Careful! The infamous Polar Vortex can hurt your phone!

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.14.37 PMMy goodness ….. it has been COLD around here, today. I live in the eastern US, and the term “polar vortex” has been on everyone’s (frozen) lips.

When I glanced at my iPhone during the night, one of my apps had thoughtfully left a chilly notification on the screen “temperature has gone below 0.” 😯

Schools were closed and reporters were on the streets, tweeting pictures of bank-temperature signs announcing numbers like -7 and -3.

Made me wonder: Can iPhones work in that kind of cold?

Turns out that the answer is: Nope. Your iPhone will fail in sub-zero temps.

Apparently the screen display and the battery can not handle these extreme temperatures. Apple tells us that the iPhone battery functions best between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (-2 is a long way from 32!). When the phone starts getting sluggish, it’s your signal to warm it up. Put it in your pocket or tuck it in somewhere against your body for warmth.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.16.41 PMIn 2012, the Mikro PC (PC World Finland) put some phones to the temperature test. They started in a room of 32 degrees and started lowering it in steps of 9 degrees until eventually all phones stopped working.

The iPhone 4s that they tested started acting odd at 23 degrees and and at 9 degrees it stopped working altogether. Some other phones kept functioning as the temps continued to drop. Non smartphones made it all the way to -40, but that was the limit for any phone. You can read all about this test by clicking here.

I heard one newsperson announce that compared to being outside, you would be warmer if you climbed into your freezer. Yep, it’s pretty cold.

When you venture out, remember to bundle up … good advice for both you AND your iPhone.

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 9.35.25 PM

11 thoughts on “Careful! The infamous Polar Vortex can hurt your phone!

    • I only left the house briefly today! And now I’m snuggled in a comfy chair with a warm blanket, hot tea, and a curled up dog in my lap. I’m good!! Thanks for the warm wishes. 🙂

  1. I’ll swap you some sunshine for some of your snow – we are having temps of 37C – even for our summers, that’s too hot! But I feel for you in those freezing temperatures and wonder how you must be coping. Stay warm with the dog wrapped in your lap!

    • It seems as though the whole weather-world is wacky. You’re breaking records with your heat and we’re slaying records with our cold. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could share and bring each other a bit closer to comfort levels! In the meantime, stay cool! 🙂

  2. I TOLD my husband that my iphone issues were due to the weather yesterday. Tell me instead of a cover, I need to get my phone a sweater and matching scarf!!!! Is there no end to the accessory list!
    thanks for the info, SC.

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