If I hear one more person complain about the cold weather…

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Seriously, I’ve been complaining too. Whenever I leave the house I have to remember a hat, gloves and boots. Then I have to scrape ice or snow off the windshield and I’m doing all of those things carrying an expensive smartphone. I forget sometimes that the device in my hands cost around $1,000 and here I am, struggling to hold it while my other hand is clutching a $2 cup of coffee.

Cold weather is not good for electronic devices like a tablet, computer or smartphone and we all have a smartphone with us at all times.

You’ve probably noticed that a smartphone battery runs down faster when it’s cold. Accidentally leave the phone in your car and you’ll come back to find the battery has quickly drained and is in need of a full-charge. There are some things to think about to keep your device charged and, more importantly, operating. Here are some suggestions:

  • When you’re going to be outside for awhile, keep your phone warm by keeping it close to your body.
  • Keep it in your pocket to make sure it’s warm and dry, but this can be a challenge when someone’s always calling or texting you, so…
  • Use a Bluetooth headset. Siri and Google Assistant can read text messages and make calls just by asking. Your phone never needs to leave your pocket.
  • My favorite inexpensive headset is from Anker. It wraps around the back of your head and has a discrete microphone (you’ll never see it) to play music or make/receive calls.
  • My favorite one-ear headset is the Voyager from Plantronics. This one will announce who’s calling and ask if you’d like to answer it.
  • Even if you can hold your phone, if you’re wearing gloves the phone won’t recognize your fingerprint to unlock it or swipe the screen and if you try taking off a glove to use the phone, that’s when you can drop it. If you need to buy gloves by a pair with heat-touch. Columbia makes Omni-Heat Touch Gloves that are compatible with touch screens.
  • Remember that cold weather makes phone screens more fragile. A simple drop while you’re trying to take off a glove can result in a very expensive repair. A good shock-proof case will protect the screen.
  • Dropping a phone in snow is almost as bad as dropping it in water. Catalyst makes waterproof and shockproof cases for almost all smartphones. I use one for my iPhone X, and I like how it keeps my phone save but doesn’t add a lot of bulk.
  • If your phone has been out in the cold for a long time, it’s a good idea to let it reach room temperature before using it. Condensation is created when a phone or lens goes from cold to warm. It’s a great idea to shut down the phone once you come inside and not turn it back on until it reaches room temperature.

We often think about heat and water damaging the phone in the summer but winter can be just as brutal. To us, and our devices.