Cell phones are mini computers and, just like any computer, extreme temperature can damage these devices. During the summer, you might read news articles or hear news reports on ways to protect your phone from extreme heat. But it isn’t just heat that can damage your phone, extreme cold temperatures can also affect your phone’s performance.
This doesn’t mean that your phone will automatically shut down when exposed to cold weather. But prolonged exposure can trigger a number of problems, such as a reduction in battery life or slower response times. According to Apple, their phones may experience glitches and a reduced battery life when exposed to temperatures below 32°F. The longer phones are exposed to extreme cold, the more problems can develop.
If you live in an area that experiences freezing winter temperatures, here’s how to keep your phone operating at its best.
1. Don’t leave the phone in a cold car.
Keeping your phone inside your home during the winter isn’t likely to cause any damage. Additionally, having your phone in the car while driving around town won’t trigger issues, especially if you maintain a warm temperature inside the car. You should, however, avoid leaving your cell phone in a cold parked car for too long during the winter months. The longer your car is turned off, the colder it becomes. And if a cell phone left in the car becomes too cold, the temperature could damage your battery. The battery may drain faster or you might have difficulty turning your phone on.
2. Keep the cell phone near your body.
If you’re going outdoors for long periods in the winter with your cell phone in tow, keep the phone as close to your body as possible. This is a good tip if you live in the city and rely on public transportation, or if you walk to most of your destinations. This might seem like a strange tip, but heat emitted from your body can be enough to keep your phone warm and working properly despite exposure to cold outdoor temperatures. A good place to stash your phone is the interior pocket of your jacket.
3. Use a phone case.
Many newer cell phone models are super slim and shiny, and some people prefer not using a case so they can marvel in their phone’s sleekness. But while going case-less might work in the summer, you should put your phone in a case during the winter.
It might come as a surprise, but your case can add an extra layer of insulation, helping your phone remain warm in extreme cold. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, you can also purchase a high-tech thermal case specifically designed to keep cell phones warm and cozy. You’ll pay a little more for these cases, but the cost might be less than the cost to replace your cell phone battery.
4. Let your device warm up.
If your cell phone is exposed to prolonged cold temperature and shuts off, don’t use the phone until it warms up to room temperature. This is important because if the phone heats up too fast after long-term exposure to cold, condensation could form within the device. To be safe, wait about an hour before powering up.
If you use your cell phone for everything, you need it to work properly and fast. Extreme temperatures can damage your battery, so whether it’s the middle of winter or the middle of summer, take steps to regulate your phone’s temperature.