Project Soli Google’s project to miniaturize a radar chip to fit into your phone gave birth to Motion Sense. Motion Sense was really hyped during its announcement and it seemed like it would be a great addition to the device. From gesture control to just smart enhancements such as waking up the screen if your hand is close made it intriguing.
As someone who has used the Pixel 4 XL as my daily driver for a few months now I can honestly say without a doubt Motion Sense doesn’t work well at all. Skipping songs sucks, the Pokemon mini game is cute but it ends up missing your movements more times than it works. Infact, outside of the ambient benefits such as detecting my hand when I am moving to grab my device I am not pleased with Soli. Motion Sense was clearly a half baked idea and everyone was so focused on the how they managed to shrink the chip no one asked what it would be used for and how accurate it would be.
Now, you can disable Motion Sense features individually if you wish but if you’re tired of dealing with it and the drain it puts on your battery life it can be easily disabled.
Motion Sense Options Menu
To access the motion sense option menu you can do so by doing the following. Go to settings -> system -> motion sense, the menu is divided into two different sections. There is quick gesture and ambient display I am going to break down what each of the options does but if you’re looking to totally disable all features scroll down a bit further.
- Skip Songs: This option is really straightforward basically it allows you to skip songs. If you’re playing music on spotify from a playlist you can hover your hand above your device. When your hovering your hand swipe it to the right and your device will skip to the next song in the playlist. If you swipe to the left it will send you back to a previous song so you can effectively skip forward and backward via an air gesture. This feature doesn’t work very consistently from my experience but I digress.
- Silence Interruption: This feature I can confirm does work most of the time and its quite simple. Let’s say you had an alarm set on your device you can swipe to the right to simply silence the alarm, you can also use this gesture to lower the sound of the device if its ringing but I think this feature is a bit annoying since you can’t outright deny the call.
- Reach to check your phone: Again another good feature that actually basically when the device detects your hand is coming in proximity it will turn the screen on. If the screen is locked as well it will activate the needed tech to begin face unlock making the process much faster.
- Show display when nearby: This is another clever feature essentially if the radar detects that you’re close it will keep the always on display active. But if you’re not near your device it will turn the display off which can save battery life.
Naturally you can turn any of these features off individually using the toggle which can save battery life or just make your usage more enjoyable. For instance why bother with the skip songs feature when most of the time it won’t work and it makes you look like some kind of jedi.
How To Completely Disable Motion Sense (Soli Radar)
As was mentioned above if you’re wanting to turn the feature off entirely this can easily be done by doing the following.
- Go to the settings menu.
- Scroll down and tap the system option.
- Select Motion Sense.
- Tap on the toggle next to motion sense and it will be fully disabled.
Disabling this will turn off all Soli related features which will save you some battery life but make lock screen unlocking a little slower. It will also make some battery saving features such as the show display when nearby feature no longer work which might increase usage in some circumstances.
If you use soli let me know your experience in the comments section below I am very curious how effective you find the feature my experience has been less than perfect!