Danger: how extreme cold will damage your mobile device

ByGB Blog Official 2018-07-03 2683

Planning on taking a skiing adventure this winter? The holiday season is just around the corner, and it is probably the best time to go for a much-awaited break.

Unfortunately, most electronics owners are unaware of the effect cold weather can have on their devices - including cell phones and tablets. (cell phones and tablets)

Cold weather symptoms could include a sluggish LCD performance and poor battery performance; cold weather can even damage your device permanently.

How cold is too cold for your mobile device?

All the major cell phone manufacturers warn about using their products in coldtemperatures and offer operational temperature guidelines.

For instance, Apple provides a temperature range of 0°C to 35°C (32°F to 95°F) for their devices and are not covered under warranty if you use it in conditions that are any colder or warmer.

A little more lenient, Nokia offers an operational temperature range of -10°C to 55°C (14°F to 131°F) while Samsung suggests -20°C to 50°C (-4°F to 122°F).

Why such a broad range by the manufacturers?

According to a test run by MikroPC, most cell phones stop working at -30°C / -22°F except for some cheap models by Nokia and Motorola.

A basic summary of the test results are:

• 10°C / 50°F: most of the phones experienced a slight dimming of the display

• -10°C / 14°F: some phones faced battery issues

• -20°C / -4°F: most of the phones turned off

• -30°C / -22°F: most of the phones suffered major LCD and battery problems

• -40°C / -40°F and below: all phones were declared inoperable

Tips to prevent cold weather damage to your mobile devices

• Power off the phone when not in use in extreme temperatures.

• Allow some time for the device to warm up before using.

• Place the device in your pocket with the battery side facing your body to transfer some body heat.

• Turn down brightness, GPS and mobile data if possible to limit the phones use.

Mobile devices aren't meant to last forever. However, cold temperature damage is often overlooked as the resulting damage doesn't happen immediately.

It's still a good idea to consider the impact it might have as device costs are increasing and you'll want to preserve the resale value of your phone or tablet when the time comes to upgrade.


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