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HTC EVO Shift 4G Burns Woman, Leaves HTC Brand

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A user of the HTC EVO Shift 4G in the United States, maintains that while doing yard work her device overheated and burned her.

According to the Ohio woman who talked with TechCrunch about the incident, she’d been outside listening to the EVO Shift 4G’s built in FM-tuner, when she noticed that the device was starting to burn her. Since she’d been in workout clothing because of the yard work she didn’t have a pocket to place the device in. Instead, she tucked the device into her waist band where it remained.

“I felt my phone getting warm so I moved it and trucked on. Figured sweatpants and 70 some degrees was a factor.” After leaving it there, for some time, she then attempted to move it again and realized that she could do not do so without it taking “skin with it”.

Image from TechCrunch.

Image from TechCrunch.

According to TechCrunch, Best Buy, the retailer from which she purchased the device informed her that the device needed “correct ventilation” and that it should have been placed in a case that prevented the actual device from coming in contact with her skin in the event that she put the device into a tight space.

As smartphones continue to become more powerful with dual-core processors and more RAM to help users multitask, devices that run warmer are inevitable. This problem is also exacerbated by the realities of the smartphone market. The hottest sellers in the marketplace like Apple’s iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 all include the latest powerful processors while trying to create a phone that often needs to be thinner and more attractive than its predecessor.

In addition to processing power, smartphones also have the added liability of being in some cases, permanently attached to a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are known to become increasingly unstable as they age.

The HTC EVO Shift 4G, like the one the Ohio woman claims burned her.

The HTC EVO Shift 4G, like the one the Ohio woman claims burned her.

Read: HTC EVO 3D Burning Up?

This isn’t the first time a device in HTC’s EVO line has had issues with generating heat. Users of the HTC EVO 3D reported that that device had a penchant for overheating, thought it only effected the device when it was being charged, possibly indicating that it was battery related.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

45 Comments

  1. Michael Rocker

    05/02/2013 at 6:47 pm

    I smell bogus law suit. I have owned both the Evo 4G shift and the EVO 4g and it never got that hot. The internal battery temperature is 77*F. I now own a Galaxy S-III and the battery is also 77*F. Since the casing on the EVO Shift is plastic I say no way the phone did that to her.

    • Frank

      05/14/2013 at 7:20 am

      Ive woken up to my HTC Thunderbolt reaching a whopping 135 Degrees, Just from charging over night with the LTE left on (Accident). And yes the Thunderbolt has actually burned me before in a case during use of a simple phone call during the day although not near as bad as her case.
      Replaced the battery after some time in december, and talk about the most deformed battery shape I have ever seen…
      Obviously HTC has never used their devices for a day to day basis.

      • Brandon

        07/07/2013 at 11:28 am

        My HTC Thunderbolt has done the same to me, when I charge it or use it for along time the battery was really hot. And it’s in a otter box or another case for my bigger battery I have for it.

        • Matt

          10/11/2013 at 6:24 pm

          This is to all the people who have gotten burned. Get an I phone!!!!!! Never gets hot and for damn sure doesn’t burn u!!! Wtf!!! Lmfao

          • fish

            10/31/2013 at 3:48 pm

            Isheep! There are cases of iphones setting on fire…

          • Marcello Velocci

            11/01/2013 at 3:34 pm

            Lmao, not only have iPhones burned people, they’ve also burst into flames! They’re electronics and anything can happen..

      • christopherjeffersonesq

        11/18/2013 at 8:26 pm

        My Motorola atrix HD also reached temps of over 130 degrees. This is totally believable esp if it malfunctioned.

    • Jack

      07/29/2013 at 11:57 am

      Because it did not happen to you !Does not mean it did not happen to her!
      It looks pretty bad to me!

  2. aaron rogers

    05/04/2013 at 1:16 am

    She’s got a cute belly button.

  3. De Andra Powell

    05/06/2013 at 5:12 pm

    It is possible for these phones to get really hot like that. I have the Sensation 4G and it went to 130 degrees more than once and sometimes 100-120. This all happened by texting or making a phone call.

    • Matt

      10/11/2013 at 6:26 pm

      I phone my friend. Nuff said

  4. Appledystopia

    05/08/2013 at 12:56 pm

    If an iPhone did this, it would be “stop the presses — BREAKING NEWS!!!”

    • The Grim Reaper

      05/22/2013 at 12:52 pm

      Go home, Steve Jobs, you’re dead.

  5. David Sandoval

    05/20/2013 at 7:55 pm

    Idiots like this (it has to be a thing not a person to be that stupid) stop cell phones from reaching new heights. The moron didn’t realize it was getting burned, even to the extent of peeling the skin? No wonder other countries have much more advanced cell phones.

