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Leaked photo shows a prototype of the fourth-generation Motorola Moto X with a heat pipe inside

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Leaked photo shows a prototype of the fourth-generation Motorola Moto X with a heat pipe inside
Is it possible that the Snapdragon 820 SoC  has a tendency to overheat like its predecessor? Based on a photograph that allegedly shows the inside of a prototype of the fourth-generation Motorola Moto X, the phone will be employing a heat pipe in order to keep it from becoming too hot to handle. Other models already employ a heat pipe to cool down the Snapdragon 810 SoC such as the OnePlus 2, Sony Xperia Z5 Premium and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.

Amid talk that the Snapdragon 820 SoC also has a heating problem, a rumor circulated earlier this month stating that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will have a heat pipe inside. The phone is expected to pack the Exynos 8890 chipset in all markets except the U.S. and China. In those two countries, Samsung will reportedly use the Snapdragon 820. Despite speculation that the Snapdragon 820 overheats, Qualcomm insists that the chip does not have such a problem. The company's latest and greatest uses a quad-core design featuring its own home-grown Kryo cores.

Supply chain sources say that the fourth-generation Moto X won't be released until the second quarter of 2016. That leaves Motorola with plenty of time to make changes; the heat pipe could be removed before the final production models roll off the assembly line.

If you believe that where there is smoke there is an overheating chipset, you might choose to believe that Samsung and Motorola both know something about the Snapdragon 820 that we don't know for sure. Otherwise, you probably should wait for more evidence before declaring that another generation of Snapdragon chips overheat.

This picture allegedly shows a heat pipe inside a prototype of the fourth-generation Motorola Moto X

This picture allegedly shows a heat pipe inside a prototype of the fourth-generation Motorola Moto X


Thanks for the tip!

source: TechWeb (translated)

39 Comments
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posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:13 2

1. Jklaz (Posts: 159; Member since: 01 Jul 2013)


Pipe it up!

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:20

3. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 548; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Or just release information about why it it is needed to begin with. Maybe to cool down(or to keep cool) the battery when being Super(Re)-Charged, or is for overheating issues of the chip.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 13:03

23. torr310 (Posts: 839; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Heat pipes? OK, but the CPU should be more efficient with lower clock speed. That is the real solution!

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 19:34 2

33. joey_sfb (Posts: 5757; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I am still fine with heat pipe and other passive cooling approach, just don't put a fan. That's a 'no..no' for a device i'm going to put in my pocket.

WHAT's that noise!?

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 23:17 1

35. ibend (Posts: 4649; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


WHAT's that noise!?
oh its just my new vibrating toys inside my pants, please ignore it

posted on 23 Dec 2015, 00:15

38. vincelongman (Posts: 4445; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Since when does heat pipes mean inefficient CPU?
iPhones have full metal unibodies (even more heat capacity than heat pipes), yet still have some of the most efficient CPU

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 13:07

24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Lol Migos.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 23:48

37. BLSEOTB (Posts: 332; Member since: 24 Mar 2015)


Looool dkm

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:15

2. shahrooz (Posts: 743; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


Jesus, please don't...

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:51 8

10. vuyonc (Posts: 1014; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


Dude, heat pipes date back to the SD801 days. I remember people WELCOMED the heat pipe in the Xperia Z2 because any heat reduction allows better sustained performance on an already cool enough chipset. The SD810 was a rushed, hopeless toaster on the other hand. It's unlikely that the SD820 may burst into flames.

posted on 23 Dec 2015, 00:17

39. vincelongman (Posts: 4445; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


This.

Heat pipes dont mean inefficient CPU
iPhones have full metal unibodies (even more heat capacity than heat pipes)
Yet iPhones still have some of the most efficient CPU

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:26 5

4. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


PA starting the propaganda machine again?

Samsung S6 and such throttle up to 40% after 15 min of gaming or big usage.
you dont see it because even if its would throttle 70% its would still have enuf power to run all fluid.

Beside Apple soc all other soc throttle like this ( the 810 was up to 50% and everyone made a big story for 10% more than exynos eh.. )

So by using proper cooling they will be able to achieve better performance and benchmark scoore.

So when you see them come up with big number like 50% faster and all thats.
Take into account this info as they wont really be 50% faster just throttle less.

End result will be the same.

Also heat pipe will make heat go away faster so battery will also heat less resulting in better battery life.

Basically they should had added this since a long long time instead they sold us phone thats where all throttling down lol.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:34 1

7. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Just in case some idiots say S6 dont throttle :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg6PkfFnyss

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:37 5

8. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Aren't you the propaganda machine against samsung? Every post samsung sucks

We got it dude. You hate samsung. Don't act like it stole your dog in every post

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:51 6

11. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


He stated a fact! Heat pipes were needed ever since.
But there's no propaganda - not of PA authors (so I disagree with him on this part).

We get it dude (ph00ny), you like bashing.

Don't act like he stole your credibility (which you've just lost) in every post.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:29 3

15. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Stated a fact based on what? More assumptions?

