise measurements, which can be used to provide a very fast and smooth control based on angular position in space.

My interest in this comes from developing a generic input method based on rolling and pitching - not a game. I have two devices for testing: a SonyEricsson with only an accelerometer and a Samsung (Google) Nexus S, which also have a gyro. And the difference is like night and day. After having used months experimenting with advanced filter techniques (4th order Bessel filters and Kalman filters) I came to the conclusion, that without a gyro, the control is ether shaky or sloppy - or both. In a few weeks you will be able to download my app and try it yourself.

So I will start the list with my two devices:

Samsung Nexus S : got
SonyEricsson Xperia x8: not

I hope some of you will help me with more informations for my 'Android gyro list'


Best Regards

Hardy Henneberg
 

Related:

#1 hhenne, Mar 29, 2011
Stumpled over thTechJournals comparing LG Optimus 2X to Iphone 4 :LG Optimus 2X Has Better Browsing Speed Than iPhone 4 | TheTechJournal.com

It states that LG Optimus 2x has a gyro, so now there are two - at least.
 
#2 hhenne, Apr 1, 2011
After searching a bit I found, following androids also have gyros. I have to emphasize that these devices have not been tested by me, so I just took informations found on the internet for granted.

Androids with gyro list is now:

Samsung /Google Nexus S - TESTED
Samsung i897 Captivate
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Review

LG optimus 2x
LG Optimus 3D P920
LG Optimus Black P970
LG Optimus Dual

SonyEricsson Xperia arc
SonyEricsson Xperia neo
SonyEricsson Xperia play

High end Androids, which seem not to have a gyro include:

HTC Desire
HTC Incredible S
HTC Thunderbolt
 
#3 hhenne, Apr 4, 2011
rumored that the EVO 3D has the gyro.
 
#4 dan330, Apr 4, 2011
I also heard/read that rumor - but I am informed by HTC, that it is not true.

BUT today it was announced that HTC Sensation has got a gyro. And it should be the first mobile from HTC with a gyro.

Hardy
 
#5 hhenne, Apr 12, 2011
HTC Sensation has a g-sensor and a gyro sensor.
HTC - Products - HTC Sensation - Specification

Harry
 
#6 Harry2, Apr 12, 2011
The Samsung Vibrant has it, actually I believe all Galaxy S variants have it.
 
#7 mrsbelpit, Apr 12, 2011
Sorry to be OT, but when I saw the topic, I got hungry for some Gyros. ;) Carry on. :)
 
#8 Steven58, Apr 12, 2011
i think HTC Desire HD have gyros also

oupsss my bad, i just look and no Gyros for the desire HD
 
#9 sylvainr, Apr 12, 2011
Can somebody verify the accuracy of that list and/or update it? :) Would be very much appreciated.
 
#10 jubei, Apr 22, 2011
updated list with Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, HTC Sensation and HTC Evo.
Maybe one of you know an app, which tests for gyro, so this list can be verified.

Androids with gyro list is now
:

Samsung /Google Nexus S - TESTED
Samsung i897 Captivate
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II

LG optimus 2x
LG Optimus 3D P920
LG Optimus Black P970
LG Optimus Dual

SonyEricsson Xperia arc
SonyEricsson Xperia neo
SonyEricsson Xperia play

HTC Sensation

High end Androids, which seem not to have a gyro include:

HTC Desire
HTC Incredible S
HTC Thunderbolt
HTC Evo
 
#11 hhenne, Apr 26, 2011
I'm not sure SonyEricsson Neo has got a gyro - in fact the only one I' absolutely sure of is the Samsung/Google Next. I hope very soon to have an app, which tests for a gyro, so we can have a more reliable list.
 
#12 hhenne, May 4, 2011
Samsung Infuse 4G is reported to have a gyro - so:


Androids with gyro list is now
:

Samsung /Google Nexus S - TESTED
Samsung i897 Captivate
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
Samsung Infuse 4G

LG optimus 2x
LG Optimus 3D P920
LG Optimus Black P970
LG Optimus Dual

SonyEricsson Xperia arc
SonyEricsson Xperia play

HTC Sensation

High end Androids, which seem not to have a gyro include:

SonyEricsson Xperia neo

HTC Desire
HTC Incredible S
HTC Thunderbolt
HTC Evo
 
#13 hhenne, May 6, 2011
I believe the Moto Xoom and new Samsung Tab have them. I've been playing with the Optimus 3D and confirm that it has gyros.

AFAIK, there is no software to speak of on the market that uses them.
 
#14 falk, May 30, 2011
Samsung Galaxy S II has a gyro I'm using it as we speak. So confirmed on that one too.
 
#15 jubei, Jun 8, 2011
I got an SE Xperia arc and can't confirm that it includes gyros.

Checking with Z-DeviceTest and AndroSensor you find only

a 3-axis linear accelerometer (Bosch BMA150).

There is no turnrate sensor!

ixGyro app confirms this, as it indicates "Gyroscope missing"

I'm running android 2.3.3
 
#16 c031917, Jun 19, 2011
I have a Gyro in my SGS2, and, to be honest, I have found it rather useless.

I have no doubt that technically it gives the phone a far superior motion awareness, but I am yet to find any good apps that use it in a useful way.

My old HTC Desire was no less accurate in motion based games.

Any app suggestions to change my mind...?
 
#17 lob, Jun 20, 2011
I have just released an Android soft keyboard, which makes use of the gyro. So far it is only available for download from my own server - would like to have it tested on more devices before uploading to Android Market.

