How the heatwave will affect your smartphone

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

Just as we get flooded by the rain, blown away in the wind, ground to a halt by some snow - today, we shall burn to a crisp inside of our insulated, carpeted, unventilated, double-glazed, non-air-conditioned buildings.

The government has issued the first of what is likely to be many red weather warnings for heat, with no sign or intention of doing anything about it.

In keeping with that theme, lets address how our smartphones feel about this weather.

You may have noticed a warning icon or message on your screen when your device overheats. Smartphones have temperature sensors which will disable or turn off the device in order to prevent damage. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) generates a lot of heat. The more processing that it has to do, the hotter it gets. Hot conditions can push the CPU beyond it's safe operating temperature (somewhere around 90°C), which can cause permanent damage. More intense processing from gaming, video and navigation applications will cause your phone to get hotter. Avoid using these apps, especially if you notice your phone getting hot.

Unlike computers, phones don't have fans or ventilation holes. Instead, they use graphite sheets and thermal paste to diffuse heat. Various metals throughout the device act as a heat sink which allows the heat to spread and dissipate.

You may notice that your battery drains more quickly on a day like today. Lithium batteries degrade more rapidly at higher temperatures - permanently losing charge capacity or causing internal damage as chemical fluids evaporate. Your battery really appreciates moderate temperatures, especially when charging.

Unlike you, your phone is not dehydrated. Don't try cooling your phone in water or the refrigerator. Modern smartphones are water-resistant, not waterproof. This resistance breaks down over time, and is almost entirely eradicated if the phone is ever damaged or disassembled for repair.

Like the ice caps, a phone with white glass and aluminium will reflect the sun a little better than a phone with black materials.

All in all, your phone should be fine, but we do recommend keeping it out of direct sunlight and hot environments like your car.

It's a great day to be an ice cream man or woman though - check out this recent story from The Sun, where one punter picked up a 99 ice cream for a fiver! 
Increased costs in fuel, ingredients, energy bills, and a shortage of flakes apparently.

Thanks for reading!

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