Have you noticed how your phone battery drains faster during the winter months? Well it is a well known fact that electronic devices and a cold weather don’t get along too well.
Why Cold Weather drains your Phone Battery Faster?
Long story short, it turns out that the phone battery is working through chained chemical reactions, and the cold temperature slows down or completely stops the reaction altogether.
The phone is powered by the use of charged lithium-ion particles. On a cold day these particles encounter more resistance as they move throughout the battery to charge the phone. And as these charged particles get stuck, the battery life plummets.
Heat describes the transfer of thermal energy between molecules within a system and is measured in Joules. Heat measures how energy moves or flows. An object can gain heat or lose heat, but it cannot have heat. Heat is a measure of change, never a property possessed by an object or system. Therefore, it is classified as a process variable.
So, temperature which describes the average kinetic energy of molecules within a material or system (measured in Celsius, Kelvin, Fahrenheit or Rankine) plays major role on your device.
On a molecular level, higher temperatures mean more molecular movement and activity. This translates into a steady flow of charged particles powering your phone. But as the temperature drops, the molecular activity slows down. As a result, the device “thinks” that your phone battery is empty.
Because your phone doesn’t have a thermometer, it has no idea how cold it is. This inability to inform the user about the cold environment factor, makes the device to alert the user that “battery is low” – when in fact, it’s just too cold outside.
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How to prevent battery drain on a cold weather
Based on what we explained so far, the solution is quite simple. Try to heat up your phone battery. This in turn will increase the molecular activity in your battery allowing the charged lithium-ion particles to flow smoothly through your phone circuitry.
Keep your phone Close and Covered
Don’t expose your phone on a really harsh cold weather. Keep it in your interior pocket jacket close to your body. Once the phone is insulated from the cold weather, your body heat will help with the chemical processes in your battery to run smoothly.
Use an Insulating Case
During the winter period you can purchase a protective pouch. These come with built-in insulation to trap warmth around your phone.
Turn on Power Saving mode
This one is obvious. Put your smartphone into a Power Saving mode. This will prolong the battery life.
Turn Your Phone Off
If you’re worried about battery, turn your phone off and keep it in a warm place near your body so that it is ready to power on and use when you need it to.
Use your Phone Wisely and Sparingly
On a really cold day, try to use your smartphone as little as possible. But if you really have to use it then try to at least protect it from the wind. Exposing your phone to a cold wind outside makes it cool down much faster. So stop moving, keep the phone as close to your body and take your phone out for as little time as possible.
How to warm up your phone
If your phone shuts down due to the cold weather, warm it up slowly. Remember, this is just a defense mechanism against extreme weather conditions.
To warm up your phone place it near and not directly on a warm surface. If you are still outside, you can use your body. The body heat can warm up the device and make it start working again.
Charging your phone in extreme conditions
It is very important to remember not to charge your phone battery until the device has returned to normal temperature. Charging a battery while is still cold, could sustain permanent damage.
Apple does warn their users to use their devices between 0 °C and 35 °C. Using a device outside of those temperatures could damage the battery life or cause unwanted device behaviour.
But not all batteries are affected. Some phone batteries hold charge way better than others during the winter period. This is because the they are made from a different material.
In any case it is a good rule to keep your phone like a part of your body.