I spent last week at a festival (what these are is slowly coming back to me), and a typical British summer change-slightly less rain than winter-it’s hot.
Like 30ºC (about 86ºF). And that’s outside. It can get hotter when you get inside a car or building.
Frozen with a drone while I’m at the festival (noisy, fan, but very useful), a companion comes to me and asks if he knows what’s going on with his phone I did.
It was no longer in the form of a phone.
And it was fiercely hot to the touch.
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At first I thought the battery might have run away, but when I talked to Chap, it became clear.
He kept his cell phone (a nice gold iPhone 12 Pro Max) in a holder stuck to the windshield of the car all day, but the cell phone battery unframed the display. That was the end of the road for this iPhone.
Now, strangely enough, it’s not uncommon to see a holder’s phone stick to the windshield of a car and burn in the summer. And that’s not just while the car is still-unless you have it in the direct flow of the air conditioner, the window phone can get hot while the car is running.
But leaving it there for baking in a hot car isn’t great for the battery. In fact, overheating a cell phone (and most of the time nowadays, remember that the cell phone is in a holder and also charged) is a surefire way to drain the battery. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen and heard about half a dozen dead phones and a few in-vehicle GPS receivers giving up ghosts in the heat. Not only is heat cruel to the battery, it can also damage the display.
It’s not just about cars. It’s just as problematic at home and in the office. And it’s not just a phone issue. It’s not a good idea to bake something that contains a battery you care about.
This is my rule of thumb. If your phone feels hot to the touch, find somewhere cool. The battery can work fine in the warm summers, but as the smartphone’s battery life begins to shorten, the side effects of battery deterioration are seen in the winter. If your phone is too hot to touch, you may need to decharge it, remove it from its case, turn it off, and let it cool.
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