Smartphones in a sub-zero environment: Can your phone stand the cold?

PC World Finland put devices to the test

By Ossi Jääskeläinen, MikroPC |  Consumerization of IT

When the temperature drops, the viscosity of the liquid crystal material grows exponentially. Depending on the material used in the liquid crystals, the viscosity grows 2-3 times larger when the temperature drops 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit). This means the pixel changes its color slower in the cold.

When it's cold enough, the pixel acts so slow that it can't change its color fully before the next frame is already drawn on the screen. This is when the display seems to work slowly and ghosting or image blur appears on the screen.

In AMOLED displays the colors are produced with a layer covered in organic material, organic light emitting diodes. This lack of liquid crystals explains why AMOLED displays work better in the cold.

Manufacturer

Model

Warranty

Operating Temperature (1

Storage Temperature (1

Battery

Display panel

Touch screen

Apple

iPhone 4

1 year(s)

0--35⁰C, 32-95⁰F

-20--45⁰C, -4--113⁰F

Lithium polymer (3

LCD

capacitive

Apple

iPhone 4S

1 year(s)

0--35⁰C, 32-95⁰F

-20--45⁰C, -4--113⁰F

Lithium polymer (3

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