What is an Android Proximity Sensor?

What is an Android Proximity Sensor?

Android has introduced many upgrades through the years. One of these is the Android proximity sensor. This plays an important role in saving power and avoiding unwanted accidents while on a phone call. 

So, let us talk about everything you need to know about an Android proximity sensor.

First, let us discuss what exactly an Android proximity sensor is. 

A proximity sensor on Android phones works to detect the movement or closeness of an object to a phone. This is done without the need for actual physical contact. For the majority of Android phones available in the market, you can usually find it at the top.

Smartphones usually have an IR-based proximity sensor and detect the presence of the user’s ear. The Android proximity sensor is usually incorporated into these devices for these reasons:

  • To avoid unintentional taps by your body parts, like your cheeks, while you are on a call
  • To help save the battery life. When you are on a call and the phone is close to your ear, you’re not needing the screen lit up. So, the Android proximity sensor would shut the screen off, helping you save on battery consumption.

The majority of smartphones, specifically Android devices today, sport large screens and drain the battery faster.

How to Disable the Android Proximity Sensor

In most cases, the Android proximity sensor is helpful. However, some may find it bothersome when they want to make use of other devices while on a call.

So, here is a simple guide on how you can disable the Android proximity sensor.

Step 1. First, go to the “Settings” page of your phone.


Step 2. Go to the option “Systems apps” and then click “Call settings”.

Step 3. Scroll down, look for “Incoming call settings,” and then select that.

Step 4. Look for the option “Proximity sensor” and disable it by tapping on the toggle button.

Step 5. Test your Android device. Get on a call and see if the Android proximity sensor was disabled by covering the top part with your hand. If your phone screen did not turn off, then you have successfully disabled the Android proximity sensor.

Do not put your phone in speaker mode while testing.

Note: The steps may vary on each Android phone. However, the procedure listed above will work for most Android phones. 

What to Do if the Android Proximity Sensor is Having Issues

There will be times when you will experience issues with your Android proximity sensor. If the Android proximity sensor does not function properly, below are some of the measures you can take to fix the problem.

Check for Dirt or Dust on the Sensor

The most common solution to most Android proximity sensor issues is checking if the sensor is clean. These sensors will fail to function properly when something like dirt or dust is blocking them.

You can wipe it clean with a cloth without harming your Android phone screen.

Checking the Screen and Screen Protector

Another factor that may affect its functionality is a cracked screen. The Android proximity sensor will not be able to properly detect objects if the phone screen has been damaged. Sometimes, even the slightest cracks may affect the way it works.

Since most Android phones today have screen protectors, it can be the root cause of the Android proximity sensor issue as well.

When the main screen is damaged, then a technical repair is needed. However, cracked screen protectors can be fixed by just replacing them.

Restart Phone

There are also times when the Android phone just needs to be rebooted. A restart works like magic on a device that is overworked or overused. After restarting, you will find most of your phone features are working properly again.

To restart your Android phone, you will just need to hold down the Power button for 3 seconds, then two options will appear. Choose the “Restart” button to reboot the device.


Updating Android Phone Software

Phone functions or features rely on the Android phone operating system or software. That is why software incompatibility may sometimes be the cause of Android proximity sensor problems.

To solve this, you can update your current software. Here is a simple guide on how to do this:

Step1. Go to “Settings”

Step 2. Scroll down and look for the option “Systems & updates”

 “Systems & updates”

Step 3. At the top, there is a “Software update” option. Click that

“Software update”

Step 4. Once in, you can download the update and install it on your Android phone.

Note: Steps may vary depending on your device. It is also highly recommended to backup your files before installing the update. This way, you can avoid unwanted deletion of phone files. 

Reset Settings

Another solution to Android proximity sensor issues is to reset the whole device. The reset settings option can wipe out or delete the software issues or viruses that may be causing the sensor problem you are facing. However, do take note that it also removes the data saved on your phone.

Note: Back up all your data and important files before choosing to reset the Android phone.

Put it up for Repair

If the troubleshooting options mentioned above do not work, then it is maybe time to bring your phone to a professional.

Be sure to take your Android phone to a certified phone outlet to ensure that diagnoses are correct and phone repair is appropriate.

These professionals will either effectively troubleshoot the problem or replace the Android proximity sensor. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I test to check if my phone proximity sensor is working?

You can test your proximity sensor by getting on a call. While on a call, make sure that you are in handheld mode, then cover the top part of the device. If the screen turns off, then your Android proximity sensor is working.

Can a proximity sensor be replaced?

Yes. The proximity sensor can be replaced with a new one.

What does a proximity sensor do?

Since proximity sensors do not physically touch the object they are detecting, the object is not scratched or otherwise harmed. Proximity Sensors can detect an object’s presence electrically without having to touch it, unlike devices like limit switches that need to make contact with the object in order to do so.

What function does the proximity sensor in smartphones serve?

In order to avoid keypad pushes and energy waste from the display, the proximity sensor turns off the display when a user is holding the phone close to their face while on a call. To the right of the earpiece is where you’ll find the proximity/light sensor.

Why is my proximity sensor on?

As a result, functions can be activated in response, such as lighting up your screen when you gaze at it or turning off the display when you hold your phone up to your ear. Your facial features are detected by the proximity sensor to unlock your phone.

Key Takeaways

The Android proximity sensor is a useful feature in our devices. And although we don’t usually notice this, we must take good care of it.

If you find your proximity sensor malfunctioning, then you can apply the given solutions in this article. 

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