Phone Waterproofing: Technological Advances and Limitations

Jan 29, 2021

Cell phone technology has made several incredible leaps in the last several years, and one of the areas that best showcases this is waterproofing. Newer phone models are all being released with significant waterproofing capabilities, including the ability to be submerged under deeper water for non-trivial periods of time – areas that phone owners wouldn't have thought possible even a decade ago. However, this technology has its limits. At FixIT Mobile, we regularly assist clients with cell phone repair related to water damage that's taken place on or in their device. While most of these situations arise in older models that don't have the same kind of waterproofing technology, they are also possible in newer phones as well. This two-part blog series will go over how our waterproofing capabilities have improved in cell phones over the years, but also the limits on this technology and how you can avoid water damage risks for any phone model you own.

Major Advances in Waterproofing Technology

Again, it's no small feat how far waterproofing has advanced in smartphones from just a few years ago. Talk to an iPhone or Android phone owner in 2010 or 2011 – they'd laugh you out of the room if you talked to them about going swimming with your phone and then making a call directly after with no issues.

Crazy enough, though, that's what's happened. Several developments have taken place over this span, the most important of which is likely the addition of the water damage indicator tab – this is a scale that helps detect water-related damage, turning red after exposure to caution owners not to plug the phone in. In addition, several models of phone have been released that withstand water and damp conditions better than any previous versions, including the ability to be submerged.

Limits of Waterproofing

And while these developments are impressive, it's very important to realize that even the newest models here are not fully waterproof. In fact, iPhone and Android manufacturers don't even technically recommend exposing the phone to any water at all – rather, their technical marketing refers to the phone's ability to withstand this (there have been lawsuits here regarding misleading marketing, as well).

The endpoint of this conversation: While new phone models resist water damage and can even be submerged in some cases, there are limits here. Long-term submerging of a phone in deep water will damage it, no matter how new it is. In addition, phones that have been damaged in other ways previously, especially in ways that allow water to penetrate certain interior areas of the phone, will still be at-risk if they're submerged or exposed to moisture.

For more on phone waterproofing and its limits, or to learn about preventing water damage in any cell phone model, speak to the staff at FixIT Mobile today.