Skip to Content
cold impacting phone battery
© Aleksandr Vodyanovich |

True or false: Extreme cold is as bad for your phone battery as heat

We all know that high temperatures can cause your smartphone to run slowly and even damage it permanently in some cases. Tap or click here to see why your iPhone struggles in hot weather – and how to fix it. But does cold weather also impact your phone’s battery?

We’re here with the facts. Read on for the answer to this chilly inquiry.

What’s the ideal temperature for a smartphone?

According to Apple, the ideal operating temperature for an iPhone is between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Samsung offers the same guidance for its Galaxy series. It’s safe to say that the same can be said for most modern smartphones. What happens when you dip below this figure, though?

Cold temperatures that dip below the suggestions above mean your battery has to work harder to generate enough energy to function. While cooler temperatures may make some aspects of computing more efficient, there is a trade-off when the temperature plummets significantly.

Some smartphones might shut down altogether when they reach a certain point. If we look at the EV industry, for example, we can see that freezing weather may limit a car’s range by up to 40%.

The cold makes battery cells less effective over time, resulting in shorter battery life than when employed at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature.

In a nutshell, temperature-related problems can be avoided if you’re careful about where, when and how you use your tech. Below, you’ll find more expert-approved tips for preventing cold- or heat-related damage to all devices.

How to avoid temperature damage to your smartphone

Believe it or not, ensuring that your phone’s software is always up-to-date can improve battery efficiency through digital system features geared toward battery performance.

Overcharging your battery is one of the worst things you can do. Be sure to unplug it as soon as it’s reached capacity, and you’ll enjoy a much longer lifespan.

A few more tips to keep your phone running just like new include:

  • Always abide by your phone manufacturer’s operating temperature recommendations. Between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit appears to be the general industry standard.
  • Never use uncertified third-party accessories like generic chargers, which may put your smartphone at risk.
  • Keep your device away from metal objects, like your keys.
  • Dropping your device can make it more susceptible to temperature damage. Use a solid case and be careful when using it in subways or other moving vehicles.
  • Do what you can to avoid exposing your device to water or possible condensation.
  • Avoid leaving your phone in your car, outside or on your windowsill in hot or cold weather.
  • If you plan on storing a device long-term, charge the battery only halfway and turn it off before putting it away.
  • Use an insulated thermal phone case for frigid climates or trips to extremely cold destinations.

Devices, new and old, can benefit from great tech habits. When winter rolls around again, it’ll be in a much better position to thrive far into the future.

We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Keep reading

Your tech is gross! 5 things you forget to clean

Buying new smart home tech? Take this step to keep creeps out

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook