NEC introduces first water-cooled smartphone, the Medias X 06E

by: Andrew GrushMay 15, 2013


Today’s smartphones generate a fair deal of heat that can make your phone pretty warm to the touch, especially during long game-playing sessions and other processor-intensive activities. The solution? For the NEC Medias X 06E, the answer is a water-filled heatpipe designed to funnel heat away from the phone’s processor.

While this differs from “real” liquid-cooling solutions found on devices like the PC, it is nonetheless a novel approach, any clearly sets the 06E apart from other smartphones on the market.

With this kind of technology onboard you might think the Medias X 06E is geared at hardcore techie types, at least until you actually laid your eyes on the phone.

The phone has a very effeminate design (somewhat like the HTC Rhyme) , allowing you to deck the phone out with special “jewels” and coming in color choices such as pink. Outside of the unique cooling method, the phone appears to be a solid enough device, though nothing to get excited over.


The Medias X 06E is powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 4.7-inch 720p OLED display, LTE support, IP58 certification and a 13.1MP camera. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will also come standard with this mid-ranger.

The big question is why NEC bothered with the unique cooling system. A Snapdragon S4 Pro processor will generate a fair deal of heat during certain use scenarios, but there is little worry about getting burned or even dealing with extreme discomfort. Still it is a nice touch, and one that could be useful for some users. It also hints of things to come for NEC.

The Medias X is a niche device and will have a limited audience, but it also gives NEC a way to test out the technology and ensure that it works as intended before considering it for other flagship devices in the future.

As you probably guessed already, the NEC Medias X is a Japanese-only handset, destined to arrive to NTT Docomo in June. No word on pricing at the moment.

What do you think of the idea of putting heatpipe technology into smartphones, is this something you’d like to see from other smartphone brands in the future?

  • Wow!!! I love where this is going.

  • MasterMuffin

    That’s one ugly device

  • Where exactly will the heated liquid go? I’d rather they focus on reducing power consumption and increasing battery life rather than using even more power to water cool the phone.

    • john

      It’s a passive cooling solution. So instead of having large chunks of metal that draws heat and dissipates to outside, we have copper wires partly filled with water in low pressure. The water condenses and evaporates continuously and the movement of these particles are more effective at drawing heat out than just heat transfer through a solid material.

      Heat will still be transferred outside. I’m assuming that by more effective transferring wasted heat to certain parts of the device, the residual heat won’t be as great and the phone will feel cooler to some users. I have my doubts on this, but this tech have advantages in its own.

      If we managed to somehow move onto much higher energy consuming devices, this kind of cooling will be more effective and lighter than just solid heat sinks.

  • Yun WANG

    first step toward cooling for all android devices. As the phones and tablets getting more and more powerful, it surely needs assistance for cooling. Throttling the power consumption will not be a ultimate solution as people would need this power to enjoy their games

  • john

    Copper pipe cooling is definitely a way to go for any devices. A lot of embedded small systems and small form pcs already use this to give better passive cooling system.