OnePlus 11 is the first liquid-cooled gaming phone. The prototype revealed at MWC 2023 opens up a new category of smartphones. Let’s find out more
During MWC 2023, users could look at one of the most exciting prototypes ever: the OnePlus 11, the first liquid-cooled smartphone.
A decidedly unique feature, given that such a technology is usually used for cooling gaming PCs.
Of course, it will still take a long time to see this cooling system installed on devices on the market. However, it still represents a good innovation, especially for the gaming phone sector, which is gaining more and more support and has to deal with the elevated temperature problem.
Let’s find out more about the OnePlus 11.
OnePlus 11, The Prototype That Everyone Was Waiting For
Since it is only a concept, mass production has yet to be contemplated.
But computer-style cooling can be a godsend for the gaming phone sector, which is becoming increasingly similar to consoles.
However, despite being prototypes, the models available at MWC 2023 were 100% functional and could be tested by various industry experts. This detail bodes well because it shows that intuition is achievable reasonably quickly. We have to see if the game is worth the candle or not.
Speaking specifically of the OnePlus 11, this contains a cooling liquid called active cryo-flux, which is circulated to the smartphone’s motherboard by a micropump, allowing the cooling of the components.
The “pipes” in which the liquid passes are minimal, as are all the components of this hydraulic system, so as not to increase the weight and thickness of the smartphone too much.
The real gem, however, is the company’s choice to use a transparent body so that the flow of the liquid also becomes a decidedly captivating aesthetic factor.
The glowing effect of this active cryo-flux running across the back of the phone has a truly remarkable visual impact and makes the phone’s design irresistible.
Liquid Cooling: Pros And Cons
From the first tests carried out on the device, it seems that the circulation of the active cryo-flux inside the smartphone can lower the temperature by about 2°C, even during the most intense gaming sessions.
This results in better performance in terms of speed, eliminating (almost) the drop in frame rate altogether.
Terminology aside, the real problem of smartphones and portable consoles lies precisely in the high temperatures reached in games which, in addition to deteriorating the components, also make the games less fluid.
A liquid cooling system could solve the problem, but many unknowns remain.
The first doubt on the matter concerns the resistance of the device. A smartphone differs from a computer that remains still and firmly on a desk, especially during gaming sessions.
A phone is meant to be mobile and is subject to bumps, strains, drops, etc. This could lead to breakage or dents in the cooling circuit with unpleasant consequences.
Moreover, in computers, the cooling liquid must be replaced periodically ( about every 6 or 12 months, depending on use ). Replicating the same operation in a smartphone could be more complicated, and even assuming that this maintenance must be carried out every 2 or 3 years, it could be cumbersome.
Finally, we must pay attention to the system’s cleaning, which tends to accumulate dirt and residues from the liquid’s wear. An operation that can be carried out “easily” on a computer but could be complex for a device with such small dimensions as a smartphone.