Smartphones Failing In The Cold Weather? – Our Top Tips To Help

The cold is often overlooked by businesses. Are your smartphones failing when the weather gets cold and wet? This article looks at real life reasons and solutions where businesses have solved their cold weather problems with rugged smartphones.

Consumer grade phones and tablets can work for your business, but when the weather gets cold, dark and wet you may start to see your smartphones failing. This is when your business will really start to see the benefits of a more durable smartphone. Here are our top 5 reasons why:

Smartphones failing because of the battery?

The battery in a consumer device will probably be foil wrapped and non-replaceable. Rugged devices have replaceable batteries that are hard plastic coated, giving them a little bit of extra insulation from the cold and as such, they tend to be rated at about 10 degrees lower. You’ll see smartphones failing in this category because the batteries are simply not thought about in terms of toughness.

Add to this, the batteries in rugged devices also tend to be larger, our Raptor R5 has a class-leading 6000mAh battery, so when the cold sets in and the inevitable battery capacity issues hit, having a lot bigger battery in the first place will get through that working day!

If all else fails and even your rugged smartphones fail in severe weather, then you can simply take a spare battery from your nice warm coat pocket and swap it out. Try doing that with an iPhone!


Rugged devices not only have cases that are built with ruggedness in mind, but they’re also grippy and rubberised so they’re harder to drop. They also have cases that are built to withstand prolonged exposure to the cold and wet and they don’t bend, warp or degrade over time like a consumer device will.

Rugged connectors

Connectors in consumer smartphones are always exposed. Sure they’re apparently waterproof, however, water and cold weather can still get into them causing many issues over time. Corrosion, mould, grit and sand entering the connectors all add up to a faulty device over time, which could short out and break the whole main board.¬† Rugged devices have 2 ways to overcome this. Firstly, many rugged devices come with special rugged connectors that withstand the cold. Secondly, even rugged smartphones with micro-USB connectors come with string rubber flaps that keep them safe whilst not in use.

Foggy Displays

It’s not just about low or high temperatures, but also sudden fluctuation of temperatures and that can often affect a consumer device by creating condensation inside the screen. Rugged devices that are sealed against the weather don’t suffer from this, whereas you’ll see smartphones failing badly here.

condensation will often see a smartphone fail

condensation will often see a smartphone fail


The cold can freeze buttons on consumer devices which can make them brittle and in turn damage the connection inside. We see a lot of smartphones failing in this area when it gets cold and wet. Rugged devices often have tough rubber coated buttons that not only seal them from the wet but give them resistance to cold scenarios too as they are designed to function even at low sub-zero temperatures.

If your consumer devices are getting affected by the cold weather then maybe it’s time to switch to a rugged device!!

Posted by "Durable" Dave

My background is web/mobile software, mobile hardware, where I worked with some of the earliest PDA's on the market from HP and Microsoft and data capture where i've sold all of the main brands of rugged kit you'll find!

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