It’s that time of year. I’m not talking about the holidays this time. I’m talking about the weather. As the cold weather sets in, we remember to drain the sprinklers, prepare the yard for winter, change the tires on the car and more. I even make sure I don’t leave my daughter’s epi-pen in the car because the pharmacist told me it isn’t good for it to get too cold. Yet I seldom give much thought to my electronics.
Typically, I have my phone in my purse and my iPad or Intel 2-in-1 in a tote bag that goes with me into and out of wherever I happen to be going. When we’re traveling we stop to eat, visit rest areas, go shopping or do some site-seeing to stretch our legs. Obviously, these are times when we leave our suitcases, including electronics, in the trunk. While I’ve consider the safety and potential for theft of the items, I haven’t worried at all about the weather causing harm.
Thanks to some tips from U.S. Cellular, I’ve learned that keeping them safe from the cold is as important as keeping them protected from theft. Why? Because frigid cold temperatures aren’t healthy for electronics. Here are some examples:
Battery performance: Did you know that cellphone batteries lose their performance when the temperature dips? Cellphone batteries that provide 100% capacity at 80° only deliver about 50% at 0°. Power users burn through battery life fast enough without the weather making it worse. Best solution: Keep it with you. If you go inside to warm up, your phone should too.
Display: Depending on the type of phone you have, the display cover can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures over a period of time which causes the liquid crystals to start freezing. Best approach: Keep it covered up.
Moisture: There are more ways for a phone to get wet than just dropping it in water! Condensation can build up or it can get wet if exposed to snow. What to do: If it gets wet, power it down right away and remove the battery. Use a towel or napkin to get as much excess water off the phone as possible. It may be painful but you’ll want to leave it powered down for a day or two to give the circuits adequate time to dry out.
Protection: The best offense is a good defense. Plan ahead: Get a waterproof case such as LifeProof to protect it from inclement weather such as frigid temperatures, ice and snow.
Weather: Arm yourself with free apps that keep you informed of the weather. What to download: Take your pick of any of the free apps available. They all have their pros and cons so pick one with an interface that you can understand and navigate. Check out AccuWeather, MyRadar Weather Radar for Android or iOS, The Weather Channel or WeatherBug for Android or iOS.
Phone Quality: If your job or hobbies mean you (and your phone) will be exposed to cold and snow, consider getting a phone that is designed specifically with that in mind. the Kyocera DuraForce is an ultra-rugged smartphone designed and certified to operate all the way to -22°F. It’s certified IP68 waterproof so it can be submerged up to 6 feet deep for up to 30 minutes. The “Wet & Glove Touchscreen Operation” allows the user to operate it with winter gloves on and it continues to operate even when exposed to snow or rain.
As you think about bundling yourself up for the cold temps, don’t forget to care for your electronics too.