A few weeks ago, I noticed a rather large bulge in my pants.
“Is that a phone in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” my wife asked.
“Err…it’s a phone in my pocket,” I said, and whipped it out to show her. (THE PHONE, people! Sheesh. Clamor down.)
This was certainly odd. I’d had my Google Pixel 3 for three and a half years with nary an issue. Suddenly, however, it had developed what looked like a tumor. The back of the phone was bulging so badly, it was busting out of its polycarbonate case, tearing apart the plastic right along the seams.
I had no choice but to remove the case. Over the next couple of weeks, my phone continued to expand ominously, much like a pre-eruption Mount St. Helens as magma built up in the core. At this point, I figured it was time to think about getting a new phone. I hate the constant cycle of upgrading every couple of years. This was the longest I’d owned a phone, and it still worked perfectly fine! Other than, you know, threatening to split apart into two pieces.
I ignored the problem for a couple more weeks, but things weren’t getting any better, so this morning I Googled, why does my phone look like it’s going to split in half?
The answer was much worse than I’d imagined. A swollen battery, according to the interwebs. I’d never heard of this phenomenon before, but learned that, while not common, heat and gas can build up inside lithium-ion batteries, causing them to swell. This isn’t just inconvenient; it’s downright dangerous. Allow me to quote from Tom’s Guide:
I don’t want to give the impression that a phone with a swollen battery is a ticking time bomb. In fact, the odds are against it on a charge-by-charge basis. But if you continue using that damaged device indefinitely, you’re looking at a burst battery venting some very unpleasant gases, at best — and, at worst, if you keep your phone in your pocket, a small fire right next to body parts that don’t react well to flames.
I let out a little yelp when reading that and practically tossed my phone across the room like it was a hot potato. Which…umm…it could have been! I didn’t want it anywhere near my pants pocket, no sirree. That’s much too close to body parts that don’t react well to flames.
Side note: are there any body parts that do react well to flames?!
This is why, three hours later, I was the proud owner of a shiny new Pixel 6 Pro. Go big or go home, right? Literally. The new phone is a monster compared to the old one. Funny how silicon chips keep shrinking but the phones they power just get bigger and bigger.
Oh, well. The family jewels are no longer in immediate danger of being incinerated (shudder), which is all that really matters.
Probably the most annoying thing about the whole experience is, my new phone didn’t recognize my old Wordle, so all my stats were wiped out. Which is a bummer, but on the positive side, that one word I couldn’t figure out in six guesses back in April is ancient history and my winning percentage is back up to 100%.
More than one person tried to talk me into getting an iPhone. No way…I’m Team Android, baby. Which is weird, because I refuse to ever own a computer that isn’t a Mac. And yet, as much as I like my Google phone, I whine if I’m forced to use Google Docs over Microsoft Word.
Clearly, I’m a conundrum. Either that, or I like to spread the wealth between Bill Gates, Tim Cook, and Sundar Pichai.
Ever experience a swollen battery? Do you prefer Android or iOS phones? How brand loyal are you when it comes to electronics?