How Delhi’s scorching heat puts smartphones to the ultimate test

This year, Delhi’s average temperature is hovering between 45 and 49°C

Updated - June 14, 2024 10:59 am IST

Published - June 14, 2024 08:05 am IST

How Delhi’s scorching heat puts smartphones to the ultimate test

How Delhi’s scorching heat puts smartphones to the ultimate test | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

Delhi’s average temperature is hovering between 45 and 49°C, making it unbearable for humans and difficult for machines to function properly.

Autorickshaw drivers in the city are facing a major issue with their smartphone. Direct sunlight on the device is making it too hot, putting its effectiveness to test and affecting the income-earning potential for drivers.

We talked to several autorickshaw drivers during the course of the summer, and most of them providing service through ride-hailing platforms like Uber, Ola and Rapido shared similar experiences with their smartphone.

They had to create a temporary shaded area for their phone by using a cloth, to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the phone’s screen. Usually, autorickshaw drivers tie their phones on top of the steering handle to get a proper view of the navigation app.

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They also sprinkle water on a piece of cloth placed over the phone to let it cool down. It may not be a good idea to do so, as it could lead to water ingress inside the phone and damage it.

While using navigation systems, a mobile phone continuously interacts with a mobile network and GPS, apart from running its own internal processes. This generates a lot of heat. And since the environment inside and outside of the auto is heating up, that makes the device turn off.

During this period, which roughly goes on for about an hour, drivers are unable to get a new ride or complete an ongoing one. And if they are unaware of the route, they have to take a different way to avoid traffic snarls.

Since most autorickshaw drivers use budget or a mid-range phone, heat dissipation feature in those devices is at sub-par levels compared to flagship devices. So, they rely on frugal innovations to cope with the heating issue.

Even gig workers are facing this heat-related challenge as they commute on two-wheelers for their work.

To reduce the heating of the phone, we can follow some of these simple steps
Remove the cover, if any, from the phone
Do not use your phone under direct sunlight
Minimise screen’s brightness manually
Close background apps and their notifications
Avoid playing games or binge watching OTT content/videos
Reduce heavy usage between 10 am and 6 pm
Place your phone in an area with good ventilation
Do not keep your phone in your pocket for too long
Use the company-provided charger for charging
Do not charge your device beyond 80%
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