Xiaomi finally takes action to solve faulty proximity sensor in its phones

Proximity Sensor Issue in Xiaomi Phones Explained Redmi Note 10 Pro Series virtual sensor
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Lately, users have complained a lot about the proximity sensor in recent Xiaomi phones. While the company has not officially admitted the issue, Xiaomi has opened up a survey to investigate it. In this post, we’re taking a look at the proximity sensor issue in Xiaomi phones, the factors causing it, and how Xiaomi plans to solve it.

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What is a proximity sensor?

In case you don’t know, a proximity sensor is a component that turns off the screen during phone calls to prevent accidental touches. Most phones come with an optical sensor that uses infrared waves to determine the proximity.

However, smartphone brands have started using digital alternatives for a dedicated sensor to keep the costs down. This looks to be the root of the problem that many Xiaomi users are facing on their phones.

Proximity sensor issue in Xiaomi phones

Here, the said problem is not limited to specific phones or a brand under the Xiaomi umbrella. In fact, it is prevalent in Redmi and Poco smartphones as well. 

Usually, this issue would be a result of faulty proximity sensors. As aforementioned, many of the Xiaomi phones these days do not come with dedicated hardware for proximity sensing. Instead, the company uses a virtual proximity sensor.

Elliptic Labs Virtual Proximity Sensor on Xiaomi Phones

This virtual sensor uses data from the microphone and speaker, which is fed into an algorithm to figure out the user’s proximity. As you may have guessed, this approach isn’t always accurate. 

It’s fully understandable to use these solutions in budget and mid-range phones. Even Samsung has done it in its mid-range phones like the Galaxy A22 and A52. However, Xiaomi has used it even for its flagship phones, such as the Mi 11.

Other recent devices that use similar techniques are Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10s, Mi 11 Lite (4G/5G), Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G, and Redmi K40 Game Enhanced Edition.

Xiaomi’s solution for proximity issue

Xiaomi has started rolling out OTA updates to affected phones to re-calibrate the sensor. If it’s a software issue, this should probably fix it. However, if the problem is related to hardware, users have no option but to live with it until the company takes further action.

Still, the update is limited to Europe and there is no news about when it will come to Asia and other markets.

To avoid such issues on future phones, Xiaomi has broken ties with Elliptic Labs. It was the main distributor of proximity sensors for Xiaomi, including its flagship offering like the Mi 11. Future Xiaomi phones will now use sensors from Minghao Sensing. However, we will have to wait to see if it makes any difference.

  • Meanwhile, check out our review of the Poco F3 GT.