How well does the iPhone 5S handle cold temperatures?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by beysus, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. beysus macrumors member

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    Dec 11, 2012
    #1
    I got an iPhone 4S and still like it. Using it during winter time is a mess though. Simply because when it's about 0° Celsius outside, the battery drains rapidly. I know batteries work worse in the cold but I still find it a little too extreme...

    So I was wondering if Apple did something to make the new iPhone less sensitive to cooler temperatures?
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #2
    The listed operating temperatures are the same for the iPhone 4s and 5s. I don't imagine there is much Apple can do about the limitations of Li-Ion batteries.
     
  3. beysus thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 11, 2012
    #3
    Too bad! I mean I recall reading an article back when the 4s and the Galaxy SII were current models and the Galaxy endured the cold much longer. That's why I think there have to be differences depending on which batteries, which architecture and what kind of materials are used.
     
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    But you don't have it exposed to the cold ALL THE TIME do you? It spends most of its time in your pockets next to your warm body does it not?
     
  5. beysus thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 11, 2012
    #5
    It does, which makes it even more weird to me. I carry it in my trousers pocket listening to music most of the times and with Edge on. Using it on 3G for let's say look for directions or checking the train's schedule which doesn't take forever usually is really a problem if you want to keep your battery percentage high...
     
  6. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #6
    I thought that batteries actually held their charges better at low temperatures. It's suggested that batteries that aren't being used for an extended time be kept in the fridge to slow their rate of discharge. On the other hand, extreme heat shortens a battery's lifespan.
     
  7. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #7
    Surely you mean 3G and LTE, not EDGE and 3G?

    You haven't been able to force EDGE on an iPhone since the 4.

    Also, I've found the battery usage difference between LTE and 3G to be a wash. Sure, LTE uses more power, but it tends to finish with the radio much sooner so it uses the same amount of energy long term. LTE is also more efficient at being idle.

    ----------

    Batteries are less efficient when they are cold, though. Their internal resistance is higher, meaning more energy is wasted inside the battery itself when current is drawn.

    This is also one of the reasons cars like the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf don't do as well in cold climates. Luckily the large, heavy battery packs in these cars coupled with the high power consumption of a vehicle causes them to warm up. You don't have that luxury with a phone. :)
     
  8. Jimbo47 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #8
    I used mine in 26 degree weather (Western Pennsylvania) and it shut down after 5 minutes. The battery was at 70%, dropped to 50% and shut down. It said it was dead when I tried to power it back on. I let it get warm again, and it restarted with the battery percentage at 67%. Apple says it won't operate below 32 degrees; and most manufactures have the same temperature threshold.
     
  9. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #9
    Yup. Best way to deal with this is to keep it in an inside pocket, where your body keeps it warm.
     
  10. beysus thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 11, 2012
    #10
    Thanks Jimbo47 for your input!

    No, I meant it the exact way I said it. You actually can switch off 3G and use just Edge or if not available GPRS. When the iPhone 4s came out Apple took away the option to do that but due to many people protesting the brought it back with some update. Anyways, the iPhone 4s doesn't even have a LTE module.
     
  11. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #11
    I lived in alaska and used iphones in negative 40. No issues.
     
  12. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 3, 2013
    #12
    If you phone is kept in a pocket against your body or even inside a coat you should be fine.

    The chemistry of the battery determines how it will operate in cold. Most batteries decrease in available power as their temp drops and will recover when warmed.

    This is really a non-issue unless you leave you phone out in the open or car overight in very cold temps.

    Maybe your 4S battery is bad or going bad.
     
  13. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #13
    Last night here in Denver, I was working outside in -5 temps and the phone was fine. I did have to enter my passcode because the sensor didn't seem to want to work.

    Battery didn't drain any more than it did if it had been inside all night.
     
  14. Toby Ziegler macrumors regular

    Toby Ziegler

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    Gallifrey
    #14
    At those temperatures I'd be more worried about condensation forming inside the case when it warms up again.
     
  15. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Colorado
    #15
    That's never been a problem with any iPhone or any other phone in those cold temps.
     
  16. CTHarrryH macrumors 65816

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #16
    I can sort of relate how my 3gs does. I use it as an ipod and keep it plugged in to the connector in my car. I live in Maine and my car sits outside.
    So when I get in the car in the morning - it has a message on it with a big warning triangle that says it is too HOT and must cool down before it can work. Too HOT eh -not likely.
    Anyway it takes about 5 minutes in my pocket to warm up enough to work. But I laugh when I read the too HOT message.
     
  17. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #17
    I'm honestly not being argumentative when I ask how you know? The operational low end is 32F operating and -4F nonoperating. The relative humidity is given as 5% - 95% noncondensing. Because they called out noncondensing I understand about moisture collecting on the outside and possibly entering the phone, but wouldn't that also be a risk inside the phone since it isn't sealed? If the phone is turned on I expect the internals would keep the air inside warmer and dryer than the outside air. But if it was turned off...

    Despite my ongoing efforts to not do so, I'm trying to get smarterer.
     
  18. ajt1995 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2013
    #18
    A CNET torture test showed the iPhone 5 go into a freezer for an hour with no adverse affect on the battery.
     

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