Android and iPhone users issued warning as cold blast freezes UK, here’s how to protect your device

Phone batteries struggle in the cold weather, but there are ways to help deal with the problem.

Android and iPhone batteries in cold
© Hitesh Choudhary / UNSPLASH
Android and iPhone batteries in cold

The UK is dealing with some very cold weather at the moment, leading people to turn on the heating and wrap up in a full hat-scarf-gloves combo whenever they have to leave the house. While some people are concerned about catching a cold in these chilly temperatures, others are more worried about their phones.

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Both Android and iPhone owners have been warned that such low temperatures play havoc with the battery of your device. Here’s what you need to know about your phone’s reaction to the cold and how to deal with it.

Your phone’s battery

The batteries used in Androids and iPhones are calibrated to operate in weather between 0°C and 35°C. Parts of the UK are dealing with sub-zero temperatures this week, so your phone is likely to end up in conditions that make it play up.

If your battery gets too cold, it can shut down completely. This is because they are lithium-ion batteries, and the chemical reaction produced by the movement of the lithium ions slows or stops in cold temperatures. This means your phone loses sense of what percentage of charge your battery is on and you can see it suddenly plunge to the single digits or even 0%.

How you should deal with a cold phone

Do not do charge your phone

The first tip seems counter-intuitive, but if your phone gets cold and the battery is playing up you shouldn’t try to charge it. Indeed, Android Authority even issued a warning about this, explaining that 'it will be impossible to recharge the device right after' the cold causes the battery to suffer a 'quick drain'. Your phone may, essentially, be so confused by the drop in temperature that it doesn't know how to charge again.

If you try to charge up a freezing phone you risk damaging the battery. Experts generally advise you to wait to get it back up to temperature before plugging it in. This should be done gradually - don't stick it on the radiator or under a hairdryer in an effort to speed up the process!

Keep it tucked away

This next one is pretty obvious, but easy to forget when you need to use your device for GPS or contacting people. You should keep your phone tucked away somewhere cosy like an inside pocket. If you have wireless headphones, they can be a massive help in this scenario.

Give it an extra layer of protection

Lastly, especially if you really need to be using your phone out in the open, treat it just like a hand or a foot. By this, we mean give it an extra layer of protection. A sock or hand warmer warmer can work well for this, and will see your phone last a little longer in chilly conditions!

Read more:

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Phone addiction: Here are the signs to watch for and the potential effects on your health

Hate answering the phone? This is what it says about you

Sources used:

The Sun: COLD SNAP Millions of Android owners warned their phone could shut down in freezing temperatures – three tips to keep them running

Echo: iPhone warning issued to all users as Arctic blast hits UK

Huffington Post: Charge Your Phone As Soon As You Get Home? We've Got News For You

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