Smartphones are multi-purpose, but can they work as a thermometer? Well, all smartphones have a temperature sensor.
All phones have in-built temperature sensors. The sensor, however, is used to monitor the processor and battery’s temperature rather than any external object’s temperature. You can use your smartphone as a thermometer through some third-party apps, but they don’t tend to be accurate.
We will look at how you can potentially use your smartphone, Android, or iPhone, like a thermometer, and whether it is accurate.
Can A Smartphone Be Used As A Thermometer?
The answer to this question is not simple. Yes, smartphones can be used as a thermometer with the help of certain apps. But, don’t expect them to be completely accurate.
Smartphones are compact and already have tons of sensors and technology that leaves no space for an actual sensor that would measure body temperature to fit inside. As mentioned, it does already have a sensor to monitor the temperature of the device, to keep it from overheating.
The fact that the device itself goes through a change in temperature makes it difficult for it to accurately read outside temperature. Since the sensor would be encased in the body of the phone, it would be difficult for it to isolate your body’s temperature from that of the device.
Samsung did try to include a thermometer feature in previous phones. But it required you to leave the phone in a cool space, before using the feature. Just so, the phone’s own temperature doesn’t interfere with the reading. Ultimately, while the technology is there, the complexity of it makes it difficult for the user to use.
Which Phones Have A Temperature Sensor?
All smartphones have a temperature sensor, but its function is to measure the temperature of its internal components.
Huawei released the Honor Play 4 Pro in 2020 which features an infrared temperature sensor. The sensor is situated in the rear camera block and has a specific app. Through infrared rays, the phone can detect body temperature. This is an example of one phone that has integrated technology specifically to measure body temperature. But you won’t find too many big names like Samsung or Apple, using the technology.
There are, however, numerous apps you can find in Google and App Store that claim to work like a thermometer. We will discuss those a little later.
Can Samsung Health Take My Temperature?
Samsung Health works well when you have a Samsung phone and Galaxy Watch. The Watch measures numerous things from steps taken, heart rate, to your oxygen level, transferring the data to your phone. However, the watch does not have the capability to measure body temperature.
For you to track temperature with the Health app, you would need to take your temperature and add it. Neither the smartphone nor smartwatch would be able to take the temperature accurately.
Are There Any Phone Apps To Check The Temperature?
You can find tons of apps on both Google and App Store that claim to function as a thermometer. We have listed a few below:
- iThermonitor – The app is free and easy to use. It guides you when you open it on how you can measure your body temperature. It also keeps track of your temperature data and is available on iOS and Android.
- Real Thermometer – Another free app, the app claims to use infrared sensors of the phone to measure the temperature of any object. All you have to do is open the app and place the phone 3-5 cm from the object and it will provide you with a reading. It is available on both iOS and Android.
- Smarttemp – The app can read your body temperature and can be linked with family members who have the app. So, you can monitor their temperature also. The app is only available on iOS.
- Finger Body Temperature – The app reads your body temperature through your finger. All you have to do is open the app and place your finger on the screen and it will inform you of your body temperature. The app also has a prank feature that lets you manipulate the reading, so you can mess around with friends. It is available on both Android and iOS.
- iCelsius – The app uses the phone’s temperature sensor to determine your body temperature. It stores your data and provides you with charts and graphs, once you have multiple readings stored. You can also use the app to measure the temperature of other objects such as tea, coffee, and so on. It is available on both Android and iOS.
- Fever Tracker – Like Finger Body Temperature, the app determines your body temperature by fingerprint scanning. You press down on the screen and it will provide you with your body temperature. The app can be downloaded on Android and iOS.
While these apps claim to measure body temperature, you shouldn’t go solely on their readings. The readings are more or less guesstimate. Smartphones can certainly do a lot, but most won’t serve too well as a thermometer even with third-party apps.
Do Thermometer Apps Actually Work?
We recommend that you don’t blindly trust thermometer apps. While it displays a temperature, the reading is more of a guess.
The Honor Play 4 Pro thermometer app is more accurate since it has specific technology, using infrared to determine temperature. That is only because the phone has the components to measure outside temperature. Most other phones just have an internal temperature sensor that won’t accurately tell your body temperature because there are too many factors that interfere with the reading.
While you find so many apps that claim to provide accurate body temperature, they are all just guesstimates. Smartphones do have temperature sensors, but they are not designed to measure body temperature.
Unless the phone has special features like the Honor Play 4 Pro to measure temperature, don’t expect it to give you accurate body temperature readings. You are better off buying a thermometer.
I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.