Mobile phones grew exponentially more and more advanced ever since their introduction in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Barely two decades later, they’re now legitimate pocket-sized computers that can play some of the latest video games. Yet, a device that is small and powerful comes with its own drawback, namely smartphone overheating.
Because right now, computer technology relies on electricity fueling its calculations and how well it can make those pixels beautiful. And almost anything that feeds on electricity produces heat. The same goes for smartphones– even the ones that fold.
Desktop computers and even laptops, to a certain extent experience overheating as well, but they’re easily able to dissipate this heat thanks to their ample and large cooling solutions.
Smartphones, on the other hand, are small devices whose cooling solutions are significantly weaker. Hence, smartphone overheating– especially during gaming is a common problem and can even lead to faster device degradation over a long enough usage.
In order to alleviate such issues, we have some tips and practices you can perform if you want to minimize or avoid smartphone overheating.
Lower the Framerate Limit
A lot of smartphones with the latest chipsets tend to be boastful with their advertising but they usually fail to mention that they get hot– almost worryingly so. It’s quite noticeable especially if you’re playing games like Genshin Impact or Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. The back of the phone can get hot enough to irritate the touch.
The solution is simple yet probably not for everyone.
You just lower put a cap on the game’s performance so that the chipset doesn’t get too strained. If the game is running at 60 or 120 FPS (frames per second), you might want to cut it down to just 30 or whichever you’re comfortable with.
It’s a drastic difference in smoothness and responsiveness, however. That’s why we mentioned that it’s not the best solution for all cases. However, since your phone is now putting out fewer frames to render and color, it’s using fewer resources and thus, runs cooler.
Some phones come equipped with advanced cooling solutions that can handle 60 to 120 FPS in the latest mobile games without worrying you with its heat, but those are naturally more expensive. You won’t find such robust cooling solutions on budget phones ($300+ USD), which is what most people usually have.
Lowering the framerate limit varies from each game. However, you can just look into the game’s settings (usually under “video” or “graphics” to set the framerate limit).
Stay In Cool Rooms
By cool, we refer to air-conditioned rooms or windy areas. Or just about any area with an ambient temperature that doesn’t exceed 24 degrees Celsius.
This way, the ambient temperature can somewhat act as the cooling solution for your phone. If you’re playing video games on your phone, then it’s better to just stay in a cool area where there’s no direct sunlight to heat up the phone even further.
You might even be able to play with a higher framerate limit if you stay in a cool room. You can also blow an electric fan on your phone as a more aggressive method of reducing its temperature.
Remove the Phone Case/Protection
Phone cases are almost mandatory these days due to how most smartphones are glossy and are trying to be jewelry pieces with their designs.
But having a phone case on while you’re playing your heaviest mobile games is often one of the causes of smartphone overheating.
These phones– when they were tested, presumably had no protective cases on, which is why these cases can skew the thermal performance.
It usually doesn’t matter which phone case you’re rocking– even if they have perforations to ‘help’ with cooling. A bare phone will still be cooler than a phone with a case since there’s nothing blocking the seams and the exhaust areas.
Of course, there’s still the possibility that your phone will still be too hot to the touch despite the case’s removal. In that case, check out other solutions.
Low Power Mode & Closing Other Programs
Each customized Android version (depending on the brand) has different variations of low-power mode and different ways of handling their task managers.
But if you want to be sure, you can enable a forced low-power mode in the notification menu or bar (usually). Meanwhile, a lot of phones also come with their own task manager interface (left button). Close all applications in the task manager to clear up memory and potentially improve performance and thermals while you’re playing a game.
This won’t always result in lower temperatures, but it’s still worth trying as it only takes a few seconds to perform this method.
Don’t Play While Charging
Phones now have fast-charging capabilities, allowing them to take in more power to cut charging time to less than an hour.
That’s why you should also religiously avoid playing with or using your smartphone while it’s charging. It will not only overheat but the battery will also degrade faster since it’s losing power fast while charging. Of course, charging time will also take a lot longer.
In some cases, the phone might even completely shut down due to the heat or in rare instances, it can explode due to the excess heat and the volatility of exposed lithium-ion batteries.
For better measures, don’t play while the phone is nearly in its low-battery mode.
Use a Phone Cooler
Turns out there are third-party phone coolers available.
These are small fans that you stick magnetically on the back of your phone– usually in the hotspot area while you’re playing. Depending on the phone model, this can work.
Don’t put your full trust in it, however, as it’s not the most foolproof solution. Some models simply do not work and some phones don’t welcome this kind of cooling.
Most of these phone coolers cost anywhere from $20 to $40 with some premium brands such as Razer going as high as $90.
Take a Break
Or, you can always just put the phone down when it’s getting too hot. This usually happens after around 30 minutes to a few hours of heavy gaming usage.
It’s not the best solution but it’s the safest and most affordable. Also, it could be the healthiest for both you and your phone. Stretch those slouched neck and shoulders a bit, go outside, or look at something else for a few minutes before going back to play on your phone.
It’s one of the best ways to avoid smartphone overheating.