According to the bureau of meteorology today is 39C. But mad dogs and Ingressmen go out in the midday sun, so I took advantage of some spare time to capture a couple of portals.
After that my phone battery was apparently at 46C and my phone refused to charge.
It seems that in addition to the range of hardened phone cases we need some cooling cases for phones. A case that contained a substance with a melting point of 39C wouldn’t melt from body heat but would set an upper limit on the phone temperature. A peltier device probably wouldn’t work as it would take too much power (and the batteries supplying the power would produce more heat).
I think that the phones with an aluminium back are the best design. Aluminium is light, reflective (unlike the black plastic which is so common), and conducts heat better than most things. A phone shell made of copper probably isn’t viable due to copper being dense and soft.
Another problem is the need for third party cases to protect against damage. If the phone companies designed phones to be solid, rubbery at the edges (to bounce not break) and so that the screen didn’t touch the surface when the phone is face down then we could avoid phone cases which also act as thermal insulation.
I am a bit disappointed in Samsung. I could understand Nokia making phones that don’t survive the heat well, but I don’t think that Korea is that much cooler than Australia. A phone that works well on the hottest day of summer in Seoul should do better than my Galaxy S3.