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Samsung could learn from Google’s upcoming Adaptive Thermal tool

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Last updated: June 24th, 2024 at 13:06 UTC+02:00

Samsung Galaxy phones have all sorts of clever systems in place to keep them operating within normal parameters. One such system monitors hardware temperatures and takes action to prevent overheating if ever necessary.

Interestingly, Google appears to be working on a new thermal management solution for Pixel phones called Adaptive Thermal. The latter is built into the Device Health Services app.

A recent APK teardown (via Android Authority) of said app reveals some interesting aspects about how Adaptive Thermal might function and why it could be superior to Samsung's anti-overheating measures.

Giving users a better fighting chance against overheating

The APK teardown reveals two key elements of Adaptive Thermal. One is that the system can take extensive actions to keep phone temperatures in check. The other is more of a teaching tool.

According to strings of code found in Google's app, the Adaptive Thermal system keeps a close eye on the Pixel phone's battery and triggers a “pre-emergency” alert when it reaches 49 degrees Celsius.

At this point, the system appears to be throttling the phone's performance to help it cool down. A notification informs the user that they “may experience slower performance” and that they should “try avoiding direct sunlight or close any battery-intensive apps.”

Adaptive thermal will continue to monitor temperatures every five minutes and take extra steps if the battery reaches 52 degrees. If those extra anti-overheating measures (which are yet unknown) fail and the battery reaches 55 degrees Celsius, Adaptive Thermal sends a warning and shuts the phone down after 30 seconds.

What Samsung could learn from this

This is more or less the standard nowadays. Phones can monitor temperatures, send warnings, and shut down the phone as an emergency measure in case of excessive overheating.

Samsung's Galaxy phones can also cleverly prevent overheating by dimming the screen, throttling performance, pausing charging, and possibly through other steps.

However, in addition to these automated steps, Google's Adaptive Thermal solution seems to offer users better information about what's going on and how they can help prevent overheating.

Unlike Samsung's overheating notification, which only has an “OK” button, Adaptive Thermal's notification seems to have a “See care steps” option. When selected, this option reveals tips on how users can cool down their phones. It suggests actions such as disabling 5G connectivity, avoiding direct sunlight, closing intensive apps like games, closing down the Camera app, and more.

Samsung offers overheating management tips for Galaxy phones on some of its support pages online, but you have to know where and how you can find them online. And in case you're wondering, Samsung's Tips app doesn't contain any useful information about heat management, either.

Google's Adaptive Thermal system will allow Pixel phone users to receive heat management tips straight from the overheating notification, which seems to be a much more sensible way of doing things.

There's no known release date for Adaptive Thermal but it might come with the next version of Android. Either way, it might be something Samsung may want to consider adding to its own Device Care suite in One UI.

In the past, through Good Lock modules like Thermal Guardian, Samsung gave users in select markets more control over a chip's throttling parameters. However, Thermal Guardian is more of an experimental tool designed for advanced users rather than a general teaching tool.

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