As of this year, it is 2022. Why can’t we have phones that are water-resistant yet?

The water-repelling properties of cellphones have improved, but they are far from “waterproof.” In most cases, a water-resistant product may withstand a certain amount of water intrusion, while a waterproof product is (by definition) completely impenetrable to moisture.

The Australian Federal Court fined Samsung Australia A$14 million last week for making deceptive claims about the water resistance of its Galaxy phones in advertisements. Samsung has acknowledged that charging wet Galaxy phones may cause the charging ports to corrode and cause the phones to cease operating.

When Apple made false promises regarding the water resistance of iPhones in 2020, they were fined €10 million (approximately A$15.3 million).

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Dropping a phone in water is a regular way for it to be damaged. 39% of people in the United States reported they’d dropped their phones in water in 2018, according to a poll. Similar findings have been seen in other studies.

There are so many technical wonders around us now, why are we still unable to use water-resistant phones in the year 2022?

Comparing water-resistant to waterproof

Various devices are rated according to their ability to withstand the effects of solids (such as dust) and liquids (namely water). The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is the term used to describe it.

Two digits will be used in an IP rating. The IP68 scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (excellent protection) and from 0 (no protection) to 9 (complete protection), with 6 denoting solids protection and 8 denoting water protection (high protection).

There is a wide range of water-resistance ratings among manufacturers. If you’re looking to take your phone to the beach or pool, Samsung’s IP68-certified phones are water-resistant to a maximum depth of 1.5 metres in freshwater for up to 30 minutes. IP68-rated iPhones from Apple can withstand 30 minutes of submersion in water up to a depth of 6 metres.

Both Samsung and Apple, however, are very unlikely to repair your water-damaged phone as part of the terms of their respective warranties.

Furthermore, IP ratings are tested in a lab under under supervision. When it comes to real-world activities like swimming or snorkelling, speed, movement, water pressure, and alkalinity all have a role. As a result, determining a phone’s water-resistance rating becomes more difficult.

What are the processes involved in making cell phones water-resistant?

There are several components and methods involved in making an electronic device water-resistant. In most cases, the first line of defence is to construct a physical barrier to block off any potential access sites for dust or water. It’s important to note that these components are all found on the phone’s outside, and they include the phone’s buttons and switches, speakers, microphone jack, camera, and screen.

With glue, adhesive strips and tape, rubber seals, gaskets, plastic and metal meshes, and water-resistant membranes, these spots are covered and sealed. After this, the phone’s circuit board is coated with an ultra-thin polymer nanocoating that helps resist water.

There’s little doubt that as the components in your phone become older and wear out, their water-resistance diminishes. Apple concedes that their phones’ water and dust resistance is not a permanent feature.

Though not completely water-proof, certain cameras can withstand submersion far better than smartphones. This is often due to the fact that they are simpler gadgets.

The internal components of a smartphone are more delicate, fragile, and must be housed in a smaller case because of its greater capability. As a result, water-resistant smartphones are more difficult to come by than they were before these considerations came into play.

Xiaomi’s co-founder claims that adding water resistance to phones raises their price by 20 percent to 30 percent for customers. Manufacturers must take this into account since even a minor break might invalidate any waterproofing.

preventing water damage to electronic equipment

Adding a water-repellent coating to the outside of a phone might provide an additional layer of protection. It’s possible that some firms are already experimenting with this technology.

Further water-repellent technologies may be used to cover circuitry that is laser-written directly onto (waterproof) silicone material in future phones.

For the time being, there is no waterproof phone on the market. It’s important to know what to do when your phone doesn’t switch on after being submerged in a pool or toilet, so you can prevent additional harm.

If you plan to use your phone in water, consider investing in a waterproof case or dry bag.