Monday 14 October 2019

Here's why your iPhone battery power is plummeting in the cold weather - and the dangers of 'cold-charging'

An iPhone 6 (stock photo)
An iPhone 6 (stock photo)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Why is your iPhone battery life plummeting in the cold weather?

There is in fact a scientific reason behind it - and it's not because you're featuring a live feed of your snow-covered back garden on Snapchat.

The lithium-ion battery in iPhones can lose their life quickly in cold temperatures. Within a few minutes, the battery can lose enough power to shut down the device.

Technically, the phone isn't actually discharging. Instead, the lithium-ion battery simply cannot function at extremely cold temperatures, according to Apple Dystopia website.

The lithium-ion battery has many advantages - they're much lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries of the same size, a lot of energy can be stored in the battery and they can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles.

However, the batteries are extremely sensitive to both low and high temperatures.

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They are at their optimum use between zero degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius.

iPhone users are also advised not to charge the lithium-ion batteries in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.

Doing so can result in permanent capacity loss in the battery, and this damage can occur even after one "cold-charging" event.

Furthermore, a lithium-ion battery that has been "cold-charged" is not safe to use.

To avoid all of the above, phone users are advised to keep their phone in their pockets when they're out and about, or to use a thermal phone cover.

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