Infrared camera shows Galaxy Note 7 getting really hot

With all the hype about Samsung batteries catching fire, we thought it would be fun to put one to the test with an infrared camera. Watch things get heated and see how hot this Note 7 actually got when we took it full throttle with a fast charger connected.

The device used for this test was a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Model #SM-N930T, manufactured in China. Recent reporting by Phone Arena suggests that this phablet most likely has ATL-packaged battery cells inside, which are not believed to be fire prone. Nevertheless, T-mobile is also taking part in the voluntary recall being carried out by the other US carriers.

Baseline readings (10%)

Galaxy Note 7 Thermal Image Test Baseline

At the start of the test, a baseline photo was taken without the charger connected. Battery life was at 10% with a surface temperature of 87.6°F. The phablet was then connected to the standard Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging Adapter and the Samsung USB-C cable that shipped with the unit.

20 Minutes (37%)

Galaxy Note 7 Thermal Image Battery Test 20 Minutes

After charging for approximately 20 minutes with the screen off, the battery had reached 37% and the device was noticeably warm to the touch after increasing 18°F, at a rate of 0.9 degrees per minute. For the next phase of the test, a YouTube video was streamed at 1080p for a half hour.

50 minutes (62%)

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Thermal Test 50 Minutes

Streaming YouTube at full resolution did noticeably increase the temperature of the device to 109.2°F, but the phablet was still comfortable to hold as the battery continued to charge unaffected. After 50 minutes, the battery charge level was at 62%, which held steady with the rate of 1.4% per minute (same as with the screen off). Now it’s time to really crank up the power with some UHD 4K video recording.

60 minutes (63%)

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Thermal Image Test 60 Minutes

Now with a full hour clocked on the charger and 10 minutes of 2160p video written to the memory, things were finally starting to get heated. There was no question that at 118F, the phablet was hot to the touch and charging was virtually at a halt, only working at a rate of 0.1% per minute to reach 63%.

70 Minutes (68%)

Galaxy Note 7 Exploding Battery Thermal Image Test 70 Minutes

The recorded video was immediately played back and the device cooled down at an impressive rate of 1.2 degrees per minute, now hovering around 106°F after playback. With the phablet currently at the hottest we’ve seen it so far, it’s time to push it further with twice as much 4K video recording.

90 Minutes (69%)

Galaxy Note 7 Hot Battery Thermal Image Test 90 Minutes

After a full twenty minutes of recording UHD footage, and 90 minutes into the test, the Note 7 was a hot potato. Now at a shocking 120F, we see the device is approximately 32 degrees hotter than when we started, with the battery power only budging 1% in the positive to 69%.

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Charge Thermal Image Test Front View

Around front, the temperature was roughly six degrees lower when compared to the rear.

100 Minutes (80%)

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Thermal Image Test 100 Minutes

Now entering into the triple digits with the charger connected, and the phablet too hot to handle, the screen was turned off and the Note 7 was allowed to cool for 30 minutes. The charge rate increased to a speedy 1% per minute, reaching 80% after 10 minutes. The temperature started to decrease as well, coming down approximately 14 degrees while fast charging the battery.

110 Minutes (90%)

Galaxy Note 7 Thermal Image Battery Test 110 Minutes

Ten minutes later, the battery in the Note 7 continues to charge at a rate of 1% per minute, with no increase in surface temperature, reaching a level of 90%. The phablet is starting to feel a bit cooler but it’s still noticeably warm.

120 Minutes (100%)

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Thermal Image Test 120 Minutes

After a full two-hour test the battery level had finally reached 100%, the phablet was barely warm to the touch and the excitement was over. The phablet stayed on the charger for another 10 minutes and as you would expect, there was no rise in temperature.

Galaxy Note 7 Battery Thermal Image Test Conclusion

Final Thoughts

While the battery didn’t explode, the Note 7 did reach disturbingly high temperatures after filming UHD video. It’s not uncommon for phones get somewhat warm while shooting 4K video, like this Sony Xperia Z5 that reached 105F after 30 minutes during tests by Android Central, but in our test, the Note 7 couldn’t be held for more than a few seconds after 20 minutes. The device also got rather warm to the touch when streaming video and 4K playback, in this case however, it wasn’t uncomfortable to hold.

Just a note to all of the thermography geeks out there, temperature measurements on the camera were used only used for comparison over time as temperature, distance, transmission, etc. was not factored in to our results. A surface reference point is included in each thermal image for temperature comparison over time. Actual temperatures may vary by a few degrees either way. Images were shot in a small office, with no wind speed and an ambient temperature of 79.3°F at the start of the test. By the end of the test, the room temperature climbed to 81.8°F.

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