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Beat the freeze: Dropping temps could mean damaged devices

January 23, 2023

 UScellular offers five tips for protecting smart devices in extreme winter weather

This winter could be colder and snowier than normal, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While winter safety is top of mind for families, pets and homes, smart devices should not be overlooked. It is important to keep devices protected from extreme weather to ensure that safety features like navigation, storm tracking and emergency notifications are available when needed.

Lithium-ion batteries, used in smartphones and other connected devices, are liquid and cold temperatures cause the molecules to shrink. This can slow down how the device operates and could lead to LCD screens dimming, loss of button functionality and shorter battery life.

“When temperatures drop below freezing, it’s time to consider how we are using and storing devices,” said Thomas White, director of sales for East Tennessee at UScellular. “It’s important to add additional layers around our phones to protect them against the shock of cold temps.”

UScellular offers its annual tips to help keep devices safe this winter.

  • Power up devices. If the forecast includes freezing temperatures, be sure to keep your phones fully charged since battery life drains at a faster rate in cold temps. Portable chargers can come in handy if an outlet or charging pad isn’t available.
  • Layers are best. Using a case at all times is the best way to protect devices from damage, but during cold weather it adds another layer of protection. An insulated case provides an additional barrier to the elements and delays loss of functionality.
  • Use body heat. Keeping devices close to your body will be a natural source of warmth. Since the body’s natural temperature is around 98 degrees, placing a phone closer to your body – such as in a pocket – will help regulate its temperature and protect it from extreme cold.
  • Wait before using again. If the phone gets too cold, it may shut off to protect itself. When that happens, be sure to let the phone warm up before trying to use it again. Do not use blow dryers, ovens, space heaters or other heating devices to warm devices as this could cause permanent damage.
  • Take extra precautions. Minimize the amount of time that a device is exposed to the cold, so try to not leave it in your empty car for a long period of time, and if you must use it while outside, ensure that it’s shielded from the wind and tucked close to the body when viewing.

About UScellular

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2023. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com.