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What To Do When Your Cell Phone Battery Dies This Winter

Phone Tips

Headshot of Lyle Schrock, owner of The Lab Posted by: Lyle Schrock 2 years ago

Winter weather and subzero temperatures are just around the corner for us here in Northern Indiana. What can you do to prepare? Beyond making sure you keep enough gas in your car and wear a warm coat, you need to get your cell phone ready to withstand those freezing temperatures.

The most common reason people replace their mobile devices is that their phone battery dies. While cell phones do eventually need to be replaced, if your phone battery in Warsaw isn’t behaving the way it should this winter, there might be a better solution than spending money on a new phone.

Why Your Phone Hates Cold Weather

It doesn’t matter whether you have an iPhone or an Android device, mobile phones don’t like cold temperatures. Why? Because they depend on lithium-ion batteries. This type of battery is what powers most rechargeable mobile devices.

Cell phones and other mobile devices depend on this type of battery because it is designed to charge quickly and doesn’t have to be completely depleted before recharging.

Unfortunately, the trade-off is that these batteries don’t handle cold weather well. You can read more about the science behind lithium-ion batteries here.

The battery meter in your iPhone or Android phone is calibrated assuming it will be used in moderate weather (32° – 95° Fahrenheit). Because of this, your phone might stop working or shut off completely while still showing that the battery life is at 30% or higher.

For those of us living in areas that regularly dip below 32° or even below 0°, that’s a big problem!

Batteries Don’t Handle Cold Weather

How To Protect Your Phone Battery In Warsaw, IN This Winter

cell phone in snow showing why your phone battery dies so fast in the winter

Activate Battery-Saving Mode

If you know you’re going to be using your phone in freezing temperatures, change the battery settings to help it last longer. Your phone’s battery-saver option is easy to use and limits the capabilities of your phone to help you make the most of your battery’s power.

You can find this mode through your phone’s settings: on an iPhone, it’s called “low power mode” and on an Android phone, it’s called “battery saver”.

Keep Your Phone As Warm As Possible

When your phone is too cold, the ions that make your battery work can’t move. Try to keep your phone as warm as possible by tucking it in your coat pocket or an inside pocket instead of in a purse or bag.

If you can use wireless earbuds with your phone, that can be an ideal solution for using your phone in cold weather. Using earbuds means you can keep your phone safe and warm inside a coat pocket while still being able to use it in cold weather.

Limit using your phone outside in freezing temperatures, and always let your phone warm up inside for a few minutes before attempting to recharge it. 

Bring A Portable Charger With You During The Winter Months

While you shouldn’t try to charge your phone when it’s cold, once it’s back to room temperature it should be safe to do so. If you travel a lot or are worried about your phone’s battery dying in the middle of the day due to cold weather, a portable charger could be the right solution for you.

We have the best portable chargers on the market available at The Lab, so stop in and pick one up today!

Just remember that charging a cold battery can cause a chemical reaction that could damage the battery and your phone. Only use your charger once your phone has warmed up!

Is It Time For A New Phone Or Just A New Battery?

If keeping your phone warm and activating battery-saving mode isn’t giving you the battery life you need, it might be time to consider a change.

Cell phone batteries are rated for 500 charge cycles, which means they can typically last 2-3 years on average. Depending on use, that can shift anywhere from 1 ½ to 5 years of battery life before your phone battery dies.

At The Lab, we’ve seen people pay hundreds of dollars to replace their iPhone or Android device when they could have paid much less for a new battery and kept their device instead.

If you’re concerned that your phone’s battery is dying, don’t jump the gun and replace your entire phone. Bring it to our experts at The Lab and we can replace your old battery with a new one at a fraction of the cost of a new device.

We can also take a look at your phone and let you know if the cold weather is to blame and your phone might just need a warm-up!

We know what it’s like to panic when your phone’s battery won’t hold a charge and your nearly-new device isn’t working the way it should. Let us put your mind at ease and help you avoid the cost of a new iPhone or Android device this winter.

The Lab is located in the heart of downtown Warsaw at 120 E. Center Street, Suite A. We’re open until Monday-Friday and until 2pm on Saturday. We love walk-ins and are always here to help, so bring in your phone today!

Originally published in 2021, this blog post has been updated as of November 2022 to contain the most relevant information.