What Happens to Your Smartphone When it Overheats?

Mobile phones, especially smartphones, can be damaged by overheating. Overheating affects your phone’s performance, and can eventually lead to owning an expensive paperweight. While not overly common, overheating phones have been in the news recently: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 incident reminded the public that overheating phones can have serious consequences. So why do smartphones overheat and what damage does it do to your phone? We’re answering all this and more while we explain exactly what happens when your smartphone overheats.

But first, we need to know…

Where is the heat coming from?

When a phone gets too hot, typically the heat comes from the battery, processor, or screen. These components all produce heat: chemicals inside the battery create power, the processor transfers data at light speed, and your phone’s screen emits light.

If you’re experiencing your Android phone heating up, you may have a clue to what the issue is by where the heat is coming from.

Back of the phone

If your phone is getting hot, it may be because the battery is overheating. Lithium-ion batteries pack a lots of power in a smaller package and most modern mobile phones use them.

Bottom of the phone

Check that the bottom of your phone is cool to the touch during charging — if so, the problem might be with the charger.

What Happens When You Overheat Your Smartphone?

Many System on Chip (SoC) devices are engineered to handle the risk of overheating, allowing your phone to operate at a safer temperature. Faster and more powerful chips actually exacerbate problems with severe and frequent overheat events because they generate heat faster than the cooler-running SoC could process it. The first warning sign is usually that a phone screen gets very hot, followed by an inescapable shutdown.

When your smartphone shorts out and causes physical damage the two most important areas are the battery and SoC.


Li-ion batteries are the best rechargeable batteries out there. However, they may present different problems than other batteries. Li-ion batteries can become degraded over time and behave unpredictably when exposed to high temperatures. The first issue with these batteries is that they age or degrade even if not in use. Your battery will operate well for a few years but as it degrades, your smartphone’s performance decreases because the battery overheats. The second problem is that lithium-ion batteries can be damaged by overheating and this causes them to age rapidly and deteriorate faster.

System on Chip (SOC)

Your smartphone’s semiconductor core, or SoC, can be permanently damaged by overheating if you use the device for an extended period of time and it is not properly cooled. If you have poor WiFi connections and Bluetooth use, your phone could overheat while watching Netflix or playing games. Watching too much Netflix on a mobile device could also cause your phone to overheat, damaging the Atmel chip inside of your device.

Adhesive Damage

Heat can also damage the adhesives that hold your phone together, increasing risk for water damage and undesirable dust particles. When more dust finds its way into the device, these adhesives can start to degrade, creating gaps which let water in.


Phone overheating in a long period might result in the damage of your phone battery or SOC. So it is important not to let your phone in such situation. Some usefull ways are to install a cooling app or use a phone cooler from iphonecooler.com if you have to use your phone constantly. Or more simply, stop using your phone when it is overheated. Leave it rest and do some sport instead.

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