    • Jen

      08/30/2013 at 9:17 pm

      David, here’s a little suggestion;
      Before deciding that calling someone an idiot is necessary (myself especially), you might want to consider applying accurate ENGLISH grammar. You called someone an idiot while sounding like one and insinuated people such as myself are lowering intelligence in our country! Ha. Ha. Thank you for the laughs… :)

  6. Griff

    05/21/2013 at 10:19 pm

    My HTC One X gets pretty hot, and HTC has released a statement saying it can get up to 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit) during normal usage. But it has never gotten hot enough to leave a burn mark and take “skin with it”. I could take my 131 degree phone and press it against my chest and I would be able to bear it no problem (yes, I’ve tried it), the fact that it sat there without her noticing and that it was able to have the plastic back burn to the point where it’s sticking to her skin is absolutely unheard of and bogus.

    • Vernon

      11/30/2013 at 1:34 am

      Not so bogus. Read up on rf radiation. Just like xrays- the rf radiation from a phone can pass through the phone and be depositing radiation’s energy in body tissue. I am sitting in a hosppital ER room where a hospital employee just showed me a hand burn from her HTC1 that required antibiotics treatment. That is a lot of rf radiation to body tissue.

  7. Matt

    05/22/2013 at 6:13 am

    I can tell you exactly what happened. Well, in my opinion anyway. She was laying out in the sun, and fell asleep with the phone laying on her. I have had phones become extremely hot if left in direct sunlight. I cant see a phone staying in a waist band while doing actual work, bending over, walking around. One would have to constantly reposition it.

    • tnk

      05/25/2013 at 4:32 pm

      Might be dead on with that… She does look a bit pinkish in the area around it.

    • SoloTirz

      07/04/2013 at 6:15 am

      “I cant see a phone staying in a waist band while doing actual work, bending over, walking around.” You took the words out of my mouth.

    • MGV

      08/30/2013 at 12:11 pm

      Also, if you noticed, her skin is only burnt above the waistline and fades on an angle, meaning it must have been placed over her pants. If it was being held tightly in the waistband of her pants, it would have been burnt all the way through to resemble the entire phone, no?

      Either way, if her story remains to be true, she should have known better than to leave an electronic device in a poorly ventilated area, let alone against her skin. It’s a warning that comes with every electronic and if not followed is a recipe for disaster!

  8. Justin

    06/09/2013 at 4:29 pm

    i guarantee it got that hot to burn her…i accidentally fell asleep one night with a game playing on my gs2 and it ran with the screen on all night long and when i woke up in the morning i honestly couldn’t even pick up the phone it was so hot and if it had been on me and not on the pillow beside me it would have easily burnt me.

  9. Movhan

    06/16/2013 at 4:21 am

    This is absolute bullshit.

    Also Justin, that’s more bull, if the phone got that got, by the time you woke up the battery would have long been dead and phone would have been cold as it was out of juice halfway to the morning.

    Seriously, you people think of the stupidest crap.

    • Stephanie Green

      07/01/2013 at 7:45 pm

      What if the phone was plugged in all night? My GS3 overheats sometimes to where the built in feature that shuts the phone down kicks in. I have pulled my battery because of heat issues that happened while listening to music or playing games. Sometimes certain apps heat up the phone. There are some possibilities this woman is legit. There is some plastic that does not melt unless it catches fire.

    • MGV

      08/30/2013 at 12:40 pm

      Lmfao…stupidest.

  10. RC

    06/17/2013 at 10:10 am

    Actually, it’s the radiation from the endless data transmission when streaming or gaming, that causes the phones to get so hot. This is a radiation burn. Read the manual to find out that you may exceed the 1.6 SAR THERMAL safety limit if phone is in contact with skin. You are microwaving the case (and brain and body) and that generates the heat. Several years of this abuse to your cells, and you will probably end up with tumors. Check out the latest on women in their 20′s having breasts removed from sticking the phone in their bra.

  11. Maestro

    06/19/2013 at 9:01 pm

    Use Tiger Balm

  12. ben.kevan

    06/20/2013 at 3:35 pm

    I personally would not have believed this, but my GFs HTC overheated badly enough to change the form of plastic gum wrapping in her purse.

