Regardless of Android phones or iPhones, heat dissipation has become the “biggest bottleneck”

In the Apple Store, 749 is a magic number.

For 749 yuan, you can buy a HomePod mini, or a MagSafe external battery, but you still have to add money to buy an Apple Watch braid.

Different people have different perceptions of the value of a product at the same price. This is why MagSafe's external battery is ridiculed by some users. The 5W wireless charging power reminds people of the desperate era dominated by 5V1A.

But in fact, MagSafe's external battery has low charging power and slow speed, and it is entirely its own problem. As the beneficiary, the iPhone is also responsible.

The heat dissipation of iPhone 12 limits the performance of MagSafe

Last year, Apple launched the MagSafe charger, which doubled the wireless charging power of the iPhone to 15W. However, before they were happy, many people found that the actual charging power is often difficult to stabilize at 15W for a long time, resulting in overall charging. The speed is not fast.

The same is true for the recently launched MagSafe external battery. We simulated the daily video scene of watching station B and tested the experience of charging the iPhone 12 mini with the MagSafe external battery. Other test conditions and results are as follows:

▲The charging effect is different at different temperatures, the data is for reference only

It can be seen that the 5W charging power is indeed not enough, and the outdoor high temperature will further affect the charging speed, and the charging capacity will be less than the power consumption.

After all, the iPhone 12 mini is too compact, which is not conducive to heat dissipation.

Once connected to the fast charging cable and used as a wireless charger, it will be better. Use the 20W PD charging head to connect to the MagSafe external battery. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will charge from 60% to 77% in half an hour in the screen state, and charge in about 38 minutes. To 80%.

As for the third-party external battery, I asked a few friends who use Anker 5000mAh magnetic wireless power bank. Most of them said that they will not be hot but have obvious heat during daily bright screen use. The power level is almost not increased during use, and the charging efficiency is not high.

My friend who used the iPhone 12 mini as the main machine said that this 5000mAh external battery is still meaningful, after all, it can increase a lot of battery life, and the price of less than 200 yuan does have an advantage compared to the official version.

As Apple gave this product the same name, it should be an external battery, not a power bank.

Its advantages are reflected in a more flexible charging method. Wiring and separate use correspond to different usage conditions. It is a charger at home or in the office, and it is the "second battery" of the mobile phone when going out.

It’s just that the experience is indeed weaker than the previous generation of Apple’s Smart Battery Case.

For fast charging of the same power, wireless charging efficiency and speed are still worse than wired charging at this stage. When the MagSafe external battery is discharged, it cannot be done like a battery case. The external battery is used first and then the mobile phone battery is used.

But if all the problems are attributed to MagSafe’s external battery or even the wireless power bank, MagSafe may be wronged. It is clear that the iPhone has to bear a lot of responsibility.

Since the iPhone X, Apple has used a stacked motherboard structure, and the internal space of the iPhone 12 is more compact, and only a piece of graphite material is used inside to guide the heat dissipation, which causes the overall heat dissipation efficiency of the mobile phone to be relatively low.

▲ Picture from iFixit

Wireless charging technology based on electromagnetic induction will dissipate a lot of heat, and battery charging will also accumulate heat. Over time, if the heat is not dissipated well, it will cause the phone to lower the frequency and reduce the charging power.

Apple officials have also stated that MagSafe fast charging will cause the iPhone to overheat, so it will limit the charging to 80% through the software until the temperature drops.

After MagSafe was originally AirPods, Apple has tried another category of wireless transformation, but the iPhone 12 series is not very good for heat dissipation, which casts a shadow on the development of MagSafe wireless ecology.

The impact of heat dissipation is far-reaching

Integration and stacking are already the most common product strategies in mobile phone design. Judging from the dismantling results of iFixit in recent years, the repairable score of the product is getting lower and lower, and the folding screen mobile phone with higher structural requirements Especially.

This is actually the result of full competition among mobile phone manufacturers and continuous improvement of product quality. Stacked arrangement can make better use of the internal space of mobile phones, leaving more space for key mobile phone components such as batteries and camera modules.

But its sequelae-poor heat dissipation, has become a limitation of the improvement of the smartphone experience.

In addition to affecting the MagSafe external battery experience, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the "Interim Provisions on the Radio Management of Wireless Charging (Power Transmission) Equipment (Draft for Comment)" at the beginning of this year, which mentioned limiting the wireless charging power to less than 50W.

