How Cold Weather Affects Your Smartphone’s Performance

January 17th, 2014 - Category - Telecoms

smartphone in extreme cold

Did you know that extreme cold weather can significantly impact your Smartphone’s performance and battery life? Make sure you’re prepared for any potential polar vortexes or flash blizzards this winter, and follow these tips so you can safely tweet about it!

Smartphones don’t like the cold!

Unfortunately, a lot of Smartphones (including the iPhone 5s) will not work properly below 0°C.

This is due to their lithium-ion batteries which drain much faster in extreme cold conditions due to chemical reactions which occur at certain temperatures, high or low.  You may also experience sudden death of batteries, when they were reporting a fair bit of remaining juice just prior. These problems are not permanent however, and normal service should be resumed once you’ve recharged and moved to warmer climates.

You can do permanent damage to the phone’s battery if you attempt to restart the phone straight away in this situation, leading to a permanently shortened battery life. To avoid this, wait until you get inside and it’s warmed up a bit to turn it back on.

Take care of your Smartphone in cold weather

It’s not just the batteries that suffer in cold weather. Many of the components are sensitive and have optimal temperature ranges, particularly LCD screens. If there’s any small existing damage to the screen, the cold weather can exacerbate this and lead to full on cracking and shattering.

The good news is that keeping your phone in your pocket where it can absorb some of your body heat is a good way to prevent against many of these problems. Leaving them in bags or cars, however, is not recommended. If you are going to leave it somewhere, it’s best to turn it off. The optimal ranges are usually much more forgiving for powered down devices.

Look after yourself too!

What do you do when it’s too cold to remove your gloves, but you desperately need to use your Smartphone? You let your fingers go numb and use your Smartphone of course! Unfortunately, these screens work by relying on your body’s electricity conducting properties, and a layer of fabric just doesn’t do it.

You can buy special gloves with a conductive fabric on the tips of the fingers so you can stay warm while you stay in touch. Alternatively, you can make your own by sewing some conductive thread into ordinary gloves.

Unfortunately, batteries are always struggling to keep up with advancements in screens, processors, memory units and other smartphone features. This is annoying even during normal weather, as we have to be cautious about our phone usage in order to make it through the day.

Bookmark our blog and check back to see our article about smartphone battery conserving tips!

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