HTC One M9 does not overheat when pushed, new thermal image confirms

Thermal image of the HTC One M9 vs other flagship phones under load

Thermal image of the HTC One M9 vs other flagship phones under load


It was a week ago when a thermal image of the HTC One M9 under heavy load started making the rounds. The image in question was part of a performance review and showed an M9 unit hitting a surface temperature of 132 degrees Fahrenheit (55.4 degrees Celsius) when benchmarked. In plain words, the phone was getting pretty hot... literally. The silicon inside the M9 was generating significant amounts of heat, unlike other flagship phones it was being stacked up against. 

Inevitably, speculations of overheating issues supposedly plaguing HTC's flagship started to pop up from here and there. Was HTC about to launch a flawed device? No, not really. As it turns out, the recently-pushed software update has taken care of the issue. What you see above is an updated thermal image of the HTC One M9 being benchmarked, and obviously, the phone is running no hotter than its rivals. As a matter of fact, it looks like the One M9's metal body is doing a good job at dissipating heat. The generated heat spreads across the phone's surface instead of remaining concentrated around a single point, which is a good thing. 

However, we do have to point out that the above results have been most likely achieved by tweaking the thermal throttling configuration of the Snapdragon 810's GPU and CPU. In other words, limits on the the processors' maximum clock frequencies are imposed once the silicon reaches a certain temperature, and after the software update, the temperature threshold stands at a lower point. As a result, the chip's temperature is kept within tolerable margins at the cost of reduced performance. This throttling function is common among smartphone SoCs and isn't exclusive to the Snapdragon 810. 

Long story short, it looks like the HTC One M9 is not affected by any overheating problems, although its performance is inevitably limited once its SoC hits a certain temperature threshold. Whether this will have any real-world effects beyond the scope of lower benchmark results remains to be seen. To learn more about the company's latest flagship, feel free to check out our HTC One M9 review



source: Tweakers.net (Translated) via Jeff Gordon (Twitter)

Related phones

One M9
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 4 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2840 mAh(21.7h 3G talk time)

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72 Comments

1. Katrina

Posts: 84; Member since: Aug 17, 2012

Such a cover up, seriously s810 is a fail and they should not even release it. And judging from the new photo it is still the hottest out of all lol

15. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

the g3 is the hottest

20. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

but the unibody Alloy design distributes temperature all over the body -that is like a heatsink for the CPU itself. M9 therefore begins to be noticable hoter then any other phone that heats up just at the cpu area. Even lifecycle of the battery might be affected when it runs in such a warm body. You see that all others are much cooler on the sides where you hold the phone - i can not imagine to hold a phone that is 38-40C - imagine to live in a country where in summer temperature has 35C - than the phone might be even hotter cause these tests were probably done at room temperature at 20C and after load they can cool quicker. So forget to play some heavy games outside in Saudi Arabia in summer or you ll be burned.

37. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

I had an HTC M7 here in Argentina (last summer the temperature reached 46°C) and even when the phone was hot (charging + playing games), you didn't need to leave the phone apart because of the heat, the metal dissipated it very well. Also if you wanted super fast cooldown, you could put a little ice cube on the metal and the heat disappeared in a matter of seconds.

50. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Ice cube tat brain a bit...

41. vincelongman

Posts: 5645; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, also aluminium alloys have very very high capacity Meaning it absorbs more heat energy as it increase temp compared to say plastic Aluminium's high capacity is one of the highest That's way almost all CPU and GPU coolers have aluminium heat sinks And that's I'm quite surprised the Note 4 beats the iPhone 6+ and One M8/M9 It means the Note 4 is producing far less heat

49. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

If you have not noticed most of heatsinks are made of copper...

