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[BUG?] Taking picture with flash in low charge state causes shutdown

asked 2014-02-02 02:38:36 +0300

J24 gravatar image

updated 2015-03-24 01:11:55 +0300

I tried to take a picture with flash the ambient temperature being around -10°C. As a result the phone shut down immediately after the flash fired. I turned the device back on and repeated trying to take a picture. The phone shut down again exactly as before. Battery was 29% after the second boot. Neither of the pictures were saved.

I have not yet tried to reproduce this later. I am not sure if this has nothing to do with the temperature, it is simply the only explanation I came up with. Otherwise I've had no problems with the camera and no sudden shutdowns. Anyone experiencing similar problems?

EDIT1: According to comments this seems to be battery charge state/voltage related rather than just operating temperature. Edited title and tags accordingly.

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I'm pretty sure my GPS signal has got lost at two occasions while standing outside in the cold (-20C). I haven't reproduced this yet and it was before Naamankajärvi update. FYI

Wizah ( 2014-02-02 12:20:01 +0300 )edit

Mobile electronic devices with batteries, in cold climates, need to be kept inside warm clothing and only brought out briefly to use before the temperature of the battery drops. running Lithium batteries cold severely shortens their usable life:(


richardski ( 2014-02-02 22:38:03 +0300 )edit

I just experienced it, at around 15 degrees. It might be related to the impedance issue the battery/phone connection is experiencing according to some users.

Low ( 2014-04-12 01:38:09 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2014-02-02 12:07:53 +0300

jsiren gravatar image

This may be a feature of the battery chemistry rather than the phone. Cold temperature degrades battery performance rather steeply. Depending on how long you had the device out in the cold, the battery may have cooled down enough that it wasn't able to deliver the required current, resulting in a voltage drop, hence the shutdown.

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I totally agree, it'a a matter of battery not phone. Iper professional reflex are declared to works from 0° to +40° or 45° or some, because of battery. Sure yo can use one of it also at -30° but the battery discharge very very fast. The requested current taking a pic with flash probably pushed the phone to shut down especially because battery level was quite low at that moment.

gordon_pcb_designer ( 2014-02-02 12:54:23 +0300 )edit

I am suspecting this myself and thus wrote the report with 'hardware' tag. Here I consider battery as part of the phone. Not sure if "bug" is the right term for this as this might not fix? We propably need more people to confirm this and an answer from Jolla support to conclude as noted by rsainio.

J24 ( 2014-02-02 16:21:34 +0300 )edit

Not being Jolla tech support, but having worked with batteries in outdoor applications, maybe I can shed some light on the battery side of things. The battery is indeed a component of the device, but subject to its chemistry, which you really can't do much about. Cold affects li-ion batteries by increasing internal resistance. In simple terms: the more power you draw, the more the voltage drops. The camera app causes power draw, so does focusing in poor light (lots of CPU use + the focusing system, which may be a bit stiff) and the flash puts an additional load on the battery. Decreased voltage makes the phone draw even more current, which drops the voltage even further. This ends either in an equilibrium, which drains the battery rather quickly, or the voltage dropping below the cutoff point - i.e. the phone thinks the battery is dead. This happens more rapidly than a normal discharge, so you don't see any low battery warnings.

jsiren ( 2014-02-02 19:19:24 +0300 )edit

I had this case today with my Jolla, but indoors with battery discharged down to less than 10%

I would suspect that also in this case the current peak of the flash is so high that it makes the system voltage to drop under the critical limit and causes the shutdown.

It could also just poor HW design of the flash circuit i.e. with led flash there probably is no need for extra capacitor to provide the energy for the flash, which could be slowly charged up to provide the flash capability and thus avoid the voltage drop on system/batter voltage.

Perhaps it would worth while to check and monitor at which charge state the Jolla will shutdown when taking the picture with forced flash in use - what do you think?

Perhaps the headline of the question could be also updated as the issue is clearly not related to cold temp, but the charge state of the battery which can be poor in cold weather, but also truly discharged like in my case.

It may be better to restrict the usage of flash completely after the certain level of Depth of Charge has been reached and indicate that to the user somehow.

Kari ( 2014-02-04 23:18:40 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-02-02 08:42:46 +0300

rsainio gravatar image

Needs to be answered by Jolla support as tech spec does not define operating temperatures thus could be a feature instead of bug

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answered 2014-02-02 19:22:44 +0300

jsiren gravatar image

If this indeed is due to battery chemistry, a possible option (sensor hardware allowing) would be to monitor the battery temperature and pre-emptively constrain the power budget if it drops too far down.

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Asked: 2014-02-02 02:38:36 +0300

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Last updated: Mar 24 '15