Mobile Technology

World’s first water cooled smartphone from NEC

World’s first water cooled sma...
NEC's Medias X N-06E is the world's first smartphone with water cooling
NEC's Medias X N-06E is the world's first smartphone with water cooling
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NEC's Medias X N-06E is aimed at women
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NEC's Medias X N-06E is aimed at women
NEC's water-cooled Medias X N-06E
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NEC's water-cooled Medias X N-06E
NEC's Medias X N-06E will be available in Japan through NTT Docomo
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NEC's Medias X N-06E will be available in Japan through NTT Docomo
NEC's Medias X N-06E features a 4.7-inch HD OLED display
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NEC's Medias X N-06E features a 4.7-inch HD OLED display
NEC's Medias X N-06E is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
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NEC's Medias X N-06E is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
NEC's Medias X N-06E is the world's first smartphone with water cooling
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NEC's Medias X N-06E is the world's first smartphone with water cooling

The phrase “the phones are running hot” has the potential for a double meaning in the smartphone age, with increasingly processor-intensive apps being used on mobile devices. Desktop computers make use of water cooling to keep their CPUs from overheating, so why can’t smartphones? Why not, indeed. NEC has done just that with the Medias X N-06E, the world’s first water-cooled smartphone.

At the heart of the Medias X N-06E is a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro running at 1.7 GHz that has its heat drawn away to the sides of the phone by a water-filled heatpipe. Of course, this chip can be found in a range of devices, including the LG Optimus G Pro and HTC One, neither of which seem to be experiencing overheating issues.

While the chip supports clocking up to 1.9 GHz, NEC is sticking to 1.7 GHz for the water-cooled phone, so it’s unlikely users will see any real performance boost. The only real benefits we can see would be the potential to possibly extend the life of the chip or keep the phone cooler in your hot little hand.

The phone comes running Android 4.2 and also features a 4.7-inch 720 x 1,280 OLED display, 13.1-megapixel shooter, 2,300 mAh battery and waterproof and dustproof casing (IPX5, 8/IP5X) – which also gives users the option of dunking the phone in a pool of water if they want some other form of water cooling.

As suggested by the pink-tinged product page and sparkly accessories, the phone is aimed at women. It is currently only slated for release in Japan at the end of June through NTT Docomo.

Sources: NEC, NTT Docomo, via The Verge

8 comments
Ingo Petersdorff
They should use that to cool the battery as well, that would allow for faster charging and higher power consumption (if needed), without compromising the life of the battery.
Ele Truk
Well, this won't make the phone any cooler, just the chips inside. Heat is heat, and water cooling doesn't automatically eradicate heat. Unless they put in devices that convert heat back to electricity, a hot phone will still put out the same amount of heat whether it's water cooled or not.
solutions4circuits
Desktops use water cooling, so why not a phone? Here's a reason, something the basement dwelling boffins at NEC didn't think about - winter. How many times is a desktop left in the car or taken on a ski slope? Idiots...
Isaac Hanninen
drain the water out and put anti-freeze in there. problem solved. it cannot be any more harmful than the phone would have already been.
Michael Mantion
Anti freeze is not good at transferring heat, this is why we put a mix of water and antifreeze in our car. I see no benefit to putting a fluid in a phone, they should build the case out of a aluminum and copper to dissipate the heat. I am pretty sure this is a gag, I could be wrong.
The Skud
Leaving aside the various detractions already mentioned, why not use the impurities in the water to power a fuel cell (I've seen pix, for instance, of a flower vase with a powered display on the outside) to supplement the battery for longer life?
Nairda
I second Michael Mantion's statement about using a metal chassis. Anyone heard of this? "Panasonic's Thermally Conductive Pyrolytic Graphite Sheet (PGS)" http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/electronic-components/protection/pyrolytic-graphite-sheet.aspx Not cheap but very good. Use it to distribute heat directly from hot sports to chassis of phone. Tempted to go halves with a friend to buy a small .25 thickness sheet for our computer CPUs and GPUs as a replacement for heat transfer paste.
rkwilcoxon
This really isn't liquid cooling. It is a heat pipe. Sheesh - what's so great about that? Pretty much every laptop that ships has at least one of them. Heat pipes do a nice job of moving the heat from point A to point B, but won't get it off the system. And heat pipes, when properly designed, can certainly deal with operating in cold weather - even on the ski slopes. It does seem like a better application for the graphite sheet that Nairda mentioned - it isn't cheap, but it would work a lot better for spreading the heat across a big portion of the phone chassis so that there isn't a hot spot. I have heard that the latest iPad went away from using that stuff and, at least initially, they had some thermal bugs.