LG raises standards to stop phones overheating

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LG raises standards to stop phones overheating

LG Electronics will raise safety standards for its upcoming smartphone models, including the flagship G6, in response to general concerns about smartphones overheating, the company said Sunday.

“Taking into consideration that the safety issue with smartphones is growing more important, we have decided to apply enhanced safety measures in the entire process, from the design stage to the final test before release,” an LG spokesman said.

The decision comes after its rival, Samsung Electronics, had to recall several million units of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones and discontinue the model after reports of the device overheating and exploding. Samsung is expected to disclose the cause of the malfunction sometime this week.

LG plans to install a so-called heat pipe that will lower the application processor’s temperature by 6 to 10 percent. The hardware will come with the company’s flagship G6 smartphone, which many expect LG to showcase at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, next month.

Among all smartphone components, the application processor produces the largest amount of heat and is cited often as the key culprit behind overheating issues. LG has relocated the application processor to the center of the phone from the side to evenly spread the heat. It will connect the chip with a curved heat pipe made of copper, a material known to be most efficient for curbing thermal conduction and diffusion.

The smartphone maker has also moved the location of some other components that produce heat within the circuit.

LG is also scrutinizing its battery test. Future smartphones will be placed under heat tests at temperatures 15 percent or higher than the standard required in the United States and Europe. The phones will also be tested in several circumstances simultaneously. That includes their endurance under unusual temperatures, high humidity, water submergence, dust, shock and drops. Before, the conditions were tested individually.

The G6, a follow-up to the G5 unveiled a year earlier, is expected to have a “big screen on a smaller body,” water resistance and “capture it all at once” features, according to a teaser video released last week on YouTube.

LG, the second-largest smartphone maker in Korea, is said to have ditched the G5’s “module” feature that it was proud of after worse-than-expected feedback from consumers.

The G6 is set to compete against Samsung’s Galaxy S8.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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