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How Water-Resistant Phones Work

By July 15, 2019No Comments

Maybe you have an adventurous friend who likes to throw his Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus in the pool just to get a rise out of everyone around him. Or perhaps you’re curious to test the water-resistance of your new Apple iPhone XS for yourself.

Whatever your reasons for wondering if your smartphone will work correctly after being exposed to liquids, you should first consider how waterproof phones work. Otherwise, you might make a costly error that isn’t covered by your phone’s warranty. And while you’re at it, you probably want to recommend this article to your daredevil friend, too!

How Waterproof Is My Phone?

No matter how careful we are, it seems like our smartphones have minds of their own when it comes to falling into swimming pools, pots of water and even toilets — yikes! Plus, if you get caught in a heavy rainstorm, walk unsuspectingly past a lawn sprinkler system or even just swipe right with a wet hand, it usually doesn’t take long for those telltale droplets of water to make their way under your phone’s screen.

So exactly how are phones waterproof? First of all, understand that, technically, very few phones are 100 percent waterproof — most are simply water-resistant. Manufacturers accomplish water-resistance using powerful glue to cement the outer components of the phone together. In addition, they typically use rubber gaskets around ports and removable components and little silicone boots around the buttons.

However, phones generally can’t be entirely sealed, as that could lead to problems with air pressure differences between the inside and outside of the device. What’s more — speakers and microphones aren’t entirely sealed since they need air to produce vibrations. Instead, manufacturers cover them with pieces of very fine mesh or breathable membrane that repels water and allows it to pass over them.

Manufacturers indicate in their product specifications how water-resistant a phone is using the second digit in an Ingress Protection — or IP — rating. For instance, 0 represents a complete lack of water resistance, 3 represents resistance to spraying water and 8 represents water resistance to a depth of up to nine feet for a duration specified by the manufacturer.

Water-Resistant Phones

The answer to the question, “What phones are waterproof?” is quite simple — Cat® phones. And while it might seem a bit strange at first to purchase a phone from a heavy equipment manufacturer, it actually makes a lot of sense. People who often work outdoors have to use their phone in rainy and stormy conditions — so the Cat® phones’ waterproof touchscreens are highly useful.

For example, the Cat S61 is IP69K certified and able to withstand high-pressure, high-temperature jets at close range, as well as submersion to depths of 10 feet for up to an hour. The Cat S48c is IP68 certified and can survive being in four feet of water for 35 minutes.

More mainstream water-resistant phones include Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Apple iPhone XS.

What Can You Do With a Water-Resistant Phone?

It’s critical to understand that most phone manufacturers don’t cover water damage in their warranties — even when the devices are rated water-resistant or waterproof. That said, you can expect your phone to withstand liquid to its IP rating — whether that’s a powerful waterjet at a carwash or total submersion in a swimming pool. Nevertheless, it’s probably wise not to seek out these kinds of conditions voluntarily.

Remember — if you’re looking to purchase a new water-resistant or waterproof phone, you can quickly and easily sell your old one to us. With our Stupid Fast Payment system, you’re guaranteed payment within 24 hours of the delivery of your device. To learn more, please contact us today.