Smartphones and water | What the Tech?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — Summer is here and you’ll likely bring your phone with you to the water but it could be the last time you use it if you’re not careful.

Water damage is a common smartphone killer, even if your phone is water resistant.

Apple says the iPhone 12, 13, and 14 can withstand a dunk of up to 6 meters (19 feet) for 30 minutes. Samsung and Google say the newer Galaxy and Pixel phones can withstand up to 1 meter (3 feet).

That’s only true if the phone is in perfect condition before it goes into the water. If your phone has any cracks, water can seep into the electronics.

Even in a case, a cracked phone will likely die if it gets dropped in any water.

If your smartphone takes a dip, act quickly. If it is in a case, remove it. Then, turn it off as quickly as possible.

If it was salt or lake water, rinse it off by running clean tap water over it.

Give it a shake to remove any water in the charging port and speakers. Then, blow them out.

On iPhones, there’s a shortcut called “Water Eject”. You’ll have to install it within the shortcuts app. When running, the iPhone will play a tone through the speakers to vibrate and eject any other water, similar to a feature on the Apple Watch.

Do not plug it into a charger until it is completely dry and not until you’re almost certain all the water has been removed from the speakers and charging port.

Resist the urge to turn it on for a while. Don’t put it in the sun to dry out.

If it doesn’t turn on, you can try putting it in a plastic zip-lock bag with silica gel packets and leave it for a day or two.

Expert technicians say the bowl of rice thing doesn’t work and will only leave your phone dusty.

Above all, you should back up your smartphone before heading out, in case something happens.

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