Do Magnetic Cases Affect Cell Phones?

magnetic phone case

by Alex Gustman

Updated: April 14, 2021

There are various types of magnetic accessories for portable devices available on the market. They typically allow for fastening the cover without buttons or (more common) to attach phones to the cardholders.

However, we all know that magnets can impact the way electronics behave and even wipe data off entirely. Is it wrong to have a magnetic phone case then, and why manufacturers continue releasing harmful products to the market? Let’s have a look at mobile accessories closely to be able to answer those questions.

Is it safe to use a magnetic phone case?

Since safety is of our utmost priority, let’s see if the magnet inside the cover can negatively impact us. The answer is easy after a brief glance inside your device. There are several small magnets there already; obviously, one more will not make a huge difference. This is especially true considering its size – in fact, even huge ones should cause no health problem according to the studies. So it isn’t bad to have a magnetic phone case.

Will a magnetic phone case damage my phone?

First, let’s have a look at why exactly this question arises. In the nearest past, the equipment used to be analog. The information was recorded by changing the direction of micro-particles located on the disk surface by magnetic “hand.” This way, they used to show zero or one. Floppy drives (if you happen to remember what this technology is) used a similar principle.

Old hard drives would have never fit inside the smartphones. This is why portable devices manufacturers use flash memory – similar to SSD drives and SD cards. No magnets are used to record and read data anymore, meaning that the magnetic field cannot cause data loss. The same applies to the screens. Old analog monitors indeed could act weird with a big magnet nearby. Modern displays do not react like this – their entire construction is different.

Is the magnetic field suitable for the phone then? Not exactly. There are different sensors inside any modern device. The data received from them is used by the various applications you use. For example, some iPhones use gyroscope information to ensure sharp focus. If you shake the phone while taking the picture, it learns the direction and commands the camera lens to adjust accordingly.

Some third-party cover manufacturers place magnets too close to the rear camera interfering or completely disabling these sensors. In this case, you will be unable to enjoy the benefits of this stabilization method. However, the system should work fine after you remove the magnet. 

What about other phone components?

Typically, small magnets do not affect:

  • battery,
  • GPS, since it operates using radio waves, which are not affected by magnetic fields,
  • signal – for the same reason,
  • NFC.

Big-enough magnets can affect built-in compass, though, which is not our case.

Sometimes, however, the magnets can impact particular smartphones’ performance, according to the users’ experience. For example, the touchscreen can act weird while you type or playing games. It is worth checking feedback to a particular smartphone and cover combination online before purchasing it – just in case.

So, can magnetic phone cases damage the phone? The magnetic field does not cause permanent changes to the components. This means that after the cover is removed, the phone should be back to normal.

Magnetic covers are safe to use. However, sometimes they can interfere with some sensors in some devices, which can deteriorate your experience. Should this happen, replace the cover and wait for a while – the phone should regain the functions shortly.

Conclusion

Here we have described how magnetic cases affect cell phones. You can use the magnetic case without fear that it will damage your phone. These cases can have a minor harmless effect on individual components of your mobile device.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman


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