It’s winter and the usual dire warnings about Snowmageddon and Polar vortexes abound. There may have been a sprinkling of snow where you are, or it may just be a bit chillier than usual. Whatever your local conditions are, you might wonder how your trusty smartphone deals with intense cold – at or below freezing point. Most smartphones are designed to work with ease at temperatures between 0C and 35C; they’re not designed for use at extreme temperatures, like some of the cameras and other devices produced by www.andor.com!
You may even have noticed the effects of cold on your smartphone before, especially if you’ve, for example, been skiing. Here are some of the most obvious symptoms of cold your phone may exhibit, as well as how to prevent them.
An unresponsive touchscreen
You might see that your touchscreen is slow to respond. There might also, with LCD screens, be smudging and ghosting. The combination of cold fingers and an even colder screen might render it totally unresponsive until it warms up.
The best prevention for this is to use a protective case for your phone – the thicker the better – and keep it next to your body in a pocket. When you take the phone out to use it, you should find that the case retains the heat for a few minutes, keeping the touchscreen alert.
One of the most problematic effects of the cold is that can make your battery drain down rapidly and your phone might even power off when it reaches 20%. If you leave a phone or similar device exposed to intense cold for a long time, it can become permanently damaged.
To avoid this annoying problem, make sure your phone is as fully charged as possible before you head off out. You can also carry a charged spare with you and swap them over if necessary. Your body heat and that protective case is also good insurance against drainage.
External and internal damage
Cold means snow and ice, and that also means more falls and slips. If you fall over while carrying your phone in your hand, it could end up in slush or snow and this can cause serious damage. Older smartphones are especially vulnerable to water damage.
Your best bet to prevent this is to keep your phone somewhere safe when you’re active. Don’t make any phonecalls or send any texts when you’re walking along an icy pavement; you certainly shouldn’t get involved in any snowball fights, either!
Condensation inside the phone
This is a little-known problem, until it strikes, anyway! If you use your phone soon after bringing it in from the cold, then warm, damp air can condense on and under the screen, leading to water damage to the internal electrical components. It’s especially likely to happen if you make a call and breathe warm, damp air all over it.
You’re best off leaving your phone in a bag or your pocket for a while to let it come up to room temperature without being exposed to damp air. Don’t place it on a warm radiator or airing cupboard, however, as this can actually cause even more damage.