Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge may not look much different from the Galaxy S6 series, but underneath the metal and glass body, the Korean company has a hot piece of tech to keep the hardware cool: liquid cooling technology.
Liquid cooling isn’t exactly a revolutionary technology – they’ve been cooling high-end gaming computers and servers for decades. Despite the logic that liquids and electronic components should be kept as far away as possible, the efficiency of liquid cooling means this system will always be a mainstay inside powerful computers.
Liquid-filled pipes (preferably made of metals that conduct heat very effectively, such as copper) placed on top of or around components that heat up quickly (such as the GPU and processor) in a closed loop allows heat to be dissipated quickly away from the hotter components. Utilising the laws of thermodynamics, the liquid boils (and absorbs heat) when it flows to the GPU or CPU, before condensating back into liquid form when the temperature falls below its boiling point.
This rapid boiling and condensation process repeats endlessly in a closed loop, dissipating heat effectively away from the important components.
However, the Galaxy S7 is not the first smartphone in the world to feature liquid cooling. Some may recall that Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and 950 XL has a similar technology…but these two are also not the first smartphones sporting this technology.
That honour falls, surprisingly, to a mid-range smartphone. If that’s not surprising enough, then this will: the NEC Medias X 06E is designed and targeted for women. This 2013 smartphone may not have the most feminine of names, nor does it actually boast hardware that necessitates liquid cooling (Snapdragon S4 Pro, anyone?), but in Japan, sometimes you find the most fascinating pieces of technology in the unlikeliest of places.
With Samsung’s push into mobile gaming with the Galaxy S7 and its support for the new Vulkan API, liquid cooling may be seen as a very necessary move to keep the hardware from overheating like a Snapdragon 810-powered device running Disney Tsum Tsum.