The biggest part of the world faces extreme cold temperatures every year, and our gadgets are as vulnerable to cold weather as we are. The devices can experience performance problems, or break altogether. Smartphones aren’t meant to be used in extreme cold temperatures, unless you have some spec military designed gadget that withstands extreme cold, water submersion and outer space exposure.
Nevertheless, we do use our smartphones outdoors in winter; we are too addicted to refuse the urge to text, call or shoot a picture, be it winter or summer.
Common sense and general prevention will help you protect your phone in cold weather.
Try not to leave your smarpthone in places that get too chilly, particularly cars. Keeping your device close to your body where it can get some of your body heat is the best practice. If you absolutely need to leave it in a parked car, make sure you turn it off completely instead of putting it to sleep.
Use protective cases if you frequently use your smarpthone in the conditions of extreme cold. Salt Case, for example, absorbs the heat emanated by the smartphone and refracts it back to the device to keep it warm in cold temperatures. Developers claim to have used the NASA thermally protective technology used in spacecrafts.
An Emergency Power Source
Some of us are dependent on smartphones for emergency calls on long road trips, and those tend to become particularly tricky and emergency-related in icy weather. Keeping a back-up power source in the car is of paramount importance to the longevity of your device. iPhone accessories are very well developed and organized, offering some exclusive protective cases which can enhance your battery life up to 60%. Magellan tough case and Dexim Super-Juice power case are outstanding power saving cases for iPhone. Android devices have a wide range of accessories each appropriate for the selected model, so it’s difficult to refer to one product here. Seidio OBEX series offer a wide range of weather resistant cases for a large number of devices. OtterBox Defender series features thermal formed protective clear membrane. A Handwarmer with Smartphone Recharge is another nifty kit to keep your hands warm and smartphone charged.
Mittens and gloves don’t perform with touchscreens, and texting with numb fingers is aggravating in cold weather, especially when you need to enter large chunks of text. Touchscreens, unfortunately, depend on your body heat and its ability to conduct electricity.
Luckily, smart entrepreneurial people created special gloves with a little piece of conductive fabric at the tip of each index finger, so typing with your gloves on is already possible. The downside here is you can drop the device; it can simply slip away, so protective case is essential. You can also make custom conductive gloves out of your favorite pair using conductive thread and iPhone Gloves Tutorial.
A handheld stylus is another option for cold weather, if you absolutely must text in the outdoors.
If Your Phone Gets Frozen, Do not Restart It Immediately
Many devices have the optimum temperatures lists available in their user manuals. It is highly advisable to stick to the instructions and not expose your smartphone to temperatures it was not built to withstand. However, if the exposure is imminent, be advised that the battery will suffer first. Lithium-ion batteries discharge faster in cold weather, or they might perform well and indicate a lot of power to go on, but suddenly power off. These are temporary issues, and once the phone is back indoors and warms up a bit, the battery should be back to normal.
It is worth noting, however, that you are strongly advised against turning on your smartphone while you are still in the cold, if it shuts down. Restarting it immediately can do serious damage to your phone and your battery longevity.
Keep in mind that glass parts of smartphones get particularly vulnerable to cracking, especially if there is a flaw or a crack already.