Samsung Galaxy Nexus Smart Rotation Does Not Function [How To Fix]

galaxy nexus smart rotationSamsung’s Galaxy Nexus was packed with smart features and goodies. It didn’t take long after the release when owners started complaining about some of the smart features not functioning properly. The most common among them is the Smart Rotation feature which ceases to function for no apparent reason at all. Here’s one email from our reader that describes how the problem began.


I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and just recently the Smart Rotation feature doesn’t work anymore. I mean, it doesn’t work like it did before. There are times when it functions just fine but more often it won’t. When it’s on and I’m on portrait mode lying back on the couch, it would go to landscape mode even if it’s directly in front of my face. I use to lie on the couch with my phone on portrait mode but I just can’t now. I don’t know what happened because I haven’t done anything or haven’t messed up the settings of my phone. 

Any suggestions would surely be appreciated. I’m not really good with technology and not savvy with my phone but I know the correct settings.  


The Smart rotation feature uses the front camera to sense when you are looking at your device and keeps your screen from rotating based on your face’s orientation. If you are viewing your device in portrait mode and happen to lie back on your couch, the screen remains in portrait mode.

Basically, there is no fixed troubleshooting guide for this kind of problem because the feature may or may not function depending on current situations. But I am sure that the Smart Rotation feature will not work under the following situations:

  • When the phone’s front-facing camera fails to detect the face and eyes.
  • When you’re in a considerably dark environment.
  • When the source of light is directly behind you.
  • When the front camera is currently in use by another application.
  • When you’re currently using other gestures like Air View.

The first thing to do to troubleshoot this problem is make sure Smart Rotation is enabled in your device.

  1. From the Home screen, touch Menu > Settings > My device > Smart screen.
  2. Place a check mark next to Smart rotation and touch OK. If the option is unavailable, you will first need to enable screen rotation.
  3. Swipe from the top of screen to the bottom to access the Notification Panel.
  4. Touch the icon for Screen rotation. When the feature is enabled, the icon will appear green.
  5. Test the smart feature.

If you’ve made sure the feature has been enabled in your phone, check the environment to see if there is enough light to make your face recognizable by the front camera. If not, try to go to a place with ample of light and test Smart Rotation.

After you’ve enabled the feature and you are in the environment with enough lighting, try to check if there is a certain app running in the background that uses the front camera. Apps like Facebook and Instagram are among the most common applications that have direct access to your device’s camera. Better yet, reboot your phone to freshen up its memory. This would also ensure other third-party services would be closed.

Now, check if you’ve also enabled Air View. If you did, disable it and try the Smart Rotation feature.

These procedures would eventually fix the Smart Rotation problem in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Otherwise, do a factory reset after you’ve backed up everything on your phone.

Having problems with your phone?

Tell us about them by emailing us at [email protected] Make sure to include as much details as possible so that we could understand the problem well and find the best solutions for you. If you can share a screenshot or two, that would be better.

We may not be able to respond to every email we receive but rest assured we do read them… yes, all of them even if some do look like spams.

3 Replies to “Samsung Galaxy Nexus Smart Rotation Does Not Function [How To Fix]”

  1. Don’t give up your day time job, writing articles won’t do it.
    Tough the S4 i9500 might partly be a copy of the Galaxy Nexus (i9250) it isn’t the device you refer to. Suggest delete this article and try again. Should you than receive similar comments you better stop!

  2. Are you talking about the Galaxy Nexus, the phone that came out 20 months ago with no “smart features” or the Galaxy S4 which has smart rotate and airview?

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