Many of you across the UK would have woken up to snow this morning and the thing about Snowfall in Britain is that other than the obvious drop in temperature and the satisfying crunching under your footsteps, you start to notice a change in everything! Schools and offices are closed, traffic becomes unbearable, people slip and slide all over icy pavements and public transport becomes non-existent.
Something you may not have noticed however is the instant affect that the below-freezing temperatures have on our Smartphones. Here we’ll list a few of the risks caused by such weather and how to avoid them.
With LCD displays, users may experience delayed touchscreen reactions as well as smudging and ghosting of text and colours. You may also find at times that a cold screen and jack frost-bitten fingers result in the screen not even being able to register a single touch.
Solution – The best way to keep the handset warm is to use a protective case, thicker is always better and weather-specific cases are available. However, you can also use your own body heat to keep your phone warm and the best way to do this is to keep it in a pocket that is close to you. Fancy a bit of sledging and don’t want it to get broken? Don’t leave it out in the open, pop it in a bag or wrap in clothing.
Your phone’s battery draining is one of the most immediate effects of cold weather. Devices may spontaneously shut down when on 20% in the extreme cold, especially if your phone has been exposed to the cold for a long period of time (It should be noted that this is NEVER a manufacturing error) Devices left in extreme cold temperatures for an extended time can be susceptible to permanent damage, especially when left in ‘standby’ or ‘sleep’ modes.
Solution – Make sure you charge your phone before going outside. If your battery is at 100% it is less likely to experience drainage in the cold. Keep a mobile charger around for any long trips as well and if your battery is removable, bring an extra for backup. Again, the main thing is to keep the phone warm and as mentioned, a protective case and body heat is a good way to do this.
External and Internal Accidental Damage
This one kind of goes without saying because when the cold hits, the floor is hard, icy and solid. In a recent survey, it was discovered that more claims for insurance are made over a period of snowfall in the UK compared to any other weather event. It’s worth remembering that if you sport an older smartphone model, these aren’t water resistant like the modern generations and therefore a few inches of snow can do some real internal damage.
Solution – Keep your smartphone away from and protect from any snow related activities such as shovelling, sledding or mass snowball fighting! In addition to protecting from the cold, there is less chance of freezing cold water making its way in to your phone.
This is the silent killer! Smartphones are susceptible to liquid condensation underneath their displays if they are operated soon after being brought into the warm after an extended time out in the cold. If you’re out for an extended walk in the snow and then decide to run in and post your #snowpics on Instagram while sat next to a warm fire (or radiator if you don’t live in a twee Christmas film!) this can cause various liquid damage issues that can cause permanent damage to the internal components of your phone.
Solution – If your phone is exposed to extreme temperatures, whether dropped in the snow or left out in a cold car, the best thing to do is to turn the device off and allow it to warm back up to room temperature before turning it on again for use. Do not leave in an airing cupboard or hairdryer as such a rise in temperature may result in mass-condensation and permanent damage. Warming up at room temperature not only helps prevent condensation, but also helps prevent any other damage that might occur while the device is warming up.
Hopefully these tips will help you protect your smartphone this winter and allow you to enjoy the snow without fear of damage to your Smartphone.
If you have any further advice, please share and leave us a comment below.
Images by Carole Poirot.