Cell phone dying? Why the cold can cause your phone to shut off

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – If you have been outside for any length of time, you may have noticed your phone rapidly losing power. Just like extreme heat, our cell phones cannot handle extreme cold.

  • Apple: iPhones work best between 32 & 95 degrees. If they drop below this, the cold might “temporarily shorten battery life and could cause the device to turn off.”
  • Samsung: cold temperatures could damage batteries.

This is because modern phones use lithium batteries, which use a chemical reaction to create power. When these chemicals cool, it makes it harder for this reaction to take place. If this reaction can’t take place, the battery can’t generate enough energy for your phone.

On top of this, during cold weather the internal resistance of your phone’s battery goes up. Resistance is the measurement of how much power your battery wastes. The higher the resistance, the more energy is wasted.

How can you protect your phone’s battery?

First, turn off your phone when you’re not using it. Your battery will lose its charge slower if its not on.

If you can’t do that, put your phone in your coat and next to your body. Your own body heat will help keep it warm.

Finally, experts say never leave your phone anywhere it can be exposed, like your car.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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