My Phone is Water-Resistant- Is that Good Enough?
Water-resistant smartphones have made it possible to use our phones in wet environments. Today, you can go swimming with your smartphone. You may not have to worry much if it gets exposed to rainy conditions or falls in the water. Smartphone manufacturers may make water-resistant phones, but that does not mean you should expose your phone to water just for banter. The reality is that smartphones may be built to work in water, but they shouldn’t. There are reasons for that, as you will see below.
The Truth About Water-resistant Smartphones
The phone may be water-resistant but not waterproof. A water-resistant phone is less effective compared to a waterproof phone. A waterproof smartphone is an ideal choice as it is impervious to water. However, there are minimal options in the market. Some phones may have claims of being waterproof, but they usually are water-resistant.
Resistance implies some extent of vulnerability but not full coverage. Water-resistant devices have a sealed barrier to protect the circuits within, while waterproof devices have specific waterproof properties. If the resistance barrier fails, that may mean your device is done being water-resistant.
Even the highest ratings like IPX7 or IPX8 cater for proper submersion but for a limited time. Highly rated products are made to be resilient in wet conditions but don’t put your phone in unforgiving environments. These ratings are specific to certain water conditions and not others. The manufacturers advocate for sensible use and do not offer warranties for all the wet conditions out there.
There are very many ways your water-resistant smartphone may suffer water damage. Most manufacturers will tell you how long your phone may stay submerged in water through the IP ratings. However, you still have to take specific measures even with a water-resistant phone. The phone may survive longer, but it can also be damaged within minutes on the flipside. The given figures are also estimated.
The tests conducted by companies are done under lab conditions or in freshwater. This means that they don’t always portray real scenarios that the phones may encounter. How much freshwater do you experience every day? Truth be told. It may be very little.
For example, when swimming, the pool water has chemicals. Seawater is not pure, and it can eat into your phone’s sealants and adhesives. Juices, beer, or soda may spill on your phone, and they have chemicals as well. You probably use chlorinated water in your house. All these are aspects that a phone tested exclusively in freshwater does not cover. Even with freshwater, it is not guaranteed that the phone seals will not wear over time.
Extended exposure to steamy conditions like in a sauna may cause damage over time.
The Bottom Line
Your water-resistant phone may withstand certain situations, but extreme conditions may potentially be harmful to your device. Even when you buy a water-resistant smartphone, that does not mean that it is completely invulnerable. Treat the phone like the fragile thing it is.