GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - You may not like the bitter cold - and your cell phone doesn't either!
When temperatures dip below zero, our phones can quickly become vulnerable to damages - some beyond repair.
So just how low can they go? Cell Phone Repair expert Kyle Opdahl talked with KARE 11 News at 4 to tell us what happens to our phones the colder they get, how we can save them and what to do to protect them from the winter freeze.
1. How exactly does cold weather damage our devices?
- Cold temperatures can freeze liquid-crystal displays and slow the chemical reaction that gives lithium-ion batteries their charge.
- You should take steps to protect your cell phone, tablet and even smart watch from the extreme weather.
2. How cold does it have to be for damage to start happening?
- Recent testing indicates that damage starts to happen at 10 below zero depending on the phone.
- Some phones will immediately start to lose their battery power while the LCD displays in others might start to dim, and the keys will start responding a lot more slowly.
- At 30 below, serious battery and LCD problems begin. The lower temperatures also make glass screens a lot more susceptible to cracks and breaks.
- At 40 below, you have a dead phone, but the good news is the damage doesn't have to be permanent. Most devices will come back to life just by returning them to room temperature.
3. Should we be leaving our phone at home if we're spending time outdoors?
- Not necessarily. There are a couple of things you can do to fight off the cold. First, try to keep your phone close to your body, like a jeans pocket or an inside pocket of your jacket so your body heat will help keep your phone warm.
- Keeping your phone in a backpack or purse can put your phone at risk of getting too cold and malfunctioning.
- If you spend a lot of time outside in the winter months, you may want to invest in an insulated case.
4. What should we do if we've forgotten our phone in a cold car overnight?
- Don't restart it until you're inside and have given the phone enough time to warm up and recharge.
- Restarting your phone immediately could actually cause more harm to your phone and shorten the battery life.
5. What are the most common repairs you're seeing right now?
- Most of what we're seeing at Cell Phone Repair are cracked screens from people who've slipped and fallen on the ice and dropped their phones.
- In the winter, it's easy to drop your phone if you're fumbling to get your gloves off to operate it.
- Most screens depend on your phone body's ability to conduct electricity to work.
- Texting gloves can protect your fingers from the cold and your phone from being dropped. They work because they have a special, conductive fabric on the top of the index finger.