As the number of earthquakes gradually increases on the Korean Peninsula, much research has been actively conducted to detect earthquakes quickly and accurately. Because traditional seismic stations are expensive to install and operate, recent research is currently being conducted to detect earthquakes using low-cost MEMS sensors. In this article, we evaluate how a low-cost MEMS acceleration sensor installed in a smartphone can be used to detect earthquakes. To this end, we installed about 280 smartphones at various locations in Korea to collect acceleration data and then assessed the installed sensors’ noise floor through PSD calculation. The noise floor computed from PSD determines the magnitude of the earthquake that the installed MEMS acceleration sensors can detect. For the last few months of real operation, we collected acceleration data from 200 smartphones among 280 installed smartphones and then computed their PSDs. Based on our experiments, the MEMS acceleration sensor installed in the smartphone is capable of observing and detecting earthquakes with a magnitude 3.5 or more occurring within 10km from an epic center. During the last several months of operation, the smartphone acceleration sensor recorded an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 in Miryang on December 30, 2019, and it was confirmed as an earthquake using STA/LTA which is a simple earthquake detection algorithm. The earthquake detection system using MEMS acceleration sensors is expected to be able to detect increasing earthquakes more quickly and accurately.