Is it hot in here, or is it just my phone?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: September 22, 2013

Have you ever noticed that with smartphones becoming more powerful and using bigger and better components to fill them that there seems to be a growing number of "exploding" cell phones in the news? I have! Every time one hits the news I'm not sure what to think of it. Part of me tells myself that it was user error and they did something wrong, but at the same time, it's not completely unbelievable for some of these phones to blow up every once in a while. They're pretty powerful little devices now.

I mean, given how many smartphones are out and about in the world, it's probably not doing too shabby when it comes to how many have blown up vs. how many are floating around. It's not that you hear about exploding devices all the time, of course, but when you do, or at least when I do, I do start to wonder exactly what factors were behind it that let it get to that way. Like the iPhone that blew up on an airplane, or the Motorola Droid 2 that blew up in some guy's ear while getting into his car, or the Galaxy S III that spontaneously combusted into flames while in a holster during transit. It doesn't seem to happen with a particular model more than any others, it just randomly happens sometimes.

At first I just passed it off as hey, these things happen. Nothing is perfect, not even smartphones. Yes, it is entirely possible for one of them to malfunction without any user causing the underlying issue. But recently I've been having my own issues in regards to heat production in smartphones - it keeps happening.

The most recent case of a phone exploding is a Samsung Galaxy S4, which started sizzling and ended up burning a hole through a man's jacket, and even singed his fingertips when he tried to remove the device once he realized what was happening. I was intrigued because I myself had heat issues with my Samsung Galaxy S 4 when I first got it, and had read up on the issue. And I didn't mean that it was just getting warm. I mean that I would send a text message and that thing could cook an egg. I would have to set it down because it was too uncomfortable to hold for a long period of time. After looking up the issue I was having to find a fix, I found that many others were experiencing the same problem.

I switched to the HTC One for a number of reasons from the Galaxy S 4, but the heat issue was definitely one of them. At first, I didn't experience the same issue with my HTC One. I still don't, at least not to the level of the Galaxy S 4, but it does produce quite a bit of extra heat in the back if I'm running enough applications. I expect it would feel a lot worse if I didn't have a case on it. It's still a little worrisome that my two newest devices produce a noticeable amount of heat. Is it the larger battery, the better processor, the camera? I don't recall having a major heating issue with any devices before, but all of a sudden my two newest phones have the issue.

I'm not saying that it's a huge issue with every phone, but I do find it pecular how much more noticeable the heat is in these two newer devices. I expect the heat when I'm doing any graphic intensive task like playing a game, or if I'm outside and it's hotter than blazes. But there are just certain instances, like in an air conditioned house where it almost feels cold and doing nothing more than sending a text message, where heat shouldn't be an issue. I would really hate to have my phone blow up, because to be quite honest I just don't look my best when I have to stop, drop and roll.

Readers, have you had a phone that gave off incredible amounts of heat? Have you had your phone damaged due to overheating? Share with us your stories in the comments below!

Image via Koin, Phone Doctors