High and Dry: The Technology Behind Waterproof Smartphones

The concept of a waterproof smartphone is still a relatively new idea for some users, however it was only a matter of time before this technology made its way into the smartphone industry. After thousands of phones have been dropped into the sink, toilet, or pool, used as a bath toy, or suffered a spill at the dinner table, this highly desirable feature is now coming of age. It seems that these days, more users opt for a device that is waterproof or at least water resistant out of fear of an accident. Smartphone manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung have been listening to the needs of these users and attempting to appeal to consumers by providing this highly desirable feature. However, for those who are not technology savvy, it is probably a mystery as to how to get these devices so resistant to water. There is a special technology that goes into making waterproof smartphones that is really quite fascinating. Read on to learn about the technology behind waterproof smartphones and what you should know before investing in one.

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IP67 Certified

A good example of waterproof smartphones is the latest flagship Android device from Samsung, the Galaxy S5. It is IP67 certified, which means that the phone has one of the higher levels of protection against both water and dust. This means that in virtually any situation, the smartphone is secure and will continue to work. It can withstand sweat, a dip into a sink and even a trip to the beach.

IP55 and IP58 Certified

The Sony Xperia Z1 and Z2 smartphones are also manufactured with similar technology but carry ratings of IP55 and IP58 respectively. The numeral 5 in these certifications means that the devices are dust proof. The second 5 in IP55 means that the phone is waterproof by approximately 10 feet. In other words, it is possible for the smartphone to withstand mostly minimal contact with water, so it is acceptable if you are using it next to a sink and accidentally splash a few water droplets on it. IP58 certification, on the other hand, means that the smartphone can be completely immersed in water and can still function afterward.

Protecting the Ports

One of the biggest aspects of the technology of waterproof and water resistant smartphones is that they include fully closed covers over all ports. The fact that they are waterproof means nothing if liquid still manages to seep into the SIM, micro SD card or micro USB ports. This is appealing since some phone cases claim to be “water-resistant,” but won’t protect your ports from being damaged by water—especially if the phone is completely submersed.

Waterproof Coating

There are other smartphone manufacturers that make devices that can withstand water. These include the Huawei Ascend D2, the Kyocera Hydro and several options by Motorola. Some of these manufacturers use a special splash guard coating on their smartphones. This is described as a hydrophobic nano coating that can actually go a bit farther and protect the internal components of the phone as well.

In spite of this technology, smartphone makers advise users not to fully submerge their devices. Users of Sony Xperia phones, for instance, have complained of their devices’ speakers losing sound after submersion. Users also run the risk of voiding their warranty should water get inside their phone. Remember—just because your phone can get wet, it doesn’t mean you should dip it in your morning coffee or take it for a swim just for the fun of it. Information for this article was provided by the smartphone experts of Apple Shark, who provide a place for consumers to sell an iPhone 4s and other models, even if they’ve been broken or damaged.

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