The polar vortex is here, and it has been sweeping across the United States these past few weeks. It's been so frigid that some people jokingly say hell is going to freeze under such conditions.
With temperatures going sub-zero — sometimes dropping to minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit — the cold weather makes it dangerous to go and stay outdoors for too long without layering up in a bunch of winter clothes. Most people can't go out without their phones too, and temperature this extreme can also take a toll on the devices.
A lot of smartphones are powered by lithium-ion batteries. These batteries contain two kinds of electrodes. To produce power, these electrodes need liquid electrolytes. In extreme temperatures such as the one caused by the polar vortex, liquid electrolytes inside lithium-ion batteries tend to freeze, which means it won't be capable of producing enough power needed to run a phone. In worst-case scenarios, this will cause a device to completely shut down.
One example would be iPhones, which can't withstand temperatures colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature capabilities vary depending on the manufacturer, but all of them basically advise against using your gadgets in intense weather.
How To Protect Your Phone When It's Cold
So how do you keep your phone warm enough?
During cold weather, keep your phone in your pocket, preferably in inner jackets or anywhere that's much closer to your body. Body heat can help in keeping the phone temperature at normal levels.
Leaving your phone in your car's compartment isn't advisable as well, as this will result in device shut down and charging problems later on.
In instances when you really need take a call outside, try to find a place where temperatures can be more forgiving, say, inside a shop or a bookstore.
There are also insulated battery cases available if you want an extra layer of protection for your phone.