Smartphone in winter: How cold affects smartphones

Smartphone in winter
How cold affects smartphones

Temperatures that are too low can be harmful to smartphones. This is what users can do.

© Dean Drobot /

It’s getting cold again! Temperatures that are too low can be quite a problem for the smartphone. This is how users can protect their cell phones.

Many consumers are aware that heat is not good for smartphones. The penetrating cold in winter can also be harmful to iPhone and Android models.

The recommended operating temperature

The battery is empty again, but the device was only recently charged? There is a very simple answer to that, because batteries do not like cold.

The colder the outside temperature, the worse the whole thing can be. The smartphone manufacturers warn against using the devices when the outside temperature is too low – but also when it is too high. Consumers should use smartphones at temperatures between 0 degrees and 35 degrees Celsius, advises Google for the Pixel 6, as well as Samsung for the Galaxy Z Flip3 and Apple for iPhones from the 4th generation.

When it comes to storage, Apple specifies a range from -20 degrees to 45 degrees Celsius and warns not to leave the smartphone in the parked car. Samsung calls a temperature range of -10 degrees to 50 degrees Celsius.

Shorter battery life and damage?

Using or storing a smartphone outside of these areas could reduce battery life or damage the device, Samsung warns. Apple says that using it in extreme cold can temporarily shorten battery life. In addition, the smartphone can switch off. The runtime should then normalize again in a warmer environment.

If the internal temperature of the Pixel exceeds the normal operating temperature, it will try to regulate it, explains Google. This could lead to reduced connectivity and performance, the display and smartphone can switch off and it may also not be able to charge. The internet giant advises moving the device to a warmer place – or a colder place in summer – and waiting a few minutes before users can use the smartphone again.

What to do about it

The industry association Bitkom and TÜV Süd advise you to carry your smartphone close to your body when it’s cold, for example in your pocket. This also helps to prevent extreme fluctuations in temperature, which could cause condensation to form. The experts also advise, if possible, to use protective covers that can protect against moisture and cold. If consumers then use Bluetooth headsets or headphones with a corresponding function, they do not have to take the smartphone out of their pocket outside when they want to make a call.


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