Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Phones get a thermometer because standing out is important

Needing to stand out is important with phones, and a brand you’ve probably never heard of, Umidigi, is adding something we’ve not seen on a phone before.

Cameras are big on phones, and big batteries are, too, but finding a feature that makes an impact on customers isn’t always easy. Phone companies might add in cool new camera features such as support for Dolby HDR, or special screens that respond more like gaming monitors, modular components, and loud speakers.

It’s not unusual to find phone companies doing something to get attention, because it’s hard to stand out in the mobile marketplace, but a brand you’ve probably never heard of, Umidigi, thinks it has found something you’ve not seen, and that we’ve not seen either: a thermometer. We’ve covered thermometers in the past, and they can connect with phones, but this is something different, with a thermometer in a phone.

In what should hardly come as a surprise, a phone company is tapping into one of those things people are getting used to these days. You’ll know it all too well if you arrive at a business or hospital in these COVID times, only to have your temperature checked by someone on staff.

Umidigi’s approach with a few of its phones is to let you do that yourself, which may not only be useful in a coronavirus world, but also for checking the body temperature of family members, incorporating something surprising in a phone range that looks to focus on the budget and mid-range. There are three of them, with the Chinese brand offering a no-contact infrared thermometer in its rear camera setup of the A7S, A9, and A9 Pro for checking of temperatures.

However, the images Umidigi supplied state in at least one that:

“This product is NOT intended as a medical device. The measurement data and results are for reference only and are not used as a basis for diagnosis or treatment.”

Essentially, the thermometer phones may be close, something the company says should be within 0.2 degrees of a real thermometer, but they’re also not a medical device, and so might also not be as trusted as the real thing.

The phones are definitely inexpensive, though, with prices starting around the US $100 mark and fetching around the US $200 mark. There’s no word on availability for Umidigi’s thermometer phones in Australia, or even any of its phones, but we suspect if you wanted these, online is where you could find them.

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