27 Jan 2013

Hot Tips For A Cool Mobile Phone

Your smartphone may be pretty smart, but when it comes to knowing when and how to cool off, it can be pretty dumb. Some overheating mobile phones may first alert its users to the impending danger, or they may go directly into cool down (aka shut down) mode without warning, leaving frustrated users hot under the collar.

Here are some tips and tricks for helping your mobile phone to keep its cool.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Give your mobile phone an assessment:

- How many apps are you running, and how many of those apps run in the background when you’re not actively accessing them?

- Do you need all of those apps on your phone?

- Do you stream a lot of music and/or video?

- How much of that entertainment can you download and watch offline?

- Are you choosing your settings with an eye towards energy efficiency?

 - Do you keep your mobile phone searching for WiFi when you don’t need to, or keep the brightness up more than is necessary?

- Are you having push notifications sent to you constantly rather than at spaced intervals (of, say, every 15 minutes or every hour)?

- Remember that maps and GPS apps keep running in the background as you travel, so turn those off if you’re not actively accessing them.

- Where does your mobile phone tend to reside? Is it inside a building most of the time, or riding around in your vehicle?

- Does the mobile phone tend to be placed where it’s hit by direct sunlight a great deal of the time?

- How do you transport your mobile phone when you’re carrying it around with you? Is it tucked into a tight fitting pocket, jumbled in a purse with other items suffocating it or otherwise carried in such a manner that blocks airflow around it?

- Do you store or carry your mobile phone right next to other mobile electronics, such that the devices continually heat each other up?

Many overheating issues can be addressed simply by giving an overhaul to your habits. The less power demands you make of your mobile phone, the less likely it is to overheat.

Be careful about apps that claim to cool down your mobile phone. While such an app can run operations to reduce the power pull on your device, the app itself may be adding to the power demand and, therefore, the overheating problem. Try out those apps to see which, if any, work well for your mobile phone.

When Your Mobile Phone Overheats

At the first sign of unexpected warming, recheck your settings and usage as noted above, closing out processor-heavy apps and reducing any power-hungry settings immediately. If it’s convenient, power the mobile phone off for at least a few minutes.

Pay attention to your surroundings: move out of overheated rooms or direct sunlight, and into a cooler environment. If your mobile phone is sheathed in a pocket or muffled in a purse, pull it out for air.

Before replacing in a purse, shield the mobile phone in a ventilated case to protect the unit from keys and other items, while providing sufficient airflow. And don’t carry a mobile phone in close contact to your body on warm days; your own body warmth and perspiration can be detrimental to the device.

If you get an alert that your mobile phone’s beginning to overheat, you’ll have a few precious moments to save, put away and close out any operations you were in the middle of performing. However, your device’s first warning may simply be an automatic shutdown.

When your mobile phone overheats, turn the unit off, if it isn’t off already. If possible, remove the battery and set it aside from the rest of the unit, to encourage speedier cooling of all parts. Let your mobile phone cool down slowly and gently, as sudden temperature changes can wreak havoc on delicate electronic circuitry. Some helpful tricks to try include the following:

- Set your mobile phone on a baker’s cooling rack, since that allows greater airflow around all the surfaces of the device.

- If you’re in direct sunlight--even on an overcast day--loosely cover your mobile phone with a light colored piece of cloth, allowing plenty of space for air circulation around the device. Don’t use dark fabrics, as dark absorbs heat, while light colors reflect heat.

- Fill a zipped closure plastic baggie with only slightly cooler than room temperature (not cold!) water; close and seal securely, then rest your mobile phone atop the water pillow. Some popular solutions are not technically recommended, and may cause considerable damage to your unit.

Remember that sudden temperature changes can be very damaging, and any hint of moisture that gets within a mobile phone can void the warranty at best and ruin the unit beyond repair at worst. Although many people have been successful with the following approaches, these methods should only be attempted with the understanding that they’re to be taken at your own risk:

- Put the mobile phone on or hear a fan or air conditioning unit

- Rest the mobile phone atop an ice pack (slip a layer of non-pile fabric between the pack and the mobile phone)

- Pop the mobile phone into a refrigerator or freezer for a scant few moments, placing the phone inside a zippered closure plastic baggie first to help protect the mobile phone from moisture

Room Temperature is Best

Do your best to keep your mobile phone at steady temperatures whenever possible, avoiding both the extremes of too hot and too cold. If temps do stray outside of your unit’s recommended limits, try to bring the temps back to acceptable ranges as slowly and gently as you can, in order to help your mobile phone enjoy a long electronic life.

   Sam Jones

About the Guest Author:

Sam Jones, the author, has been looking at smartphone comparison websites to try and find a phone with the best computing power.