  13. Nick

    07/22/2013 at 1:45 am

    Wear things with pockets in then silly :s If you’re going to put your phone in such a tight space RIGHT next to your skin on such a hot day while doing such physical work then that’s your fault not the phone manufacturer :P

  14. Illusive Paradox

    07/22/2013 at 3:34 pm

    First of all, my Dad is the VP of Legal Affairs of htc globally and I asked him about this case. It was bullshit and proven false. Only proof being this picture. First of all, Lithium batteries do NOT deteriorate. This was a problem with rechargeable batteries when they first came out. As you would continually recharge and use the battery, it would get weaker and weaker. Not the case with Lithium batteries on ANY device. Granted, it gets hot and would leave a mark like this if you had every POSSIBLE application on your phone. It wasn’t a burn at all. Just her placing her warm phone there for at least an hour with everything open on the phone, causing heat. So no…Lithium Ion batteries do not disintegrate, deteriorate, or self destruct unless you take a hammer to it. The only thing this COULD be is a radiation burn. Again, incredibly difficult to get unless you CONSTANTLY overheat your phone in the exact same spot.

    • Anonymous

      07/23/2013 at 12:39 pm

      HTC Devs, pls go.

    • ZMAN (@Zii69)

      08/03/2013 at 10:51 am

      your saying that cell phone batteries do not decline in performance/charge over time? fail..

    • Jen Grago

      08/15/2013 at 10:53 am

      Have your dad call me! Because this case was NEVER proven “bullshit” or “false” as you say. I did receive a loaner phone from HTC and this is not a lawsuit, never was!
      I was also told (by one of your father’s co-workers, right?)that the batteries DID have issues of overheating, hot enough to burn somebody. Had you taken the time to read the original article and the comments you would know that there was no lawsuit nor was there ever intent for one. Oops, looks like your father isn’t the VP of anything, certainly not pertaining to my case!
      Thanks, Jennifer.

    • andy

      12/26/2013 at 10:37 am

      You have obviously never ran any rc cars or trucks these day with lipo batteries, or cordless power tools. I have seen them both just light up from being over-heated.

  15. thatnolankid

    08/03/2013 at 10:58 am

    *looks at the date* you guys are kidding, right?…

  16. Gasman

    08/08/2013 at 8:24 am

    An object doesn’t have to be scalding hot to the touch to cause a burn. You can be burned quite badly if the temperature of the device is hot enough to touch for a while, but the EXPOSURE to that temperature is prolonged. One can touch the radiator in your house for a few seconds, maybe even a minute with no lasting damage, but you pass out on one while drunk and all of a sudden you’ve got third degree burns.

  17. b

    09/03/2013 at 2:39 pm

    my HTC EVO 3D burned up in my pocket a few weeks …it melted the back of the phone…

  18. HTCSUX

    09/18/2013 at 7:52 pm

    I have owned the HTC evo and now the HTC one, and damn those things get seriously hot….to the point where I have to set it down, and not hold it…HTC SUCKS!

  19. Madeline Schwarzerose

    11/15/2013 at 6:39 am

    I might say it sounds strange how she managed to burn herself without even realising it… but what can one say, I wasn’t there so I can’t know what happened for sure. But I don’t believe it has anything to do with HTC it was bad luck and it could have been an iphone or samsung or anything.

    • Andy

      11/19/2013 at 2:15 am

      I’ve got a nasty burn scar (about 8inch across) on my calf from when I was a kid and stupidly rested my leg on my uncle’s motorbike exhaust. Felt “slightly warm” when it happened. I can believe someone would not notice until they try moving the device…

  20. mupp

    11/30/2013 at 3:07 am

    I have had my HTC One for 15 days, I have a 2nd degree burn on right hand from it. I plugged it in to charge it fell asleep using the awesome TV function woke up with my hand hurting. There was a huge blister. I had it at work 2 nights later in my pocket and it was very hot again. I had to turn my pocket inside out to have it fall on the desk I could not touch it. I am totally freaked me out I have never had a phone do this. The guy at the phone store said it may be a design flaw with my phone but the phone in general is great. HTC apologized and as did the store where I got it and is replacing it, I am using my old phone for now. Do I get another phone just like it? I am afraid this will happen again, any feedback on a different phone would be appreciated.

  21. Philer Zapatafield

    12/02/2013 at 5:58 pm

    I know that trick, get your phone and put pressure. My Nexus 5 at 105 Degrees in a Summer Day here in Hawaii Does not burn me, not even a mark.

  22. oscar garcia

    12/28/2013 at 12:35 pm

    got brand?

  23. Manny

    01/19/2014 at 3:35 pm

    This is obviously a major problem with mobile devices. Most devices that have this problem most likely also have a built in thermometer. Why wouldn’t manufacturers just take the obvious step and implement a function that disables the device and and its problematic action when the device reaches temperatures that could potentially cause damage or discomfort. Then when the user asks the device to wake up display a message indicating what happened. It could also suggest steps to prevent it from happening again and give the option to disable the function if you agree to absolve the relevant parties from blame.

  24. joel

    03/10/2014 at 4:50 am

    Got the update today at 2:30 am central time for Samsung galaxy S4 on T-Mobile network

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