Is Your phone Google Cardboard compatible?

So! Finding out wether your phone is Google Cardboard compatible or not, isn’t rocket science. It’s just simple cross check with some sensors that are present in your phone and its done! But before we get into checking the sensors, first lets understand these sensors.

List of Sensors

Heres a quick list of the sensors that are required to make your phone Google Cardboard compatible to work :

  • Magnetometer
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope

Function of Every Sensor


1) Magnetometer :

Magnetometer is basically the sensor that runs the compass on your smartphone. This sensor measures or senses magnetic fields around your phone. Therefore it can act as a compass, by detecting magnetic North it can always tell which direction it is facing on the surface of the earth. Clever developers have repurposed the magnetometer for use with the Google Cardboard, where a magnetic ring is slid up and down another magnet, the fluctuation in the field is then registered as a button click.

cardboard compatible magnetic switch

2) Accelerometer :

An accelerometer is a mechanism that lets your device, such as a smartphone (here), know which way up it is. This is the sensor that tells your phone whether the screen should be in portrait or landscape mode. Of course, accelerometers can measure more than orientation. As the name suggests it can also measure the magnitude of acceleration along an axis. For example, they are used to trigger airbags during a crash where the g-force along the horizontal axis exceeds a certain threshold. In the case of motion sensing devices such as the Nintendo Wiimote the can tell how strong a swing in a particular direction is.

Accelerometers have their limitations, however. Although you can get some sophisticated motion data by combining the readings from all three accelerometer axes at the same time, you can’t get data to represent finely grained rotation of the device. For example, if you are playing a game on your smartphone where you turn the phone like a steering wheel an accelerometer wouldn’t be much use, since you are not applying any lateral force to the device. This is where the gyroscope comes in.

3) Gyroscope :

A gyroscope is a device that can be used to calculate orientation either to help you stick to a particular orientation or to make sure you have changed to the right one. A gyroscope can tell wether your phone is levelled to the ground or is it tilted at some angle etc.

Hence, gyroscope is an important part to make your phone Google Cardboard compatible. As it is necessary to track the motion of your head and move the display accordingly.

A physical gyroscope looks something like this :

google cardboard compatible gyroscope

How to check Compatibility

  • Now as you know that to make your phone completely Google Cardboard Compatible you need three basic sensors : Magnetometer, Gyroscope & Accelerometer.
  • So head on to or any other website which gives detailed specifications of your phone.
  • Now check for Sensors under the Features column (Features>Sensors), in that check wether your device has above mentioned sensors or not?
  • And now based on the details and functions of sensors required you can, maybe able to decide on your own “Is your phone Google Cardboard compatible?”


Thank you for reading! Fell free to ask any doubts in the comment section below! Happy to Help 🙂

Het Suthar

Het Suthar, is a Technology enthusiast, loves to check out new gadgets and apps. Currently pursuing Bachelors in Engineering.

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  1. what if i only have accelerometer,and the two sensors are not in specs on my phone..can i use google cardboard even though the two sensors are not in my phone?

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