2012-01-24

Now that it’s cold out, some tips to ‘winterize’ wireless phones

The holidays, hot chocolate and spending time with family and friends are just a few of the things people like about winter.

But as the temperatures drop, cellphone users should be aware that significant temperature changes, along with snowy and wet weather, could damage their devices.

" The holidays are a busy time between traveling with family, shopping with friends and attending parties, so take care of your phone and it will help you stay organized while you’re on-the-go," said Eric Conlon, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England.

As people head outside, U.S. Cellular offers tips to help cellphones survive during the dark days of winter.

— Avoid the winter chill. Temperatures below 40 degrees can harm a cellphone’s battery life and run down the charge more quickly. If your cellphone is exposed to cold temperatures, allow the phone to warm up to room temperature before using it. It’s also a good idea to store your phone in a warm place and not in a backpack, an outside pocket of your coat or in a vehicle overnight.

When out in the cold, carry your phone in an inside jacket pocket to keep it close to your body for warmth.

— Protect your screen. Prolonged exposure to the cold may affect a cellphone’s display screen.

The display cover can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time, which causes the liquid crystals within the display to literally start freezing. If a cellphone gets wet from condensation, power it down right away and remove the battery. Grab a towel or some napkins to get as much excess water off the phone as you can.

You should remove any skins, covers or faceplates. If you have a flip phone, open it up, so air can reach the keypad.

You should leave a wet phone powered down for a day or two to give the internal circuitry a chance to completely dry out.

— Stay charged up. Phones should be charged daily, so that customers have sufficient battery life when they may need it.

If driving, keep a car charger with you to re-charge while on the go.

— Check the weather. With free weather apps, travelers can stay on top of driving conditions and forecasts. These apps feature live radar, severe weather alerts and travel forecasts.

Return to top