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Why does your phone’s battery drain faster when it’s cold?

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You may have noticed: if you go outside in the cold, your phone’s battery suddenly drains a lot faster than when you were still inside. Or worse: it suddenly switches off, even though you really had it charged. We will explain why.

And more importantly, you can do this against it.

A phone drains faster when it’s cold

Mobile
Mobile

How well a battery works depends on the temperature. Every battery, including the one in your phone, is a chemical reactor. Therefore, electrical energy is stored chemically. Prof. Peter Notten, professor of Energy Materials and Devices at Eindhoven University of Technology, explains this to RTL Nieuws . Just like any chemical reaction, the reactions in the battery also depend on the temperature. And according to Notten, ‘the hotter, the better’ applies. In other words: your phone drains faster in the cold, because the battery works less well in cold conditions. According to Apple, an iPhone works best between 0 and 35 degrees Celsius, for example. Is it colder? Then the phone will temporarily shorten the operating time. As a result, it can sometimes suddenly fail.

Your battery is not really draining

Yet it is not entirely true that a phone really drains faster in cold. Dr. Marnix Wagemaker, associate professor at Delft University of Technology, explains to RTL Nieuws that more energy is not suddenly used than at warmer temperatures. The battery of your phone can only deliver less quickly due to the cold and can no longer deliver the promised voltage of the device. Your battery is therefore less able to provide itself with power. This makes your battery think that it is emptier than it actually is. That is why the battery percentage suddenly drops faster or switches itself off suddenly.

Harmful for your phone

If the battery of your phone dies faster when it is cold, that does not mean that it needs to be replaced. In principle, storing your phone at a low temperature cannot cause any wear and tear. But if you often use or charge your phone at low temperatures, it can shorten the life of your mobile. In the long run, a battery will always wear out, but this process can accelerate slightly when it is cold. If you have a somewhat older device and it falls very often as soon as the mercury falls below zero, then it is probably time for replacement.

Keep your phone warm

The easiest solution to ensure that your phone does not run out faster in the cold is to keep it warm. For example, put it in the inside pocket of your jacket, instead of your trouser pocket. And only take it out of that heat when it is really necessary.

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