Hitting the slopes or warmer locales for a winter vacation? Here’s a tip: Don’t forget to consider how extreme temperatures — on either side of the spectrum — can damage your phone. They can even void the warranty. In icy-cold temps, these handsets are designed to shut off automatically, and when the heat reaches scorching levels, it can permanently wreck the battery.

iphone-use-in-winterSo how do you know how much heat or cold your device can take? Well, the thresholds for the two most popular handsets — the iPhone (4 through 5) and Samsung Galaxy S III — are outlined in their environmental guidelines, so just follow these ranges to protect your phone and prolong its lifespan and battery.

  • Operating temp: 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Storing temp (turned off): -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Humidity: 5 to 95 percent, non-condensing
  • Maximum altitude: 10,000 feet


  • Consider using bluetooth earpieces or earbuds to place urgent calls, instead of taking your phone out of your pocket in cold weather.
  • Don’t leave your phone in the car, not even the glove box. Not only could it get broken into, but temps often run very hot or cold, depending on the climate.
  • Don’t leave your phone baking in direct sunlight, or use them for heavy duty tasks while in direct sunlight, like navigation or playing a processor-/graphics-intensive game. 

Got any other advice for safeguarding those smartphones this winter? Share them in the comments below.