We recently published our findings on how outdoor air temperature can be extracted from readings of battery temperature, but we’re also excited by the growing number of phones with thermometers designed to directly measure the temperature outside the phone (rather than in the battery). Based on the data we’re collecting through our weather crowdsourcing app, WeatherSignal, we’ve put together a quick list of phones with air temperature sensors.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 and the S4 Active
The S4 is the phone that has brought a dedicated temperature sensor to the masses. While it is not the first phone to contain a thermometer, it is the the first internationally available device to do so. I’m not going to write much about the sensors in the S4 because we all know they’re awesome, but unfortunately not cheap.
Anything from the Arrows line:
These were among the first phones to use the Sensirion SHTC1 (the same chip in the S4). The devices are high spec, but they’re probably not going to be that much use to you unless you have a working knowledge of Japanese. Incidentally these devices have some crazy names that give you the story of the entire supply chain, just one example:
Docomo Fujitsu Arrows V Nvidia Tegra 3 Phone
For more wacky phone names, check out The 10 strangest named Android devices.
Several devices by Xiaomi
In Argentina, phones are generally extremely expensive because of the high import duties placed on them. These duties can easily increase the price of a phone to over 50% more than in the US. Some of the more savvy get round this by ordering individual phones direct from China and declaring the value incorrectly. While we do not advocate this, it does mean that you see some models in Argentina that you might not see else where. During my last trip I got to have a quick play with a Xiaomi and was extremely impressed, the build quality was good and the phone seemed very zippy. And that was before I knew that many of the Xiaomi devices are rocking thermometers. Check out the MI 2 and MI 2S, in addition the default MIUI is pretty nice and supports many languages.
Waterproof, anti-shock, thermometer … all for $250. This looks tasty, but we’ve never actually tried one, if you have let us know whether it really is as good as it sounds. Find it here. In particular we don’t know if the temperature readings are available through the Android APIs, they should be, but as we have no instances of this phone in our database we can’t be sure. If you have one, download WeatherSignal, and then shoot us an email via the contact form.
Casio Gz1 Commando (aka G’zOne Commando)
The name of this phone gives you a good idea of what it’s all about, it’s a rugged gadget, rather like the Snopow. One of the first phones with a thermometer in the US, this is the sort of phone I would have wanted when I was 5, except phones didn’t have thermometers then and I wouldn’t have been allowed one even if they did.