You’ve seen it before: you pull your phone out of your pocket after an hour of skiing only to discover that the battery has gone from fully charged to 50 per cent. The lithium-ion batteries that our cell phones depend on aren’t designed to withstand extreme temperatures. Apple suggests that iPhones perform best between the range of 0 and 35 C. In frigid temperatures, your phone can randomly shut off, which doesn’t help in emergencies.
For cold-weather adventurers planning to head to the mountains this winter, here’s how you can protect your phone and prolong its battery life when you’re in the cold.
Start in Battery Saving Mode
If you’re going to be spending the day outdoors in cold temperatures, do what you can on your phone to preserve its battery life. This means activating the battery saving mode under the settings menu on your device and turning down the brightness on your screen.
Invest in a Protective Case
There are cases you can put on your phone to protect it from the elements, depending on the activities you’ll be participating in this winter. If you’re planning on going on nature walks, a weatherproof case will help prolong the life of your phone battery. This one by iThrough is designed to withstand rain, sleet and snow, and is fully submersible up to two metres for 30 minutes.
However, if you’re planning to be in the mountains for some backcountry skiing and snowboarding where temperatures are consistently in the negatives, then consider doubling up on phone battery protection by using a thermal case along with a weatherproof case. Phoozy designs thermal phone cases that insulate your phone and extend its battery life by up to three times in the cold, and also prevents it from overheating in the summertime, which can cause permanent damage to your device as well. This thermal case is water-resistant and floats for easy retrieval if you accidentally drop it in water.
Avoid Taking Your Phone Out of Your Pocket
Keep your phone in your chest pocket, where your natural body heat can help keep your device warm. If you plan on taking calls while you’re on the slopes, consider pairing it to Bluetooth earphones and, if your phone allows, connect it to your watch if you need to keep track of messages or emails. The watch on your wrist will be warmed by your skin. By limiting the number of times you take your phone out of your pocket, you minimize the device’s contact with the harsh elements.
Warm It Up Before Charging
Having a backup battery pack with you might seem like a logical idea, especially since you can charge your phone quickly if your battery drains. However, if you’ve been in freezing temperatures, you’ll need to wait for your phone to warm up to room temperature again before plugging it into a power source. The sudden fluctuation in temperatures can cause condensation to form inside the device and permanently damage your phone.
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