TECH
28/02/2018 11:04 GMT | Updated 28/02/2018 13:53 GMT

The 'Beast From The East' Is Killing Your Phone's Battery Life

Ask a Tech Editor: "Why does my phone always run out of battery when it's cold?"

The ‘beast from the east’ has well and truly arrived and while we normally associated this snowy weather with closed schools and blocked roads there is another casualty: our smartphones.

Unsurprisingly, our gadgets were not built for cold weather. As such a few of you may have started noticing some odd things happening: your phone running out of battery in a matter of hours or even the phone shutting down completely when it still said it had plenty of charge left.

How the cold is killing your smartphone’s battery life

Lithium-ion batteries are in almost every portable gadget from your smartphone to your smartwatch and even your wireless headphones.

All of them will be suffering from the cold. Why? Well lithium-ion batteries create charge through the chemical reaction of moving ions between positive and negative electrodes.

As the temperature drops, it becomes harder for those reactions to take place.

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The result? As the battery grinds to a halt your phone’s battery percentage will start dropping because it knows it now can’t get as much charge as it normally would.

In extreme cases the battery actually will cease to function altogether, this is what happens when your phone can go from 20% charge to just turning itself off.

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This won’t just happen to smartphones, if you’ve got a smartwatch or a pair or wireless headphones you can expect their battery life to drop significantly in the cold.

What can you do to prevent this happening?

Warmth and battery backups are the only way to help your phone survive the cold.

The first one is easier said than done, but if you’re going out and about make sure it has a thick case on and is kept somewhere that isn’t exposed to the cold when you’re not using it such as an inside coat pocket or bag.

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In some cases you’ll actually find that a smartphone which had originally said it had no battery in the cold will come back to life again, this is because the battery itself has warmed up and the reactions can start taking place again.

The second is backup. Take a portable battery pack with you if you’re expecting to be outside or away from a power source for more than a few hours. Yes, the battery pack will also lose charge from the cold but it’s better than nothing,.