If you live in a place where cold winters are the norm, then you've probably experienced the dreaded "dead phone" on a snowy run. Being in freezing temperatures can cause your phone battery to lose its charge suddenly, leaving you without your preferred means of communication. So what's a runner to do? If taking to the treadmill for a few months each year isn't an option, then learn more about why your phone battery is so quick to die in the winter and what you can do to stop it.
The Science Behind It All
If you want a one-sentence answer for this winter phenomenon, it's this: Modern phone batteries work thanks to chemical reactions, and those reactions just can't happen in temperatures far below freezing. Most phones today contain Lithium-ion batteries, but those batteries don't function properly when it gets too cold. As a result, your phone battery might start out at 100% and then drop to 1% in seconds before turning off altogether. The good news? Your battery isn't really dead when it shuts down because of the cold. Once the phone battery warms back up indoors and you turn it back on, it might be close to fully charged.
How to Keep Your Phone Warm During Winter Runs
Although your phone's battery can't handle the cold, you probably still need it when you're running. After all, running with a phone is a smart move for your safety and security. Not to mention, you might be using it to track your mileage or have some music to power you through your workout. If you need to bring your phone along on a cold run, here are some helpful suggestions to prevent the battery from dying.
• Switch to Battery Save Mode: Most phones have the ability to switch from normal mode to a battery-saving mode. You can do this in settings. Other ways to cut down on battery use include turning down the screen's brightness or turning off Bluetooth for the device.
• Don't Drop Your Phone: You can take lots of steps to keep your phone warm, but they are all canceled out if you drop your phone into a pile of snow. During the winter, holding your phone in your hand is not recommended. In addition to impacting your running posture, it can increase the chance of dropping your phone. A phone in the snow is definitely not going to stay warm!
• Keep Your Phone Close to Your Body: Even when you're running in cold temperatures, your body temperature is a warm 98 degrees. Take advantage of that heat source by keeping your phone as close as possible to your body. That means storing it in a zippered running belt around your waist instead of in a pocket on your outermost layer of clothing.
• Protect Your Phone: Your phone will get colder faster if there is no case or insulating material to protect it. If you have a secure case for your phone, be sure to use it when you're running outside. FlipBelt's combination of Micropoly and Lycra can do an excellent job of insulation, and that extra layer can go a long way in protecting your phone from the elements.
• Try a Hand Warmer for Long Winter Runs: If you're a cold weather runner, you might already be familiar with hand warmers, those disposable and heat-activated pouches that can deliver mild heat for a few hours. For long runs where you're especially concerned about the cold, bring along a hand warmer. You can open it, shake it and use it to heat up your phone in an emergency. It's also helpful to have on hand if your fingers get chilly on the run.
If your phone keeps you safe while running, it is important to ensure that it is working well even in cold weather. With these tips, you can prevent your phone battery from dying in the cold, giving you peace of mind when you're logging miles outside.