Everything is in the title... I'm writing a technical report (Master of Engineering) and I wonder which term is the correct one : accelerometer or g-sensor

I've seen both in the litterature, but I thought maybe there is a slight difference bewteen them.

I don't know if I should post this here or on a more oriented SO forum (Electricial Engineering), but I'm sure a Mod will move it if not.

  • Yeah, this is more industry-specific jargon than English usage. I'd say use whatever seems more prevalent in the literature, or more specifically in the journal where you intend to submit (if applicable).
    – Dan Bron
    Jan 7, 2016 at 18:48
  • I've dealt with these devices off and on since 1970, and it's always been "accelerometer". One might use "G-sensor" when describing the device in a non-technical sense, or if the particular corner of technology you're dealing with chooses to use that term, but not generally.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 7, 2016 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Strictly speaking, a g-sensor is an accelerometer.

You might see some literature inaccurately refer to a g-sensor as a gyroscope; but when you dig deeper, you see that they're actually referring to an accelerometer after all.

This article summarizes the different types of sensors you might find in a modern smartphone, and accurately distinguishes between a g-sensor and a gyroscope.

For a formal technical article, accelerometer would be a better word to use.

  • 'g' is the local acceleration due to gravity, which is a constant.
    – AmI
    Jan 7, 2016 at 20:51
  • @Ami Tell that to Acer...
    – Gnawme
    Jan 7, 2016 at 21:47

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