The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is many things — a well built, well engineered, well spec-ed smartphone — but apparently the one thing it isn’t, is a liquid-cooled device. Well, not in the conventional sense.
YouTube teardown specialist JerryRigEverything, in his dismantling of the Galaxy S7 edge smartphone, found out that there is no visible liquid within the heat pipe. There was, however, a copper wire mesh on the inside acting as a heat sink to draw away heat from the processor.
Why is there no liquid?
Unlike the heat pipe used in the Galaxy S7 phones, traditional liquid cooling involves a pump that keeps tubes full of liquid flowing, allowing the coolant to bring the heat from a CPU or GPU to a radiator/heatsink to be dissipated by a fan.
In contrast, heat pipes use an evaporative cooling technique which transfers thermal energy from one point to another by the evaporation and condensation of a working fluid or coolant. So, whatever or however little fluid there was in the pipe, if there even was any to begin with, becomes vapour as soon as it heats up and would likely be released when the pipe was sliced open.
Heat pipes can also be found in most traditional PC heatsinks or coolers, but we don’t exactly call those “liquid-cooling” solutions. We can see how this vapour heat pipe would be more practical in a smartphone, but can we really say that it is liquid-cooled?
Samsung aren’t the only ones to employ this form of “liquid cooling” as the same system is currently employed in Microsoft’s Lumia flagships as well. One notable exception when it comes to liquid-cooled smartphones, as JerryRigEverything points out, is the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. When they tore that device apart, there was visible liquid within the heat pipes.
To be fair, in their presentation during Unpacked 2016, Samsung did explain their cooling system pretty well — how it had some liquid that vapourises when hot and condenses when cooled — staying away from the actual usage of “water-cooled smartphone”. In fact, I couldn’t find any mention of “water-cooling” on their product page either.
Perhaps then, the term water-cooling was coined more by the media and/or misinformed product guys than anyone else. What do you guys think of this “water-cooled” smartphone? Let us know in the comments below.