Google Considers Bizarre Smartphone Feature

John Lister's picture

Google's next flagship phone will have a built-in thermometer if a leaked video is anything to go by. Right now, nobody really knows why.

The leaked video appeared on the 91mobiles site and appears to show the thermometer sensor placed just below the camera flash. It comes from Kuba Wojciechowski, a Twitter user who regularly shares leaked images of upcoming devices and describes himself as "a slight nuisance to tech companies." (Source:

Google hasn't commented on the legitimacy of the video. However, 91mobiles says Google forced it to take down the video from YouTube by filing a copyright infringement claim.

Forehead To Temple Motion

The video shows a user taking their body temperature by pointing the sensor to their forehead and then bringing it as close as possible without touching it. The user then presses a button and moves the phone around to their temple. The device then vibrates when the process is finished and shows the temperature on screen.

According to 91mobile, the device will also be able to measure the temperature of other objects though its unclear what users need to do to move the phone to get an accurate reading in these cases.

The sensor appears to be an exclusive to the Pro version of the Pixel 8. That's the most expensive version of Google's premium Android device. To put it into context, the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899.

Although the temperature sensor is said to be genuine and present on some test models, there's no guarantee it will be in the finished product. Google will likely weigh up how useful and accurate the sensor is and whether it justifies the extra cost for the handset. (Source:

What's The Point?

Exactly why users would want or need a thermometer in a phone is open to question. It could be useful for rare occasions when a thermometer isn't handy, for example checking a child complaining of a fever when out of the house. Another possibility is that it could be part of a regular fitness and health tracking program, though it's not like many people regularly track their temperature with home thermometers.

There's also a possibility that it could be used as an alternative to dedicated devices for taking temperature checks at venues during any future coronavirus outbreaks.

What's Your Opinion?

Can you think of any reason to have a thermometer on a phone? Will enough people think this brings extra value to justify Google spending more on production? Is this a sign that phone makers are running out of idea to make new models seem different?

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