You probably know the feeling all too well: That sinking sensation in your stomach when you pull your phone out of your pocket on a frigid day and in the short time you've been outside, your phone went from 100 percent battery to 70 percent almost instantly. Or worse—you’re greeted by a blank screen because it has died altogether. A not so subtle reminder that our cell phones are NOT designed to perform in extreme temperatures!
While many of us wouldn’t think about leaving our phones in the blazing hot sunlight, we often forget how taxing the cold weather can be on our favorite pieces of technology.
“Lithium-ion batteries suffer so badly in freezing temperatures because they have very little internal resistance,” says Hanumant Singh, an electrical engineer at Northeastern University who builds cold-weather robots for places like Antarctica and Greenland, tells Wired magazine. Batteries are designed this way to maximize their power between charges, but it also makes them more vulnerable when the temperature drops.
After a few hours in the cold, your battery will likely be drained completely, rendering your gadget useless until its next charge.The colder it gets, the slower the chemicals work inside the battery, and can cause your battery to die in minutes, unable to turn on until its warmed up inside and recharged. The performance of individual products will of course depend on the manufacturer, model, and wear and tear on the device. Apple recommends not using your device at all when it will be exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees and states that using their devices "in very cold conditions outside of its operating range might temporarily shorten battery life and could cause the device to turn off. Battery life will return to normal when you bring the device back to higher ambient temperatures.” Not ideal when you are waiting on an important call or relying on your phone for directions!
A Protective Bag Makes All the Difference
on of protecting yourself from the elements: we wear wind-, water- and cold-blocking accessories to keep our bodies regulated, and need to do the same for our phones.
Prevent, Conserve & Preserve
Charge It. Make sure your phone is fully charged before leaving the house, with any additional batteries charged, as well. You want to make sure your phone is working at its full capacity so it powers up when and where you need it!
Go Wireless. AirPods or other wireless headphones are a great option for allowing you to keep your phone in your insulated bag while talking or listening to music, and can alert you to incoming emails or messages without you having to pull out your phone to constantly check for updates.
Back It Up. If you know you'll be in the cold for an extended period and not able to recharge, bringing along a rechargeable battery case can be your phone’s life saver. But don't forget to keep this in your WELLinsulated bag too!