It’s not global warming that makes your smartphone hot to the touch whenever you indulge in your favourite mobile game with the graphical settings tweaked to maximum. There are numerous factors that cause your phone to heat up more quickly than your oven toaster.
Being in tropical Malaysia, many drivers experience a warmer-than-usual phone while relying on navigation apps such as Waze or Google Maps. It does not help that modern smartphones come with a glass back that absorbs heat, and enabling GPS is one of the best ways to push your device’s performance to the hilt.
When things get too heated, more often than not, most new smartphones would either shut down to prevent damage to the circuitry, or provide a warning message that some of its functions will be limited to prevent further overheating.
The number of apps that are open and running silently in the background also impact the temperature of your device. If you chat all day long, or shoot videos and photos for prolonged periods, such power-intensive tasks will take a toll on your battery, which results in overheating.
Smartphone cameras continue to improve with each successive generation to deliver amazing photos and videos through tiny sensors, but constant snapping and shooting will certainly lead to an increase in the handset’s temperature.
And, with so many smartphone manufacturers offering fast-charging technology, batteries tend to heat up whenever they are being charged. Hence, overcharging your smartphone is never recommended.
With all this in mind, here are some ways you can ensure your phone remains within a reasonable temperature range even when you push it to its limits.
1. Be a vampire
Using garlic will do nothing but stink up your handset, but like the mythical vampire, it’s a good idea to keep your smartphone as far away from direct sunlight as possible to avoid overheating. This makes even more sense when you use it for navigation while driving or riding a motorcycle.
If possible, use a smartphone holder that is placed in front of an air-conditioner vent in your vehicle.
2. Not all chargers are good
Times are challenging, with high inflation and an overall increase in prices across the board. Still, this is not an excuse to settle for a cheap or fake third-party charger just because you want to save money.
Original chargers from the manufacturer are best suited to your smartphone, as you do not know what kind of components third-party chargers include. This could end up being a potential fire hazard, since many people tend to charge their devices while they sleep.
3. Reduce your screen brightness level
Cranking up the brightness level on your screen is always nice, especially when you are under direct sunlight. But a higher brightness level simply means your smartphone’s battery has to work harder, which increases its temperature.
Most smartphones have an auto-brightness setting, so you might want to enable this for a dynamic brightness level that maximises the battery life of your handset.
Newer smartphones also have higher refresh-rate options of 90Hz, 120Hz, and even 240Hz. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the screen scrolls, but this comes at the expense of battery life.
Reduce the refresh rate to the regular 60Hz to maximise your battery life and lower the number of times you need to charge your handset in a day, which in turn will help with temperature management.
4. Update your apps
There is a reason why apps and the mobile operating system (Android and iOS) are provided with updates. These not only ensure potential security issues are dealt with, but are also optimised to increase your handset’s efficiency.
When your smartphone is more efficient, it will be more frugal with the battery.
5. Close all unused apps
Your device likely contains apps that you hardly use. Make sure none are running in the background, as they tend to use up resources (processing power and battery life), contributing to the rise in temperature.
6. Get a cooling accessory
This might not be the coolest thing to bring with you, but a USB-powered fan that can be clipped to the back of your phone will help lower its temperature. It might sound contradictory with the smartphone battery being used to power the fan, but the energy output is minimal.
7. Remove the case
While protective cases work great for reducing or even avoiding damage to your handset, it isn’t that ideal for keeping the device cool. Rather, the protective case interferes with the heat-dissipation design of most smartphones, making it bake within more quickly.
8. Disable Bluetooth
Some folks leave Bluetooth enabled on their handsets all the time. If you are not using it, disable it. Having Bluetooth enabled will make your handset scan for something to connect to in the background, resulting in a temperature increase.
Not only does it consume unnecessary power, it is also a potential security risk.
Edwin Kee dreamt of being a pro-gamer only to have circumstances mould him into a programmer in a past life. He has since moved on to write about consumer electronics and other topics. Check out his blog at manatau.com.