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This is how the haptic technology of your mobile phone works, simulating the clicking of buttons.


What do we mean when we talk about a good vibration motor? This is what you should know about how it works.

Last updated on October 25, 2020 at 12:01 am

Haptic system, vibrator, vibration motor or that annoying thing that you disable as soon as you turn on the phone for the first time.

No matter what you call it. For a few years now, smartphone manufacturers have been improving the vibration systems of their phones to the point where they are completely transformed A simple alarm mode for calls and notifications complementary to the sound, up to Plus element of the user experience.

And the truth is that while it’s an easily ignored section, the reality is a quality vibration motor, able to give a firm and precise answer it can be crucial when evaluating the experience with a terminal.

The problem is that the feel is a sufficiently advanced haptic system difficult to explain in words.

What can be explained instead is its functioning. To that end, AndroidPolice staff sat down to speak to Cirrus Logic, the company responsible for developing some of the vibration systems that make up current cell phones, and we were able to extract a few interesting dates about how it works.

Google Pixels are examples of good haptic systems.

How does the vibration motor of your mobile device work?

Not many people know how does it work really the vibration system of our cell phones. How is logic The smartphone does not vibrate by itself, but requires a internal component responsible for making the movements.

Depending on Type and the Strength this componentthe vibration will be more or less precise or strong.

Currently, most of the terminals choose one of the two types existing vibration motors: Eccentric Rotating Mass Motors (ERM) or Linear Resonance Actuators (LRA). The latter are called “linear vibration motors” or “linear vibration motors” by some manufacturers.

Some models in which we can find this type of system are among others the Xiaomi Mi 10 or the OnePlus 8 Pro.

And more and more brands have opted for this second type. The reason is that they can offer firmer and more precise haptic response, unlike the more popular ERM motors in cheap cell phones or from a few years ago, theirs The sound becomes clearer than the vibration itself – At the end of the day, it’s nothing more than an electric motor with an unbalanced weight that moves at a certain speed to create vibrations.

OnePlus 8 Pro with OxygenOS 11

The OnePlus 8 Pro, another terminal with a good vibration motor.

With linear motors The operation is different. Its name refers to Type of movement carried out on an axis.

That way they can Start or stop the movement faster and more accuratelyIn addition to “decoupling the frequency amplitude”, manufacturers can “play” with their rigidity to offer different types of haptic responses depending on the action performed – for example, the vibration will not occur when receiving a notification. The same intensity or rigidity as when typing with a virtual keyboard or when zooming manually with the camera.

Two examples of linear motors are the iPhone’s Taptic Engine from the iPhone 6S or the Google Pixel terminals.

To “manage” the strength and strength of the haptic response, of course, a good accompanying software.

According to Cirrus Logic, this is absolutely necessary The signals sent to the vibration motor are finely tuned to generate the desired vibration.

Here is the Controlswhere the smartphone manufacturers themselves save them Your own previously developed vibration patterns and effects, either using software tools offered by companies such as Cirrus, or other types of software.

This type of “vibration editor” gives manufacturers greater flexibility and can develop effects such as the ability to Synchronize the vibrations with the audio produced by the speakers – Similar to the dynamic vibration system that Sony has built into some of its cell phones -.

In addition to the most modern engines even more cutting-edge technologies capable as a mechanism Compensate for aspects such as age, temperature or defects suffered from the engine, so the experience will be consistent throughout the life of the phone regardless of what the engine has “suffered” from.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 screen on

Samsung has been integrating high quality vibration motors into its cell phones for several years.

For all of this, it is concluded that The difference between a good and a mediocre vibration motor is – taking into account that there are two linear motors – in the commitment that the manufacturer himself has set itself the task of developing the haptic reactions and optimizing the signals sent to the motor in certain situations.

So it is not surprising that you sign this Pay close attention to the software experience on their phones like Google with its Pixel or Samsung with its Galaxy mobile phones are part of it the best when they offer vibration motors that not only use the most advanced and cutting edge technologies like that of Cirrus Logic, but also focus part of their efforts on manufacturing These engines are a complement to the user experience, more than a supplement that is even annoying for some.