67. vincelongman

Posts: 5645; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Nope, I think you mistaking heat pipes and heat sinks Copper is usually used to spread heat Aluminium is usually used to absorb heat Most CPU/GPU coolers use copper heat pipes and aluminium heat sink E.g. CPU cooler, copper bring the heat up, the aluminium absorbs ithttp://www.techpowerup.com/img/15-03-23/XC027-M403.jpg GPU Cooler, similar, the copper spreads the heat, aluminium absorbs ithttp://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/GTX_960_G1_Gaming/images/cooler2.jpg One M8, very similar to the GPU, the copper spreads the heat, aluminium absorbs ithttps://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/XRZGQ5ZNTaXJP1b6 Galaxy Alpha, different, only has aluminium to absorb heathttps://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/HUYfyH1LdHesOEB3

42. Muayyad

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

Dude, they are all within similar range. They will all heat more at higher ambient temperature.

65. AndreaWijayanti

Posts: 69; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

and note 4 is the coolest

27. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

snapdragon has gone total crapdragon. exynos is leaps better!

44. Muayyad

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

Interesting, will see real world performance with apps installed.

48. samsboy unregistered

I can see how reveiwers are sympathetic of HTC. It is left on the consumers to sympathise too and buy. It could be use for making coffee if it does overheat, and that will make it even more useful.

2. TyrionLannister unregistered

Anandtech confirmed that HTC underclocked the chip to 1.5 GHz. Obviously it won't heat up.

3. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Yeah, I read the same. 1.5 GHz still seems like enough for some good performance but this year is nothing but disappointment... I really can only just look at HTC and just... look. This year is leaving me frickin speechless...

5. nadavcool543

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

They underclocked it by 0.1GHz. From 1.6GHz to 1.5GHz. The HTC One M9 has a bigger battery, Underclocked chip, 1080 Display and his battery life is still average ! Even the S6 has better battery life (That's what battery life tests tells). I'm so disappointed !

8. TyrionLannister unregistered

No. The chip was 2.0 GHz. They clocked it between 1.5 to 1.6 GHz. It mostly tops at 1.5 GHz but sometimes goes to 1.6. This makes me wonder that if they had to underclock it anyway, why they didn't go with an 808. It would have saved a lot of bad press.

11. nadavcool543

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

You are right. I was wrong ): HTC is a cheater !

13. TyrionLannister unregistered

Oh, you edited your comment. Good. And an underclocked 808 would have about the same performance as a throttled 810. From Anandtech: The SoC is better, but I can’t help but feel that Snapdragon 805 ends up being a better choice than Snapdragon 810 for a flagship smartphone at this time. The Snapdragon 808 may be better suited as an upgrade to the Snapdragon 805, but given the performance of the 810 I’m not really holding my breath.

68. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

It's not only Anandtech, gsmarena found the same issues when testing the HTC One M9. The Snapdragon 810 heats too much at 2 GHz, so the real performance is when clocked at around 1.6 GHz, and that's quite low compared to the 2.1 GHz of the Exynos 7420. No wonder Samsung ditched it.

12. nadavcool543

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

The 810 performs better than the 808.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17181; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Even when the 810 is underclocked by 20-25% and thermally throttled the rest of the time to keep from giving the user third degree burns on his palm?

51. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

For few minutes...

45. Muayyad

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

All phones get less battery life with android 5.0, even the M8.

57. tedkord

Posts: 17181; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

My Galaxy S3 gets much better battery life with lollipop.

4. buccob

Posts: 2955; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The LGG3 is the hottest... though the M9 does have high temperature all over its body, the LGG3 is hot only localized so in reality you hands will be more comfortable using the G3. Kudos to the Note 4 btw... simply the best handset of 2014. Too bad they don't translate all that goodness into the compact form... my Z3c is still better than the Alpha.

6. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

HTC got screwed by quallcom this time. Would have been much cheaper to just use the 805 or go with mediatek & lower the price

14. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That's true, the S805 still gets ~42fps in T-Rex so only a loss of ~8fps. But then I guess they have to be ready for 64bit, which brings about one question. Why not use an S808?

72. thunderc8

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

If they would have gone with the 805 then every itard or spec geek would have bashed htc for using last year tech.

7. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

I would love to see the latest performance benchmark results and how it compares after the throttling/fixes done by HTC.

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