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Wonder why your phone dies in cold weather? Blame the Lithium battery.

It happens to all of us and it will probably happen today if you're in the cold parts of the United States. 

In fact, it’s so cold in the Midwest that you can’t stay outside for more than 10 minutes without experiencing frostbite.

The painfully cold weather has put the Midwest into a historic deep freeze, affecting more than 200 million Americans, CNN reports.

 

phone dies in cold weather
Chicago's record for the coldest temperature was shattered on Wednesday as the polar vortex struck the biggest city in the U.S. Midwest.

Hundreds of schools and businesses have closed, flights and trains have been canceled and a "code blue" emergency alert has been issued in many of the states.

One other thing that seen to fail us when it’s cold is our phone. It’s always frustrating when you’re outside and your phone suddenly dies despite reporting that it had 30 percent left.

So how come your phone dies in cold weather?

Why your phone dies in cold weather

phone dies in cold weather

According to Battery University, smartphones and also laptops use a battery form called Lithium which is the most common battery technology being used in rechargeable devices.

The reason why these batteries have become so popular since it has a high energy density and a good ability to handle both low and high currents. They also charge very quickly and don’t need to be completely depleted before recharging.

Unfortunately, these batteries lose their good functions when the temperature drops.

Cold temperature "increases the internal resistance and diminishes the capacity of a Lithium battery," according to Battery University. The colder it gets, the slower the metabolism of the chemical reaction inside the battery is which makes the battery drain faster and that's also why your phone dies in cold weather.

Specifically, Battery University estimates that at the temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the battery only delivers 50 percent of its capacity.

Last winter, Global News did an experiment that showed that an iPhone that was left outside dropped 14 percent in only 30 minutes, while it only dropped one percent when it was left inside.

Apple specifies on their website, that their batteries work best at a range of 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hard adjust to for many people living where temperatures below freezing are typical during the winter months.

How to keep your phone from dying in the cold

phone dies in cold weather

Battery University advises everyone to keep their phone working as long as possible while it’s cold outside, the best thing you can do is trying to keep it warm.

Here are some useful tips on how to keep your phone from dying in the cold:

phone dies in cold weather

1. Keep your phone inside a warm pocket or close to your body. Don’t have it in your bag.

2. Avoid exposing it to the cold air, it’s probably too cold for your hands to walk and text anyway.

3. Don’t leave it in the car.

4. Put a protective case on your phone ― it actually keeps the phone warmer. There are also specialized cases that insulate the phone from the cold.

5. Close all apps you aren’t using, together with the cold temperature, they will drain your battery faster.

6. If you’re walking outside and don’t actually need your phone at all, turn it off. A phone can withstand a much greater temperature range when it’s turned off.

7. If your phone dies in cold weather, don’t charge it when it's still cold. When you charge a battery while it’s still cold, you could cause a chemical reaction that may damage the battery. Therefore it’s better to leave it inside for a while before you recharge it.

Our phone seems to be just like many of us: It really hates the cold. 

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