What’s Stopping Companies From Making Waterproof Phones?


With every new smartphone launch, companies are seen touting the water-repelling skills of the device. But none of them have been claimed to be “waterproof.” While a water-resistant smartphone can resist water from entering and damaging the device’s circuitry, a waterproof smartphone will be impenetrable.


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There have been many instances where OEMs made false claims about their device’s water resistance abilities. Both Apple and Samsung have been fined heavily for making misleading claims. In reality, it’s very common for phones to incur damage when dropped in water. So, what’s the reason we still don’t have a waterproof phone yet?


Understanding The Difference

Understanding The Difference

Everyone must have come across the term IP rating while going through the specifications of a smartphone. It stands for Ingress Protection Rating, a system that measures a device’s resistance against dust and water. The rating comprises two numbers, for example, IP68, where 6 refers to protection against dust and 8 refers to water protection. 

However, this benchmark can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Despite the rating, it’s unlikely that the companies will the water-damaged smartphones under their warranties. Moreover, the tests for IP rating are done under a controlled environment, which can differ in real-life scenarios. 

Making Water-Resistant Smartphones

Making Water-Resistant Smartphones

Companies require a plethora of techniques and components to make a phone water-resistant. The first thing the engineers ensure is to create a physical barrier that blocks dust and water from entering the device. They use adhesive stripes to cover exposed points such as speakers, charging ports, and volume buttons. These points are then covered by a thin polymer nanocoating to repel water.

However, the resistance abilities deteriorate as the smartphone ages. To offer more functionality, smartphones leverage several sensitive components that need to fit in a small casing. All these factors make it tough for smartphones to achieve a higher level of water resistance. Also, adding an IP rating shoots the smartphone’s price significantly.

Will We Ever Have Waterproof Phones?

Will We Ever Have Waterproof Phones?

Some companies are said to be working on a technology that will enable manufacturers to use nanocoating on the exterior of smartphones. We might see smartphones with waterproof circuitry designed using laser writing methods.

Currently, there isn’t any waterproof smartphone put there. So, users with phones that have already taken a dip in the pool and refuse to turn on should try the best ways to dry them efficiently. Another way to prevent your smartphones from getting damaged by water is to cover them using waterproof cases. 

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