With the planet now in its seventh year of the hottest in recorded history, not only are people trying to keep cool, but their smartphones would like to, as well. Phones already have enough heat-producing processes on their own – enabling a device’s camera, apps, and calls – but added environmental heat can lead to battery drain, performance problems, and even a complete shutdown.
There are ways to prevent this from happening, though. ConsumerAffairs surveyed the landscape of advice and found these tips from AT&T, T-Mobile, Xfinity, Asurion, and others. We’ll start with AT&T’s six best tips:
Don’t subject your wireless device to extreme temperature changes. If you and your phone are out in 90+ degree temperatures, it might seem logical that the best way to cool down is to quickly move to an air-conditioned area. Turns out that idea isn’t a smart one, though. “Bringing your electronics from a 90+ degree sunny day to a well air-conditioned room is a great way to moisten the interior of your device,” AT&T told ConsumerAffairs. “Allow your phone to transition gradually to the cooler temperatures by putting it in your purse or pocket before entering the room.”
Keep multiple wireless devices stored separately. Another hmm-worthy tip AT&T offered was that if you’re carrying both your smartphone and a tablet or laptop, keep them separated and away from each other. The carrier said that since each electronic device conducts heat of its own, stacking them or keeping them pressed up against each other intensifies the heat and obstructs airflow that can keep them comfortably cool.
Don’t leave your wireless device in the car. If you go shopping or running errands in the sweltering heat, it would be wise to take your phone with you instead of popping it in the glove box. Heat is heat, and compartments in the car can suffer just as much as things that are exposed to direct sunlight.
Reduce the risk of overheating from within your phone
While keeping the phone out of the sun's glare can help immensely, AT&T said there are several apps that can help monitor your phone’s temperature and alert you when overheating is a risk. Here are 10 that ConsumerAffairs found expressly for Android phones. As for iPhones, How To's Guru suggests the CPU-Z or System Monitor apps.
In offering suggestions for keeping phones cool, TechRadar suggests removing the case and turning off some of the more intense energy-sucking apps, like games.
Additional pieces of advice offered by Asurion – the tech insurance provider – were lowering your screen brightness, turning off Bluetooth, and turning on airplane mode, especially if your phone has little or no signal.
When ConsumerAffairs surveyed tips from Xfinity (previously known as Comcast), it suggested that on top of turning off Bluetooth, phone users should also turn off GPS and Wi-Fi to reduce the device’s energy demands.
Finally, device users can go the insurance route, too. Most wireless providers have insurance options that cost a fraction of the price it would cost to replace your phone. Here are AT&T’s device coverage options, T-Mobile’s, and Verizon’s.