I would really appreciate, if somebody here will take deal in that.

best regards

Hardy Henneberg

maxikeys - Android soft keyboard - maxikeys - magnifies your keyboard
 
#18 hhenne, Sep 26, 2011
heh, great idea!
 
#19 MARAUD3R, Sep 26, 2011
The Evo 3D does have a gryo and g-sensor, just like the Sensation.

HTC EVO 3D Product Overview - HTC Smartphones
 
#20 jerofld, Sep 26, 2011
Thanks for responses,

I have updated SG SII and Optimus 3D with confirmed, and registrated HTC EVO 3D as having gyro - but with a questionmark, because I got different informations on that device. It would be nice if somebody could confirm.
Then I moved SE Arc to 'no gyro'


Androids with gyro list is now:

Samsung /Google Nexus S - TESTED
Samsung i897 Captivate
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II - CONFIRMED
Samsung Infuse 4G

LG optimus 2x
LG Optimus 3D P920 - CONFIRMED
LG Optimus Black P970
LG Optimus Dual

SonyEricsson Xperia play

HTC Sensation
HTC EVO 3D ?

High end Androids, which seem not to have a gyro include:

SonyEricsson Xperia neo
SonyEricsson Xperia arc

HTC Desire
HTC Incredible S
HTC Thunderbolt
HTC Evo
 
#21 hhenne, Sep 26, 2011
My Samsung Captivate doesn't report a gyro in any of the apps that I've used including:
AndroSensor
ixGyro
Phone Tester
Sensors Monitor
SensorTest

It's disappointing because I thought all the U.S. Galaxy S phones had one and I was really hoping to be able to try out ixGyro as a backup instrument (I'm a pilot).

The box does list it as a "6-axis accelerometer" and in the apps that will tell you "orientation" (AndroSensor, SensorTest, and Sensor Monitor). This seems to have a very gyroscope like output of info and my Chinese tablet doesn't list this, but it doesn't have a magnetic sensor so that may be what it is tied into. Anybody know what the "orientation" sensor is, gyro, accelerometer, or magnetic?

Also how does Gingerbread change gyroscope support over Froyo? It is one of the specific things I've seen listed as a change in 2.3, but I'm still not seeing a gyroscope reported on the Captivate after flashing to the 2.3.3 UCKF1 build.
 
#22 MattCFII, Oct 2, 2011
There's no question, the Evo 3D has a gyro, g-sensor and accelerometers, all made by Invensense.

If anyone wants to see an accurate list of the sensors their phone has, and who makes them, use Quick System Info, free in the Market.

As far as using the sensor - few apps seem to do that. Sure wish Google Sky did, the equivalent (for-pay) app on the iPhone is much smoother because of it.

Orientation sensor indicates portrait or landscape position, btw.
 
#23 EarlyMon, Oct 3, 2011
I looked up the Droid X and apparently it does NOT have a Gyro. :(
 
#24 ASC, Oct 3, 2011
Thanks for input - especially about 'Quick System Info', which seems to give reliable (although some redundant) information of sensors, and a lot of other things.

Because there is a lot of confusing and false information on the net - even on the manufactures sites. So I hope some of you will use this app and report the results - including you Matt, because I also find it surprising that Captivate should not have a gyro .

A 6-axis motion sensor is a combination of a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyro - a 6-axis accelerometer is due to some misunderstanding.

An accelerometer measures a force on a mass. This force is a combination of the force, which comes from a linear (no rotation) acceleration and the force coming from the gravity. Because the accelerometer also measures the gravity it is also known as a g-sensor (g stands for gravity). 3-axis means the it measures the size and the direction of gravity, seen from the mobile in the 3 dimensional space. The size of the gravity is constant, and the direction is equivalent to the angular position of the mobile relative to the ground - just seen from the other side. So when there is no accelerations, the accelerometer measures the absolute rotation of the mobile. So, the accelerometer is used for detecting the portrait/landscape orientation of the mobile - orientation is a confusing term, because the orientation sensor is another thing. It is the magnetic sensor.

It is not possible to distinguish between the rotation (gravity) component and the acceleration component - they are summed to one signal. This is a problem to many apps - like my own. In my Andriod Keyboard I use the rotation to move a window across a big virtual keyboard, which means I can have big keys and a big PC keyboard layout at the same time. But a shaking hand will cause linear accelerations, which will be detected as small rotations, and so will cause the keyboard to shake. Small fast signal changes can be filtered away, but that will also cause the keyboard movements to lag behind the the mobile rotations, and so make it difficult to control (elastic effect).

The gyro is a spinning wheel. When you try to rotate a spinning wheel in a direction perpendicular to the the spinning direction you will sense a strong force. By measuring this force the gyro produces a signal which is proportional to the rotation velocity. When you stop rotating it, the force disappears, so the gyro cannot measure the absolute rotation - only the angular velocity. If I used the gyro alone in my app, the keyboard would drift away. But the gyro is not sensible to linear accelerations and so not to shaking hands - unless you shake in a rotational way.

By using the accelerometer to detect the absolute rotation, and the gyro to detect the fast changes and combine it with some filtering, it is possible to achieve a signal which follows the rotation much closer and much faster than if you just had one sensor.

The magnetic sensor measures the magnetic field from the earth. When holding the mobile parallel to the ground and turning around, it will be measured by the magnetic sensor and it can be use as a compass - that's why it is also known as the orientation sensor.

In a couple of days I will update the list - in the meantime, I hope to receive some results from using the 'Quick System Info' app.
 
#25 hhenne, Oct 5, 2011