Feel the burn! 5 phones with thermal spreading heat pipes for 'liquid' cooling

Feel the burn! 5 phones with thermal spreading heat pipes for 'liquid' cooling
When the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced, the first teardowns of the handsets revealed some sort of a thin flat heat pipe running away from the processor area, presumably a cooling effort, like the ones on Sony's high-end Xperias, starting way back with the Z2, or the Lumia 950XL. Samsung then confirmed that the phones do indeed feature this, when talking about its new Game Launcher setup: "the cooling system in these phones, with a very thin thermal spreader, keeps devices cool, so gamers can focus on winning."

There you have it, no liquid nitrogen running in your phone, pumped by tiny goblins to swoosh elegantly around the CPU in clouds of frozen mist. What we do have is flatter copper alloy piping with a drop of water inside that evaporates when it hits the CPU area, takes the heat away, then condenses back into liquid to run down the metal mesh inside and repeat the process, spreading the heat in a more equal manner, so that the CPU and your hands don't feel the burn. 

Samsung already detailed the challenges it encountered when designing one the smallest thermal spreaders from scratch, but that's not the only game in phone town as far as heat pipes are involved. Check out the coolest kids on the heat dissipation block below.

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20 Comments

1. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I can definitely see PA turning into pointless service like Watchmojo

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

meanwhile there are still lots of new phone they didnt write article yet, like zuk2, meizu m3, redmi 3 pro, and others

11. xdza1979

Posts: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

ha ha

2. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

SONY Xperia Z2 has long since

3. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Patiently watiting for HTC 10's teardown..

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Heat pipes are a good addition IMO Higher heat means more leakage, which means more power consumption Especially on glass and plastic phones Its not as neccessary on metal phones since the metal uni body can dissapate the heat far better than glass/plastic bodies That being said, IMO heat pipes should be used to spread heat, not increase TDP i.e. the same heat output, but spread better (like on metal phones) Looks like these phones do just that since battery life is still great on the recent Xperias, S7/e (not sure about the 950/XL)

8. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

Isn't it the same for glass and plastic phones as well? I mean the amount of heat leaving the CPU is the waste energy so whether it's full metal or glass the amount of heat dissipation is same from the SoC so it won't make a difference right?

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Its quite hard to explain Basically Say 3W of heat comes out of the SoC On a metal phone, that 3W is spread over a bigger area, since metal is a far better conductor The rest of the glass/plastic phone is a lower temp than the rest of the metal phone (since the heat isn't spreading) But the area around the SoC of a glass/plastic phone is a higher temp than a metal phone Here's a pichttp://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/articles/176584-thumb/htc-one-m9-heat.jpeg See how the 6 Plus, M9 and M9 have pretty even heat While the G3 and Note 4 are quite cold at the bottom Especially the G3, where its much hot in the upper middle (probably where the SoC is)

14. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I'm an energy conversion engineer let me explain this to you like this: there is a constant amount of heat produced by SOC per second which needs to get out of there, heat pipe, metal, plastic etc. all transfer heat but it's about the resistance. Imagine you open facet of water and pour it in a container with a hole. if the hole is large enough there wont be any water in the container but if the hole is not big enough there will be some water in the container all the time and its amount is linked to the diameter of that hole. heat concentration means a rise in temperature so if there is not an efficient way to transfer the heat you'll get a rise in temperature which is linked to the amount of resistance.

17. keithlum

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 23, 2015

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” ― Bruce Lee ^^

18. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

Thanks, now I get it.

5. BATTERY_LIVES_MATTER

Posts: 106; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

More comforting to read about than any drug addict or zionist 'currently feeling the B(e)rn'!

6. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

I am glad my S7 Edge has a heat pipe.

9. josephnero

Posts: 780; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Glad to see PA gave Sony the credit

19. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

loooooooooooooool

12. drifter77

Posts: 401; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

As a guy who is obsessed with two things on any phone; battery life and heat management... I can say that the Exynos chip on the Note 5 is the coolest in the long line of phones that I previously owned.

20. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

maybe you have owned. But the S7 Edge is even better. I never experience any heat for a month now.

13. xperiaZlover

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

PA thanks for giving credit to SONY for the thermal pipe implementation. I thought you people would not do so.

15. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I wondered how Sony made my Z5 Premium work very well when others could/would not. They only time I can overheat it is recording 4K video and even then it stops recording but does not shut down.

16. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Lumia 950XL does the best job at taming the snapdragon 810. notebookcheck review. It turns out that Microsoft is the only manufacturer that can handle the Snapdragon 810. The Lumia 950 XL also loses some performance, but the drop is comparatively small at 14.5%. Other smartphones with the same SoC suffer from bigger performance drops, it does not matter if you look at the LG Flex 2 (-16.2%), OnePlus 2 (-33%), Sony Xperia Z5 (-29%), Nexus 6P (-31%) or HTC One M9 (-38%).

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