We’ve all done it, left our cell phones in the car in the blazing summer heat or frigid February cold. Have you ever wondered how heat and cold in the car affect your cell phone? Here’s the lowdown.
Most would assume that if you left your phone in the car in very cold temperatures that the phone might be toast, after all, a lot have liquid crystal displays that can freeze, or lithium-ion batteries that slow down the chemical reaction that gives the phone its power.
But not so fast! Environ Laboratories, an environmental testing facility in Minneapolis used by the defense, aerospace and technology industries to simulate extreme conditions, tested 6 different phones to see what would happen to them in freezing temperatures. They were told to freeze the phones, literally, until they stopped working. They started at 40 degrees F and then dropped the temps by 10 degrees every half hour. After each phone froze to not working, they were brought back to room temperature to see what happened to it.
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Other then small problems such as slight screen dimming or slow key response, none of them had any major issues when left in temps of -10 degrees F. At -20 degrees F, there were more problems with batteries or LCD displays. However, none of the damage was permanent. Heat, is another issue. On a summer day, temps inside a car can easily top 140 degrees F.
Most phones aren’t designed to be used in high heat, and some with give a warning or allow you to use it when it is overheated. But, no worries, for the most part, once the phone cools, it will return to normal with little to few problems. Using it in temps over 100 degrees can be touchy with smart phones. Keep it shaded if you can, because the glass can heat more quickly in direct sunlight.
Remember that smart phones are mini-computers. If your laptop wouldn’t do well in extreme temps, your phone won’t either. Your best bet is to remember to NOT leave it in the car!
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