Water Resistant Smartphones: What You Need to Know
Imagine partying hard on New Year’s Eve. The drinks are flowing. And everyone is in a great mood. Suddenly your friend trips and spills champagne down the front of your dress. What’s more, some of the bubbly actually falls on your precious smartphone. What do you do under these circumstances? Is the latest breed of water resistant smartphones really worth the investment? Can they reduce instances of liquid damage considerably?
Here is a compilation of facts pertaining to water resistant smart devices.
Why is the Idea of Water Resistance Appealing?
30% of smart phone damages can be traced back to falls. But a hefty 18% of cases involve water or a fluid of some kind. If smart phones can truly deter the ingress of water molecules, valuable data may be preserved and the actual devices might last longer. At the end of the day, both benefits will translate into financial savings for smart phone enthusiasts.
Another aspect of the idea of water resistance that is appealing to professional users is increased flexibility and productivity. When people shell out upward of $500 to purchase the latest and the best models, they start treating these devices with deference. In some cases, they might even become a liability restricting movement and impacting responsiveness. You wouldn’t really attend a call in the pouring rain if you are aware that you might be risking liquid damage?
Water resistant smart phones are expected to help people bypass these inconveniences and truly leverage the power of their devices.
Is Water Resistant the Same as Water Proof?
This is a common point of confusion. If your smart phone is water resistant, does it mean you can dunk it in a swimming pool for days and get away with it?
The quality of being water resistant or dust resistant simply provides added protection from the onslaught of particulate matter and fluids – both of which can cause major damage to the circuits inside the device and even lead to data loss.
Water resistant devices tend to have well-covered ingress points. Take the iPhone 7 as an example. The additional gaping hole of the headphone jack has been eliminated. Instead, the lightning port for charging the phone doubles up as the dock for the wireless ear pods. Given the fact that the iPhone claims its latest offering to be robustly water resistant, this design and structure decision makes a lot of sense.
Users however should keep in mind that water resistance doesn’t come with any form of guarantee as to the level of protection that can be expected with continuous handling. Normal wear and tear is known to reduce the effectiveness of water resistance because of scratches, microscopic holes and other vulnerability.
What is the Standard of Water Resistance?
The IP Code or the International Protection Marking Code (also known as the Ingress Protection code) classifies and standardizes the possible results expected from devices when their water or dust resistance is tested under controlled laboratory conditions.
Let’s take Samsung Galaxy S7’s IP Code as an example and investigate the meaning of each element.
The Samsung model has a rating of IP68 – one of the best in the market.
IP is the acronym for International Protection.
The first numeral “6” points to dust protection. 6 stands for the most effective ingress prevention in standard air flow for up to 8 hours.
The next numeral “8” refers to the ability of the device to withstand liquid damage. As far as smart devices go, 8 is a really good number to have. It means that the phone can be continuously immersed in fresh water up to a depth of more than 1 meter for 30 minutes without damaging the model.
One step up from 8, “9” indicates the hardware and the software to bear the onslaught of high pressure, high temperature water jets.
What Can You Do to Make the Most of Water Resistance?
It is important to handle water resistant smart devices with as much care as you lavish on ordinary models. Remember that the tag of “water resistance” is insurance against contingencies. It is not a license to be negligent.
If a water resistant device takes a dunking:
- Immediately switch it off
- Remove the battery and let it dry
- Dry off the phone body as best as you can taking care to wipe the moisture from around the charging port
- Examine the extremities of the battery for residue build up. Scrape off any particles that you see clustering the contact points on the battery
- Insert the battery back into the body and immediately take the phone to a data recovery specialist. Don’t attempt to retrieve files on your own
Being cautious and following the instructions that help keep your device water resistant like firmly securing the covers and flaps over all ingress points can help you make the most of your smart phone and give you the confidence to take on your tasks irrespective of the weather outside.