Designed in sunny California, the iPhone isn’t too good at handling the cold – in fact, Apple only guarantees it will work between 0°C and 35°C. Finns however encounter cold winters often, so a group of them started wondering – which phone will last the most in freezing cold?
They took the 15 of the most popular phones in Finland and decided to do a test – all the way down to -40°C. They plotted when phones first started exhibiting problems and when they stopped working completely.
The test started at 0°C and the temperature was dropped by 5° at a time. At the freezing point, all phones worked fine. At -5°C, the Nokia N9‘s battery reported “almost empty”, while the iPhone 4S experienced SIM card issues. The iPhone surrendered at -10°C.
All LCD screens reportedly had issues below -10°, while AMOLEDs were more resilient.
You can read the blow-by-blow over at MacWorld.co.uk (hit the source link). Here’s the chart that shows what happened – first issues are shown in the left column, while the right column shows when the phones died.
The winners are interesting – the unassuming Nokia C1-01 and the half a decade old Nokia E65. Both experienced problems early on (-15°C) but didn’t die until -40°C. Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy S II (a flagship device) lasted as long as the tough Samsung Galaxy Xcover. To its credit though, the Xcover was the last phone to work issue-free all the way to the frost-bound end at -35°C.