Stop calling Note 9's heat dissipation a 'liquid cooling' system

Galaxy Note9: Water Carbon Cooling system from samsungmobilepress on Vimeo.


Way back 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. The same ones were spotted before on Sony's high-end Xperias, starting with the Z2, or even the Lumia 950XL

At the time, Samsung did confirm that its phones indeed feature this pipe setup 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." You see, Samsung itself doesn't dare to call this system "liquid cooling," as it has nothing to do with those gaming rig setups with coolant flowing through pipes and radiators, pumped by tiny goblins to swoosh elegantly around the CPU in clouds of frozen mist. On the Note 9, the system is called Water Carbon Cooling.

That hasn't prevented the tech blogosphere from calling it what it's not to drum up excitement. What we do have on the Note 9, however, is a greatly enhanced version of the thermal spreader/heatsink inside its flagships since the S7, including in the Note 8. Samsung also built a larger, more intricate heat pipe with "Carbon Fiber interface," whatever it is, and only a drop of water housed inside. 

The tiny amount of water is weaved around the CPU/GPU combo to take away the heat that the Exynos and Snapdragon chipsets would generate under, say, gaming stress. The drop evaporates when it hits the chipset area, lowers the temperature there, then condenses back to run down the metal mesh inside and repeat the process, spreading the heat in a more equal manner. 

So, thermal spreader, vapor chamber, heatsink, call the system's elements what you will, but tests show that it is only slightly more efficient than what we already have on, say, the Note 8. On hot summer days, it performs much better than phones without, though. In a recent Tom's Guide test, the Note 9 and Note 8 lasted more minutes of sunlight gaming than the iPhone X before overheating, for instance. Still, the heat dissipation system inside the Note 9 is not as fancy as a "liquid cooling" moniker would lead us to believe.

images: Hi-tech

Related phones

Galaxy Note 9
  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(29h 3G talk time)

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37 Comments

1. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Xbox One X also use that term (liquid cooling) while it's actually use vapor chamber, but I don't see anyone complaining about it, it's TECHNICALLY CORRECT, since it use liquid for cooling. And only idiot will think that Note 9 have radiator and fans or even "liquid nitrogen" inside it, when they hear this phone use liquid cooling. Or are you just sad that this phone beat iPhoneX in that test? lol..

14. Jrod99

Posts: 778; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Bet you can’t say all that 2 times real fast.

17. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Note 9 doesn't beat iP X in any test. Check the geek bench 4 scores plz.

20. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Even when picking apps that the majority of us don't use, and simply because they're more optimized on iOS, the X still loses to the Note 9. https://youtu.be/nx90hDwf9JQ

24. iushnt

Posts: 3156; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

@piyath, please read the article properly, you will understand what worldpeace was saying.

25. lyndon420

Posts: 6883; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Geek bench has a score for sunlight/heating tests??

26. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I already specify which test, read my comment again.. "..beat iPhoneX in THAT test.." which refer to the test in the last paragraph in above article.

28. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Double post..

30. OneLove123

Posts: 1262; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Check the antutu score, please.

36. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Geekbench score is just one benchmark, that has little to do with the contents of this article. Checkout Antutu if you want to see a very different result to Geekbench. In the meantime, cooling matters as it enables the chip to operate at maximum speed for longer before throttling occurs to cool down the phone. Something iPhones are well known for! Geekbench scores mean nothing if the phone cannot handle to power of the processor. Better to have a bigger battery, better design and slower processor.

39. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

A vapor chamber and heat pipe are the same Vapor chamber is just bigger Neither are liquid cooling But Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Sony, etc... are all misleading us to try make them sound more advance than they actually are

3. cmdacos

Posts: 4333; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

So it contains liquid and provides cooling benefits but don't call it liquid cooling... Got it...

6. bucknassty

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Alright... so it's water then becomes vapor... sounds like someone on this site needs to research the phase diagram of liquid (water in this case) COME ON! some people who come here are engineers and understand this stuff!

22. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1109; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

I don't think someone needs to be an engineer to grasp basic chemistry. Water = liquid, vapor = gas. Now whats that other darn form of water... you know when its hard and cold... I'll get back to you after my nice glass of cold Iced tea

41. bucknassty

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

solid... i'm not sure if i'm not catching your sarcasm correctly, but i sure hope your not insinuating that water can not be a liquid and gas... because if you are i have nothing to say to you.

42. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1109; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

There was definitely sarcasm, that's why i said I was going to have a ICEd tea, since that's the solid form of water. Sarcasm in text is a pain to get through. But my point was just that I'm not sure how even an english or communications major (whatever thes writers are)wouldn't know that water can be found in all 3 states, Solid, liquid, and gas.

4. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

I'm starting to believe that there's a hidden agenda against Samsung in this website. Tech sites like this one should report without bias. Anyways I'm no tech expert by any means but to my understanding from what I read online the liquid cooling in the note 9 is not like the liquid cooling in gaming rigs or car radiators. It uses a minute amount of water inside the copper heatsink which evaporates the water and creates a mist that cools down the system without damaging the device (please if anyone with the knowledge please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). PA if you have tests to prove your claim please do share otherwise stop biasing against certain companies.

7. bucknassty

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

they are trying to discount the claim because it is on such a small scale... uh... have they not compared the size of a phone to a desktop computer?! the cooling system will be small as well... it has liquid in it, therefore it is classified as a liquid cooling system... I bet if a fruit company did the exact same thing it would be..... "REVOLUTIONARY"

10. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And trolls were attacking me yesterday for stating the obvious. It's not a hidden agenda anymore, it's clear to everyone but Samsung's haters. All PA's tests have a completely different results from every other website and YT channel. They're the only website that claims that the Note 9's battery life is average, and that the pictures shot on the Note 9 are worst than those taken by the S6, and plenty more negative articles that are biased as hell. You can see that they're promised a front seet tickets for the next Apple keynote, so you gotta understand why they are doing their best to attack Samsung and praise Apple.

34. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

PA should provide with their own testing methodology and stop posting links lying around the internet. Their bias is real.

18. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

9. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Yall the fools that referred to it as that in the first place.

11. middlehead

Posts: 467; Member since: May 12, 2014

PA writers have said some stupid stuff, but this is the biggest, dumbest strawman I've ever seen here. No one thinks "liquid cooling" means nitrogen. The average person is going to picture a system like a car's radiator, which is basically what desktop liquid cooling is.

12. nikhil23

Posts: 502; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

It uses liquid for cooling. So we shouldn't call liquid cooling ? PA's articles are getting dumber and dumber

13. Cat97

Posts: 1980; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

If it's water, it's liquid :)

15. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Hope Apple will bring 24K cooling system like mclaren f1 engine with upcoming iPhone X plus.

16. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

There’s no water https://youtu.be/L5eSaFIIUpM

19. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You clearly didn't watch the video, at the 5:50 mark, he explains how the water cooling system works. Unless you're expecting them putting one liter of water inside the phone?

21. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

I guess if it doesn’t have a cooling system then its gonna have the same fate as Note 7. Boom!

23. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1109; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Someone has a hard time letting the past go... Is it because your dad left when you were just a baby?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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