Heat pipes are only effective assuming it can dissipate heat to an external source or another heat exchanger which based on the design above does not seem to do so.

If the dissipation of the heat is spread to the external casing of the phone, it will have adverse impact on battery life since more heat is spread against the external casing of the battery. Sure it will be a lower temp heat but it's heating larger surface of the battery at the same time.

Now let's take Marorun for an example,

Initially his posts consisted of his personal experience of working at a phone store in which he recommended HTC over Samsung siting a few returned instances and 0 return instances for HTC. Which in real life reflects nothing in the big picture sense since statistically even if his personal encounters were true, it will reflect such a small minuscule percentage of the actual stats that it actually doesn't matter.

His posts then switched over to Exynos throttles slightly less over maybe one instance which doesn't really line up with majority of the professional reviews and user encounters. Let's say Samsung's marketing budget had some impact on the results with the professional reviews. After 810 debacle, how many reviews have you seen of Note5, S6 Edge Plus, S6, S6 Edge consisted of overheating/throttling issues?

I'm not going to act like i like or don't like samsung or HTC but i do own a Note 5 and daily drive it without any issues including throttling. I've been playing more games on it than i did previously with Note 3 or wife's Note 4 (which btw was her choice over any of the phone offering from AT&T based on her short experience with my Note 3 and wanting a larger phone).

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:56 2

19. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Heat pipe connected to the external part of the phone ( metal case even better ) will put thats heat near the outside of the phone wich is better than inside the core.

Heat on the external part of the case dont mean on the battery if its well isolated.

As for HTC VS Samsung return rate the official rate for All Canada at Telus ( 8.5 million clients ) Samsung has a ratio 3 time higher for return on warranty for various issues ( 3 out of 10 for sammy compared to 1 out of 10 for HTC , LG , Alcatel ect )

I can easily give you over 10 link about Exynos of S6 throttling its not because tech reviewer who are graciously given nice compensation to say lie say its dont thats its dont if you dont beleive me install the same app the guy used in my link and do the test yourself and stop been an ass!

As for your last words well even if its would throttle 70% of its power you would not even see it as current soc in android phone are overpowered for anything you can trow at it.
HTC M9 never slowed down or lagged on me as well and i play load of games.

So stop acting like an ass there was propaganda initiated by Shamesung with Korean tech news site wich started all thats propaganda against Qualcomm and thats it.

Go on google and do : Samsung S6 throttling.

You will see.

Note 5 is larger so heat is better distributed and note 5 is an amazing device with very few return beside some green or orange line in the screen when put at max brightness but those you see at start.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 12:05

20. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Look at the picture above. If you're saying there is a heatshield of some sort that can completely isolate heat from the battery then please show us where. This is a completely passive cooling, SoC cooling is based on ambient temp for passive cooling. Without an active external heat exchanger, it's not really cooling with efficiency.

If you google "insert device name here" and "issue" here, there will be a post about it somewhere.

As for return rates, how many of those returns are due to issues? Also post the links to the so return rate information provided by the carrier.

70% of the power cut from current soc will not result in lag? Are you honestly saying apps requiring high CPU/GPU usage will not result in lag?

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 13:37 2

25. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Heat pipe will be more effective with a radiator of some kind yes.
Still its can work by itself Go read and instruct yourself :http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/44192/heat-pipe

I worked in a computer/laptop shop and some very small laptop had no fan at all and used heat pipe.

As you said just insert ( Samsung S6 , Samsung S6 edge ) with throttling and heating and you find out all what i been talking to you.

Telus do not provide those information to consummer its was an internal bulletin thats i wont share with you :)

Ofcourse what i am saying is real most app never use more than 10-20% of your soc only some exception exist.

Well 50% dont seem to make my HTC one M9 lag in any games or UI its as fluid as my colleague S6 edge so i expect even 70% would still be fluid my point with this statement is thats 40-50% throttle dont make your phone any different so why make a big propaganda for 50% when most other phone ( iphones excepted ) easily throttle 40% after a few minutes usage?

You really need to stop acting this way i at least bring something to the table i am not trying to try and find lil crack in the arguments to counter argue.

So go read how heat pipe work. The way its made its can easily work by itself to some extend.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 14:17

31. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I've been doing custom cooling way before water cooling became the norm with peltier cooling as well as custom water cooling.

No ventilation holes and small metal plate for heat distribution means higher ambient temp. Higher ambient temp in passive cooling environment means what?

As for throttling performance, your exact words were "anything you can throw at it" Now it's real most apps? What's next? Some more random stats put together?

You're not bringing anything to the table. Mostly speculation from your end. If there was no issue with SD810, why would Qualcomm bother with revisions in the first place? Why would carriers post out possible overheating issues. Same goes for manufacturers. Lower core speed, more revised versions.

Even qualcomm recognized it as an issue but you're saying it's not an issue.

