Below freezing weather can damage your smartphone. Here is how to protect it.

February 4, 2019

If you have lived in the United States this past week, you may have barricaded yourself inside your home, unwilling to venture out into the below-freezing temperatures.  The extremely cold weather caused by the polar vortex has led to wind gusts that brought the temperatures to less than -40°F in some states.  Burr!  But if you refused to pass up the opportunity to enjoy the snow, you may have noticed that your smartphone was performing slower than normal.  That is because below freezing temperatures can cause your smartphone to slow down or even shut off entirely.  Below are tips on how to protect your smartphone in below-freezing weather.


Protect Your Smartphone

Since life does not stop when temperatures fall below zero, here are tips to protect your smartphone when you go outside in below freezing weather:


1. Keep your smartphone as close to your body as possible:

According to Apple, iPhones can function in temperatures between 32°F – 95°F. By contrast, Samsung phones can function in temperatures between -4°F – 122°F, according to PC World.  So if you want to keep your phone running below freezing temperatures, the best way to keep it warm is by using your body heat.

2. Now might be a good time to invest in a protective phone case:

Cases can help protect your smartphone from the cold by creating a barrier between it and the cold weather. It is also a much cheaper investment than a new smartphone!

3. Avoid leaving your smartphone in cold areas, like a car that is not running:

Consider how quickly the temperature in your car drops once you turn off the heat in your car.  Now imagine that left your cellphone in it.  Probably not a good idea!  Apple also points to the fact that, even when turned off, leaving your phone in temperatures below -4°F may be damaging. It is not recommends to leave your device, even when turned off, in your car.

3. Make a judgment call to run your cellphone off:

Essentially it is better to be safe than sorry! If the temperature teeters between cold and extremely cold within the same day, you may want to shut your smartphone off entirely if you feel that it is too cold.  It will save your phone’s battery life and help keep your hands in your pockets and warm by eliminating the need to continuously check your phone!  Click here for more tips on how to make the most out of your battery life.


If you have been outdoors for a long time, how soon should you start using your smartphone once you go inside?

If your smartphone has shut off due to cold weather, CNN Business recommends in this 2014 article that you do not restart it as soon as you get some warm.  It is recommended that you give your smartphone some time to warm up before you start using it again.  That is because there are other components of your cellphone that may be susceptible to weather damage and need time to recover as well.

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