If you’re looking for things to add to the list of “stuff you never thought you needed,” then boy do we have something for you. It turns out Oppo and sister company OnePlus brought a rather unique gadget to MWC 2023 — a 45W Liquid Cooler for smartphones.
This is, of course, the same OnePlus behind the liquid-cooled OnePlus 11 Concept. That suggests that someone behind the scenes is a very big fan of that technology. Probably someone important, though we couldn’t guess as to who.
According to fact sheets on display at the Oppo booth, the liquid cooler is a semiconductor-based water cooling system, with the ability to reduce the temperature of your phone by 20 degrees Celsius (around 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Which is a not-insignificant amount of heat, especially if you plan on doing any performance-heavy activities like gaming
The cooling system looks like a very large power supply connected to some kind of wireless charging cradle, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how the thing works. Of course, the Oppo and OnePlus variants are slightly different, for some reason.
The Oppo variant connects to your phone magnetically, and the connector looks like a black puck attached to a long red cable. This Liquid Cooler model also functions as a wireless charging, offering up to 10W speeds. The fact sheet also says that it can work on almost any flat service, rather than just your phone.
The OnePlus Liquid Cooler has a little clip on the end of its cable, much like the ones you’d find on a car phone mount or some kind of stand. This one does not wirelessly charge your device as best we can tell, and it wasn’t clear whether it worked on other devices. It’s not clear why there’s a difference, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the lack of wireless charging support in the OnePlus 11 itself played some role.
I was able to give the OnePlus variant a try, and the cooler got to work almost as soon as we’d clipped the mount around a nearby phone. The difference in the temperature was immediate, with the phone feeling noticeably cool after being attached to the cooler for several seconds.
Apparently the Liquid Cooler will go on sale at some point. However we don’t have information on pricing, availability or even when it’s likely to hit store shelves. Still, the idea of a hardcore phone cooler is an interesting idea, even if the size of the unit makes it feel a little bit extreme. I’m certainly intrigued, if a little skeptical.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.