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31 July


Huawei’s new phone can take your temperature

An IR temperature sensor lets a smartphone do fever screening for COVID-19

Honor Play 4 Pro Photo: Huawei

/NOVOSTIVL/ With coronavirus an ongoing pandemic, checking for a fever when you feel ill is one of the first things you should do before deciding to go to the hospital. No need to bust out the thermometer if you buy Huawei‘s new Honor Play 4 Pro - it has a temperature sensor built-in. To quote ArsTechnica, it has to be the most 2020 phone.

To use the temperature sensor, you open up the app and apply the phone directly to your forehead, as shown in this Weibo video. The infrared sensor supports temperatures from -20°C to 100°C (let’s hope your temperatures are not on either end of that scale).

Considering the prevalence of IR sensors in cameras already (FaceID or the OnePlus 8 Pro’s IR camera come to mind), it’s perhaps not much of a surprise to see Huawei repurposing one for taking temperatures. In fact, the IR camera isn’t even labeled on the phone, which makes me wonder if it was a last-minute feature that was repurposed in the wake of the pandemic.

Temperature sensor aside, it’s the usual Honor phone with almost-flagship specs that fall a bit short to keep the price down. In this case that includes a Kirin 990 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB, but “only” two photography cameras on the rear.

The device is currently only available in China, where the version with an infrared sensor is retailing for 2999 yuan or about $420 USD. In any case, with more phones adding IR cameras by the year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar feature show up on more devices in the future.