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Cell Phones Shutting Down In Cold

January 28, 2014, 5:53 PM by Matt Holsen

Cell Phones Shutting Down In Cold
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

While you may not like the bitterly cold temperatures, your cell phone doesn't either. And as technology gets better and phones get lighter with bigger screens, they're more vulnerable to malfunctioning in the cold.

When temps dip below zero, a cell phone can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. But what if that phone isn't working because it can't handle the cold?

"The cold is extremely hard on phones or any electronics for that matter. The batteries tend to freeze and when the batteries are frozen, they're not conducting electricity and it's just not working. You're going to push your button and nothing is going to happen," Will Wheeler, owner of Next2New Wireless, said.

Wheeler has been seeing the problem a lot lately. New devices are made up of delicate parts and not made for the extreme cold.

According to a study from Popular Mechanics, some phones experience battery problems at -10 degrees, several models shut off at -20 and serious battery and screen issues arise at -30. All phones are inoperable past -40.

"This is a problem we see every winter. We sell a ton of batteries this time of year. We do a lot of water damage treatments. It's not a killer of phones, sometimes we can bring them back. It can kill electronics sometimes," Wheeler said.

One way to prevent your phone from being helpless is by getting a case for it.

"It always helps to have a case any which way you cut it. If you had like, for example, an Otter Box on there. They're pretty well sealed from exposure. The battery is still going to get cold but it might be able to keep the condensation off it better," Wheeler said.

Cell phone users looking for every last percent of battery life in the cold temps can save some by reducing the brightness of their screens and turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when possible.

IMAGE FROM POPULAR MECHANICS

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