Smartphones, Tablets & Wearables

Cell phone gets hot: Why is that and what are the solutions?

When it’s summer outside and the sun is shining brightly, it’s easy for a cell phone to get hot. You will certainly have experienced this at least once. But in many cases, it’s not the climatic conditions that cause a hot smartphone. Even in the bitterly cold winter, the phone’s casing can suddenly become very warm or even terribly hot. Here, the cause for the temperature increase often slumbers under the hood of the device. This is especially the case when gaming or using other power-hungry apps. However, it is not uncommon for the temperature to rise and the phone to get hot even when simply charging the battery. Today we’ll explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

Mobile phone gets hot: In most cases no problem

Behind a hot smartphone is usually not a big problem that you need to worry about. To understand the main cause, you just need to visualize how it works. In a smartphone, hardware elements work just like we know them from a computer. This includes the processor and graphics unit. These are demanded when you use a performance-hungry app or play corresponding games. This applies to inexpensive low-budget phones as well as to expensive flagships. Since the elements work in a very small space and heat is generated, it has to be dissipated. Consequently, the case gets warm. You usually do not have to worry about this. However, the heat can sometimes be too much of a good thing. After all, too much heat generated over a longer period of time can, in the worst case, cause damage to the hardware itself.

Mobile phone gets hot: What are the causes?

However, this does not mean that you have to quit an app or a game at the drop of a hat once your smartphone gets a little warmer. Rather, the heat development is quite normal. This is at least the case when the phone gets hot for an understandable reason and the heat development is not too strong. There are two basic scenarios in which the device may get hot without you having to worry about it. First, smartphones get warm when you charge their battery. Here, especially devices that offer a fast-charging function sometimes reach very high temperatures.

cell phone gets hot
Direct sunlight is one of the most common reasons for a hot cell phone.

Heat buildup occurs in this case because the battery fluid is set ablaze. Furthermore, power-hungry games and applications cause heating up. In this case, it is not the battery, but the rest of the hardware that heats up. Especially the processor and graphics unit have to give everything to keep the performance as good as possible in these cases. If you own a gaming notebook or put your hand on a gaming console or desktop PC after an extensive gaming session, you will notice a very similar phenomenon.

Mobile phones are getting hot: Smartphones are getting stronger

But why do many question the temperature increases of their smartphones so strongly, especially in recent years? Behind this is clearly the immense increase in performance that the devices have experienced. Smartphones offer much more potent hardware than was the case a few years ago. On the other hand, not too much has changed in terms of the housings. Quite the opposite. Due to their partly even thinner design, the ventilation of many smartphones is even significantly worse than it was the case a few years ago. Since many devices offer protection against dirt and water penetration on top of that, air circulation is usually not possible at all. However, you can be sure that the manufacturers usually design their hardware in such a way that it can withstand the heat development. There are certain protection mechanisms in case of an emergency. For example, the device terminates the application or switches itself off completely. This prevents hardware defects.

Mobile phone gets hot: Be careful with battery and app use

Although you do not automatically have to fear a defect if your smartphone gets a little warmer, a permanently too hot hardware is not good for the device. Accordingly, there are some basic rules that you should follow when using your phone. Let’s start with the battery. It is advisable that you do not completely discharge the battery of your smartphone. Deep discharge can cause the battery to cool down to such an extent that the next time you connect it to the mains, the heat generated will be even higher.

Mobile phone gets hot
Too fast charging can also be responsible for a hot smartphone

But you should also avoid charging too quickly if possible. Meanwhile, there are devices that already charge with a power of over 100 watts. This may save a lot of time, but it is also an immense effort for the battery. You don’t only feel the energy released by the hot casing. In the long run, incorrect charging behavior can also damage the battery and the rest of the hardware. Accordingly, you should avoid completely discharging the battery as well as charging it too quickly.

Mobile phone gets hot: The right app use

Even when using apps, a few small rules of conduct can ensure that your smartphone doesn’t get too hot. If a too hot device bothers you, you should refrain from using power-hungry apps for too long. On top of that, it might be worth taking a look at your task manager. After all, many low-powered apps can lead to overtaxed hardware if they are open at the same time. It is best to only use the apps that you really need at the moment. In connection with this, you should also consider which smartphone apps you actually need on the device. You can delete the unnecessary ones without hesitation and thus also reduce the load on your smartphone. After all, this frees up memory, which in turn reduces the load on the system.

Mobile phone gets hot: solutions

Regardless of the reasons for a hot smartphone, many naturally ask themselves what solution there is for the sudden rise in temperature. Here, you should first make sure that your smartphone is not in close proximity to a heat source. In particular, if you have the device in your pocket and stand near a barbecue or location fire, for example, the phone might get hot. It is equally important to avoid direct sunlight. This is especially relevant in midsummer, when the sun is particularly aggressive. Instead, it’s best to place the device in a shady spot or at least in your pants pocket.

handy wird heiß
Passionate mobile gamer? Then your smartphone has surely become hot as well.

If the high temperature of your smartphone doesn’t change, it’s best to turn it off first. Restart it after a few hours. This ensures that the hardware gets a rest. Some people might get the idea to cool the smartphone in the fridge in view of the high device temperature. You should definitely refrain from doing that. After all, you will achieve the exact opposite and harm the device rather than help it. The sudden temperature difference and the high humidity can cause condensation, which can lead to water damage. In this case, it is better to put the smartphone in the cellar or in another cool, but dry place.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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When it’s summer outside and the sun is shining brightly, it’s easy for a cell phone to get hot. You will certainly have experienced this at least once. But in many cases, it’s not the climatic conditions that cause a hot smartphone. Even in the bitterly cold winter, the phone’s casing can suddenly become very … (Weiterlesen...)

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