Why was it an issue with SD810? Because of the amount it throttles to get to an acceptable level of temperature range to return to full performance rather than the amount of times it goes into throttle performance mode

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 18:12

32. Hellouser (Posts: 39; Member since: 05 Feb 2015)


You should write to the designers and tell them how incompetent they are and show them your work.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 12:07

21. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


I too, I had a feeling that the 810 overheating issue was exagerated.
But Exynos still throttles way less than Snapdragon 810, man!

Even when massively throttled, the 7420 keeps the big cores at 1.2 GHz, meanwhile the 810 falls back to the LITTLE cores.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 13:39

26. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


the link i gave is nothing compared to another review i found.
Its was literally cutting half the core and the rest where at 60% speed Still what you told me never happened to a single client i have so its may be a defective unit or someone who try to make a propaganda.

Both the 810 and 7420 can run any apps and game on the market whitout lag thats the important part.

There is some exception some ppl who had bad unit ( both htc and samsung device ) thats may experienced lag but most ppl dont.

Not a single M9 came back for lag or heat issue only some for strange color film over all pictures.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 14:07 1

29. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


"I had a feeling that the 810 overheating issue was exagerated"

But they weren't. It was so underrated Qualcomm claimed the chips didn't overheat at all. Which was a lie.

They did overheat, they did cause performance issues when the devices got really hot and that is why every phone had to be patched with a fix which throttled the CPU down more or likely faster than it normally would have.

The Exynos gets hot, that's it. No performance issues, no laggy freezing device Like I saw with the 810.

It wasn't overrated. The Exynos and the 810 may both use the big.LITTLE configuration, but Samsung simply does a better job with it. PERIOD! No heat pipe needed.

The fact the 820 will need a heat pipe shows it is still a problem.
Which to me makes it seems like Qualcomm is simply taking the chips they already made and just reselling them as the 820 and everyone is goign to use patches and heat-pipes to deal with the issue.

I think Samsung is making a mistake going back to Qualcomm for the SD820

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:40

17. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Buthurt much you are?

I am just stating the truth here.
Ppl openly bashed many OEM including HTC for the SD810 been too hot and said at the same time exynos did not heat up well sorry to bring the reality to you.

I hate company like Samsung and Apple yeah company thats make you pay a lots for device thats end up having s**tload of return for various reason.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 14:02

28. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I don't think anyone didnt say the Exynos doesn't get hot. The results however are far different vs the SD810.

The S6 Edge and Edge+ I had certainly got very hot. But it didnt catch on fire, it didnt melt the casing, it didnt burn my fingers/hand and it didnt cause any noticeable performance issues.

Can you say the same for the SD810?

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:27

5. carlemillward (unregistered)


Will Motorola again have 3 Moto X's?

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 23:21

36. ibend (Posts: 4649; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


actually I dont mind if they call it moto X3 or something, it alot easier than saying 4rd generation moto X, or 2016's moto X (and the same for their 4th generation moto G, lol)

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:33

6. pmsap (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 May 2015)


I'm far from being knowledge on this type of production but where is the heat sink? Let's say you have a copper pipe that will conduct heat in a very efficient way. But to where is that heat going? Is the phone metal made? Is it going to the hand of the user? Can someone illustrate me on that?

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 10:48

9. shahrooz (Posts: 743; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


It helps to spread it in the back, by increasing the area heat transfer from the back cover increases too.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:01 1

12. pmsap (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 May 2015)


But the gain is marginal. In that sense, it would also make sense let the back cover be ventilated (perforated).

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:26 1

14. middlehead (Posts: 114; Member since: 12 May 2014)


Air is a poor cooler unless it's being forcibly moved across something. Unless you want fans in your phones, it's going to be heatpipes.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:39

16. ph00ny (Posts: 1238; Member since: 26 May 2011)


It's a passive cooling. It's just transferring heat using the copper pipes onto an aluminum plate from the soc (Pure assumption based on the picture)

Without ventilation i highly doubt it's going to be that effective. It may prevent throttling to some degree on SOC side but the rest of phone component will run at higher temperature

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:12

13. maddy996 (Posts: 81; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


these kind of news will definitely hesitate to the customers who wants to get the device as soon as it launched...

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 11:48

18. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 859; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)


No please no. All companies should start putting heat sink in the phone for better performance

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 12:17

22. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


All companies should, definitely!

I'm sick of seing high benchmark scores, but laggy real-world performance!

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 13:41

27. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Thats the best comment i saw today on PA!

HTC one M9 was bashed for heat but UI and usage are almost flawless where i had clients with various others brand having bad and strange lag .

Samsung S6 and LG G4 to be precise.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 19:42

34. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 13100; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


That's because HTC has a light skin compared to the molasses-heavy skins on the G4 and S6.

posted on 22 Dec 2015, 14:07

30. collin3000 (Posts: 12; Member since: 28 Apr 2015)


Motorola tends to have a lot of heat dissipation for the sake of being able to charge batteries faster than everyone else (the current moto has 5 heatsinks). Although I love seeing heatsinks in phone so they don't throttle at all I wouldn't be surprised if it also had to do with battery

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