Not many people know that motorcycle vibrations can damage your phone. This is because smartphones with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) have sensitive lenses that are prone to vibration.
As a passionate motorcycle rider, I have always had my phones mounted to my handlebars. The problem came up the other month when my HTC 10 stopped focussing. I then upgraded to an iPhone 11 and had the same not focussing issue after a few months.
After some research, I found out that it was the vibrations of my Yamaha MT-07 motorcycle that were causing the phones to fail with the optical image stabilization. Once it fails you will have no more focus as it will be locked in one position. Zooming in may also be affected as the phone cannot autofocus.
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Does vibration damage your phone?
Extreme vibration can damage the internals of your phone. The most sensitive part of your phone is the camera. The camera has many sensors, glass lenses, and image stabilization parts.
With high and low-frequency vibration these parts can rub against each other and cause a failure.
Many internal smartphone modules are only clipped into place. The vibrations can cause the parts to move slightly so that the electrical connection points are severed.
Micro USB ports are also extremely prone to vibration and will fail due to vibration. Especially if a USB cable is plugged in.
You can read more on how I repaired my HTC one m9 micro USB port here.
The best way to prevent vibration from damaging your phone is to use a quad lock mount that has an inbuilt vibration dampener. Check out the video.
How to prevent Phone vibration on a motorcycle?
I have tried many different methods and phone mounts to try and reduce the vibration on my motorcycle. I have tried rubber backing pads, silicone cases, homemade dampeners, and rubber handlebar clamps.
To measure the vibrations I used an app called Vibration Meter for Android.
At various speeds, gears, and RPM, you will get different vibration frequencies. I have included some screenshots below of the vibration a have observed at different rev ranges.
Best anti-vibration phone mount motorcycle
The best anti-vibration phone mount for a motorcycle is the Quad Lock shown above. Without a doubt, this thing rocks. I have always been a fan of these phone mounts but since they have made the new vibration dampener I don’t need to keep the phone in my jacket pocket.
When using my iPhone 11 on the motorcycle I swap it into the rubber case that has the quad lock attachment point on the back. That’s just me as I prefer a flip case for everyday use as it protects the screen more.
Why do vibrations damage mobile phone cameras?
According to Apple, exposure to certain vibrational frequencies such as those generated by high-power motorcycle engines can damage the cameras on mobile devices. The vibrations can shake the internal camera parts and wear on the camera over time. The damage can be permanent.
However, having the camera on your body while riding will subject it to relatively low-frequency vibrations. This is due to padding and don’t be directly connected to the motorcycle. This lower frequency should not damage any part of the mobile phone camera.
If you must use a mobile phone while riding your motorcycle always use a mount that has anti-vibration technology.
Quad Lock mounts are the leaders in anit-vibration mounts and are well regarded. Now it is not going to completely eliminate the vibration from a motorcycle engine but it should stop the damage caused to the camera sensors.
Mobile phones are expensive so don’t skimp on the mounting accessories for your motorcycle. Especially if you like to take great photos.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair and maintenance jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, Boats, and Computers so writing about them is easy. Working on them is fun.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.