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Why your phone overheats: 4 reasons, and how to stop it


    It is normal for any smartphone to warm up a little during use. That is not anything to be bothered about. What is really problematic is when the temperature becomes alarming. If you touch your phone, and it feels unusually hot, it is overheating. Why does a phone overheat? There are a number of reasons why this happens, and we will get to them in a minute. But overheating can cause irreparable damage to your cell phone.

    As such, an overheating smartphone is a serious matter. Heat in your phone can lead to internal damage, and in some cases, combustion can happen. You probably have read some news about a smartphone that caught fire or “exploded”. Read on to understand some reasons why your phone overheats.

    why your smartphone overheats

    A few reasons why your smartphone is overheating

    One of the most common reasons why your phone may be overheating is overuse. Sometimes, you are on your smartphone for hours on end, juggling between watching YouTube and posting updates on social media, while checking the occasional email, and responding to chat from your friends.

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    How hard you push your phone is directly proportional to how warm or hot it gets. This is science. So, sometimes, lay off a bit and give the poor thing some breathing space. Go rustle up a meal or snack, garden, watch TV, play a physical game, get some sleep, or get some work done on your laptop PC. Let the phone breathe.

    Another reason why your phone overheats is the weather. Hello! You are here in Nigeria, sitting directly on the Equator. The sun is almost always angry and scorching. As such, everything heats up here – cars, overhead water tanks, and yes; even your smartphone. Cell phones have a higher propensity to heat up in this climate. One of the reasons I do not use a case on my phones, by default, is the weather. That is, apart from the fact that my smartphones are just drop-dead gorgeous and deserve to be seen naked.

    Putting a case on your phone will protect it from that inevitable appointment with the concrete floor, but it also means that your smartphone will overheat more, even when you are not using it. Now, image how bad things can get when you are overusing it.

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    Charging tends to warm up the average smartphone, to some degree. Charging your phone in a poorly ventilated enclosed space will turn up the heat a bit more. For example, charging your smartphone in a car without air conditioning in the afternoon is a recipe for a cooked experience. It will heat up. If you intend to use a car charger regularly during the daytime, as much as possible, make sure that your car a/c works. If the car a/c is out of commission, keep an eye on the phone’s temperature, and be sure to unplug it when it gets a little too warm.

    Lastly, some phones overheat because the manufacturer did a shoddy job. Google Pixel fans will come for my head for saying this, but every Pixel smartphone I have used had an overheating problem. All of them, and I have used three so far. You make a call, and they immediately start warming up. You are recording a video and they heat up. There really isn’t much you can do to eliminate the issue, though you can reduce it. The fault is from the manufacturer.

    What to do when your phone overheats

    The logical thing to do when your devices heat up is to remove the reason that is happening in the first place. If you have been using your smartphone non-stop for hours, and it heats up, put it down in a cool, airy location, so it can cool off. If you are charging it in a car or some other stuffy location, unplug it and put it down for a while. In a situation where the weather is the culprit, take off the phone case, put down the phone for a while, find a place out of the direct glare of the sun.

    In a car, keep your phone away from the dashboard and other spots where direct sunlight beams on. The dashboard is almost always the hottest part of the interior of a car. Keep your phone, and indeed any electronics, away from the dashboard. Don’t place or use your phone around sources of heat – like a cooker, oven, furnace, or a burning fire.

    Most importantly, one thing that you must do when your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone overheats is to put it down. Put the damn phone down and live a little. Man shall not live by cell phones only. There are scores of activities you can engage in while your precious smartphone is cooling off.

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