In this way, if you want to further increase the charging speed, heat dissipation is an unavoidable problem. Whether it is the mobile phone or the charger itself, better heat dissipation means that the high-power charging can be maintained for a longer time.

On the other hand, although the performance of mobile phone chips has been gradually improving in recent years, more applications of "squeezing performance" have gradually appeared on the mobile software side, the most typical being games.

The "Pascal Contract" on the iOS/iPadOS platform fully proves that the mobile phone can also run high-quality, complex quasi-3A games, and it also has higher requirements for mobile phone performance and heat dissipation.

The high performance requirements of "Yuan Shen" have greatly increased the entry barrier of this game. In our previous tests, even the Snapdragon 888 was more difficult to maintain 60 frames throughout the entire process. A series chips will still get hot after playing for a long time.

The commercial success of "Yuan Shen" will also push other game manufacturers to follow up and try to develop open-world games on mobile platforms.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is also increasingly used in mobile phones, such as Google’s computational photography and photo multi-frame synthesis algorithm, Apple introduced the screen recognition function in iOS 15, and Huawei uses NPU cores for video rendering.

The latest Apple A14, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and Huawei Kirin 9000 all have corresponding AI units. These useful functions require higher chip computing power.

Increasing computing power often means increasing power consumption. Chip development is still a gradual process. It is still rare for M1 to maintain low power consumption while greatly increasing computing power.

▲The M1 version of iMac can remove the "big fan", which is related to the relatively low power consumption of the M1 chip

Smart phones were originally called "palm minicomputers", and when they gradually mature, they will inevitably follow a path similar to PCs.

Heat pipes, fans, and soaking plates are all on the battlefield

Learning from the big brother "PC" is already a major part of the mobile phone industry, and heat dissipation is no exception. For example, the Black Shark gaming phone 3 uses the heat pipe that is common on laptop computers.

Black Shark calls it a "sandwich" liquid cooling system. In fact, a metal heat pipe is placed at the front and rear ends of the motherboard. Generally speaking, there will be a large number of capillary structures and corresponding condensing media (treated water) and pipes in the heat pipe. There will be a vacuum inside.

As a result, the inside of the mobile phone heats up to a certain level and is conducted to the evaporating end of the heat pipe. The heat conduction of the metal will vaporize the condensing medium and absorb the large amount of heat emitted by the chip. Since the inside of the heat pipe is almost vacuum, the liquid will automatically flow to the pressure after vaporization. The small liquefaction end finally condenses into liquid and flows back to the evaporation end.

That is, through the evaporation of water, heat is transferred faster, and heat dissipation is accelerated.

In order to pursue the ultimate game frame rate and better game stability, gaming phones often choose more extreme designs. Tencent Red Magic gaming phone 6 Pro has a small fan inserted in the phone to dissipate heat.

However, although the addition of a fan improves the heat dissipation capacity, there are a lot of compromises for this. First, the Red Devils gaming phone 6 Pro needs to be slotted on the side to let the hot air out.

Second, the noise of the mobile phone is quite obvious after the fan is turned on. When used in a quiet place such as an office, it will immediately become the focus of colleagues' attention.

Obviously, such an extreme design will not appear in common flagship products. It is the opposite of the current trend of integration.

▲An external fan may be a more secure and effective way, after all, the fan is bigger

More common is the VC soaking plate design, which can be regarded as an upgrade of the heat pipe. Its heat dissipation principle is similar to that of the heat pipe. It absorbs a large amount of heat through the conversion of liquid between solid and gas to speed up the heat dissipation efficiency.

However, the area of ​​the soaking plate is larger, and it is more efficient to use the combination of thermally conductive materials such as thermal copper foil, thermally conductive gel, and graphite. At the same time, it can make better use of the internal space of the mobile phone compared with the heat pipe to avoid the formation of hollow gaps.

▲ Mi 11 ultra cooling system includes VC soaking plate

The VC soaking plate has also become the current mainstream heat dissipation technology. Products including the Xiaomi 11 ultra and the newly released Realme GT Master Edition all use this technology. The specific materials used by each company may be different.

Apple product forecasting analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that in the future, Apple will be equipped with VC heat plates on high-end iPhones. Recently, the exposure information also mentioned that the next-generation iPhone will use larger coils, which may be solved. The iPhone has a heat dissipation problem with the MagSafe charger.

As predicted, it is undoubtedly a great gain for the wireless transformation of the charger.

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