Liquid-cooled smartphones from Samsung, HTC, and Apple coming later this year

by: David GonzalesJune 18, 2013

Liquid cooling
We told you about the world’s first liquid-cooled handset about a month ago when NEC introduced the Medias X-06E phone for NTT DoCoMo over in Japan. It basically uses a smartphone-centric heat pipe design that relies on cooling technology yet untapped even on today’s high-end models. How would you like to have this same cooling tech in your next Samsung smartphone? What about one from HTC? Or one from Apple?

As it turns out, big name smartphone makers such as the ones mentioned above are already looking into using liquid cooling for their future products, the first of which might be released some time before the end of this year, DigiTimes reports. It is said that you can expect to see these new handsets with liquid cooling some time in Q4 2013, at the earliest. Check your calendar and you’ll see that it’s actually not that far at all.

The conventional method of smartphone cooling — which makes use of graphite foil sheets — has been deemed to be unfit for the needs of the modern smartphone. As such, the use of heat pipes is seen as a worthy alternative, especially as the use of 4G LTE connectivity becomes more and more common.

Heat pipes would provide a passive cooling solution for smartphones and might also make way for more efficient phone designs. The key to making this all work lies in finding the right liquid coolant and fitting all of it inside heat pipes that are just the right size for modern handsets.

Heat pipe cooling technology is already in use in many of today’s modern computers, possibly even the one you are reading this article on right now — if that’s a laptop or a desktop computer. But physical limitations, such as the fact that most manufacturers fail in making a heat pipe that’s smaller than 3mm in diameter, prevent their widespread use in smaller devices such as tablets and smartphones. NEC successfully crafted pipes that measure only 0.6mm thick in diameter, but so far their use is limited to just the Medias X-06E phone that was introduced last month.

For now, we can only hope for a future where the manufacture of liquid-cooled smartphones is the norm. But as the father of modern rocketry Robert Goddard once said, it just might be the reality of tomorrow.

  • milksop held

    What would be so bad about fan cooling?

    • Anirudh

      Fun of liquid running like blood in veins or as Samsung puts.. designed for humans.

      • milksop held

        What about air in lungs?

    • Mike Bastable

      fans are dinosaur tech, a modern approach would seem more suited to smartphones

    • Noise, possible mechanical failure, sizes restrictions, among other things…

    • Alan Shearer

      Fans need motors, motors drink battery power like a drunk drinks alcohol, no matter how small. Passive cooling requires no battery to work, thus better for our power hungry handheld beasts.

  • Rooney-

    Liquid cooling??? It an IC engine??!! Think future phone comes with radiator

  • David

    i want tony starks see through phone in iron man 2. so hurry up and please me phone company’s.

  • Brian Dong Min Kim

    wonder how it would handle if dropped on the ground accidently. Would the liquid leak out and cause injures? Absolutely.