Smartphones no match for extreme heat

Imagine this: You're grabbing your goodies from your car -- kids and pets first -- but you slip up and forget your phone.  Hours later, you realize you haven't texted, played a word or surfed the Internet in what seems like days.  You run out to the car and find your poor smartphone baking in the sun.  As you go to unlock the phone, it says "Danger! Danger!"  Or maybe something a little less frightening...

2 Works for You Meteorologist George Flickinger fell victim last summer and a few others around the station have found themselves in the same pickle in the year since.

Has this ever happened to you?

Older cell phones were more heat tolerant, but they weren't quite so smart, what with the touch screens and other fancy features. 

A lot of the new smartphones actually warn you that the device is overheating.

It can happen to all kinds of phones, because they have specific operating conditions, just like most electronic devices. 

According to Apple, the operating conditions of an iPhone are as follows:

Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
Non-operating temperature: −4° to 113° F (−20° to 45° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% non-condensing
Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)    

Temperatures inside of a car can easily climb to     more than 140 degrees on a sunny day.

Operating the phone in extreme heat or cold can affect any of the processors.  Primarily with touch screens, the LCD screens can be damaged -- shadows can appear and brightness can vary across the screen.  Older LCD screens can pop and bleed.

Battery cells within the battery itself die with time.  Under extreme conditions, battery life can be significantly shortened.  With some smartphones, if the battery dies, the phones actually have to be replaced.

Potentially the most harmful effect of leaving your phone in the sun or a car, you can actually burn your hand with a hot cell phone, especially those with metal components.

So what do you do if this happens to you?

Turn the phone off.  If it's too hot to touch, use a piece of cloth to hold the phone. (Yes, T-shirts work!)  Let the phone cool down.  To be safe, don't use it for around 30 minutes or so.  Finally, turn it back on and use as normal.

If you find that the phone has stopped working completely or is a little sluggish here and there, visit your service provider.

Keep in mind that even using your phone as normal while exercising in the heat can cause problems, especially with these 100-plus degree temperatures. Keep your phone shaded if you can. The glass casing heats up more quickly in direct sunlight.

We hope you and your phone beat the heat and stay safe in the sun!

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