Smartphones Overheating on 5G
Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Latest Testing News Update
Date: 4th August 2022
Smartphones - Can they Handle the Heat of 5G?
Smartphone overheating is not a new topic and most people have experienced this at some stage with their own smartphones. The main reasons include keeping the phone in direct heat and sunlight, playing intensive games for a long time and sometimes high-speed charging.
Advice is available freely in articles, like what to do when the phone gets too hot, often giving suggestions of putting the device in the shade, using the correct chargers when charging the smartphone, and in extreme situations turning flight mode to on.
In most cases, when a smartphone is pushed to its limitations and used for prolonged times, it is understandable that the smartphone is likely to overheat if used in extreme and hot conditions. At this point, the smartphone often informs its user that it has overheated, with the option to make voice calls only.
Our team of technical experts continuously test smartphones using the test automation solution called viSer. Recently, they observed that some devices, even after a short period of time, conducting data throughput activities like streaming in 5G overheated.
We had several smartphones in our lab ranging from entry-level to flagship, with various chipsets from Qualcomm to Exynos and MediaTek. Several smartphones overheated after only 20 minutes of operation while in 5G, despite all testing performed exactly in the same conditions. These conditions included aspects of the environment like an office with Air Con at 16 degrees Celsius as well as ensuring the same network conditions with good 5G coverage.
Our testing results for the smartphones identified 3 main groups:
Smartphone did not overheat and continued with the data transfer for the duration of the testing.
The smartphone reached 48 degrees after 20 minutes. As the temperature continued to increase, the smartphone displayed an error message. The image below shows how the temperature was rising in correlation with the data throughput usage.
The image below, taken from Viser Studio Analytics provides the visual analysis of all KPIs. Therefore, enabling easier identification of trends and future forecasts.
This group was the most interesting one for results. The smartphones switched off applications working in the background and moved from 5G to 4G, helping to slow the data transfer and allowing the smartphone to cool. Again, this group of smartphones overheated after about 20 minutes.
The image below, taken from Viser Studio Analytics which monitors all network information and includes RAT and battery temperature shows the point where the smartphone switched from 5G to 4G.
It is important for manufacturers to test their smartphones from the early stages of development through to device launch. Also, manufacturers can identify all the potential issues with battery usage, 5G, and overheating.
In some cases, R&D centres either test too late that they don’t have the time to resolve these issues close to launching dates or don’t test enough, especially towards the end, when often product casing is a contributor associated with overheating.
At SmartViser, we work closely with our customers to help them shape their testing strategy with the help of test automation. Our testing helps to prevent a number of issues from appearing after launch affecting Operators' approval and having an impact on the end users' experience.
We are happy to arrange a Free Trial of viSer test automation where you can test your device without any limitations on the number of tests or test devices required.
Susie Siouti is the Chief Commercial Officer for SmartViser helping organisations in the Telecommunications industry offer superior end-user quality of experience and service with the introduction of innovative test automation products. Susie has 20 years of experience in the Telecoms industry and in that time has led teams across the world testing and certifying mobile devices together with responsibility for managing a full range of after-sales activities. Susie joined SmartViser in 2016, part of the internal steering committee, and is working with many organisations aiming to create value by offering better quality of products and services with a strong focus on continuous improvement of energy performance and efficiency.