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Which is the best water-ressistant mobile phone available as of now?

  1. #1
    Gold Member webworld's Avatar
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    Question Which is the best water-ressistant mobile phone available as of now?

    While I was looking for a good water-resistant smartphone, a few options came to my mind. The first one was Sony Xperia Z3 which can survive upto 1.5 meters under water and that is around 5 feet deep. Its dedicated shutter button allows you to take underwater pictures with 20.7 megapixel camera. I think this is the best option available as of now in mid-range category.

    Would appreciate your views on this? is there any other model which can compete with Sony Xperia Z3 for water resistance?

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    There's no doubt Sony Xperias are the leading mobile devices that could resist water. But aside from Xperias, there are also Samsung devices that are water resistant, not the best compared to Sony but can be relied on. Samsung Galaxy S5 is also a water resistant mobile phone which can submerged up to 1 meter deep and can stay up to 30 minutes. No dust particle can enter the phone at all.

    Additional information i have learned is that mobile phone's water resistance is scaled through IP (Ingress Protection). IP code refers to the stability of the mobile device to withstand water and dust. An IP code consist of IP followed by two digit, the first digit relates to the solid particles protection while the second digit is to water resistance. IP rating is originally consist of 3 digit but the last is commonly ommited.

    This is how IP is rated considering the two digit numbers:

    IP first number (Protection against solid objects)

    0 - No special protection
    1 - Protected against solid objects over 50 mm, e.g. accidental touch by persons hands.
    2 - Protected against solid objects over 12 mm, e.g. persons fingers.
    3 - Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires).
    4 - Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires).
    5 - Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
    6 - Totally protected against dust.

    IP second number (Protection against liquid)

    0 - No protection.
    1 - Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation.
    2 - Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical.
    3 - Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical.
    4 - Protection against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted.
    5 - Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress.
    6 - Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g. for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted.
    7 - Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m.
    8 - Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure.

    Sony Xperia Z3 has an IP rating of IP65/IP68. According to Sony, the reason it gets two ratings is because it complies with both the waterproofing standards. The Xperia Z3 Compact has the same IP rating, but comes with a smaller 4.6-inch, 720p screen.

    Samsung S5 has an IP rating of IP67.
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    this is worth noting though:

    Sony changes stance on waterproof phones: Do not use underwater

    Sony Mobile has made a hugely controversial change to its advice around Xperia waterproof devices. Despite most recent Sony Xperia waterproof devices achieving an Ingress Protection rating of IP68 for water resistance, the highest possible, Sony now says that they should not be used underwater.

    If you head over to Sony Mobile’s support page on water and dust protection, you will find several statements on Sony’s new policy including: “Remember not to use the device underwater” and “The IP rating of your device was achieved in laboratory conditions in standby mode, so you should not use the device underwater, such as taking pictures.”

    A device with an IP68 rating is tested with continuous immersion in fresh water to depths of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. Sony’s new language on the waterproofing abilities of its Xperia devices suggest that despite this IP68 certification, Sony is not confident in how you may use the phone, potentially causing water damage and thus having to repair the phone under warranty.

    Notice in the above statement how Sony talks about achieving the IP68 certification under “laboratory conditions”. This language is echoed on the same support page:

    “Sony devices that are tested for their waterproof abilities are placed gently inside a container filled with tap water and lowered to a depth of 1.5 metres. After 30 minutes in the container, the device is gently taken out and its functions and features are tested.” [Emphasis ours]

    You can see what Sony is doing there. Sony says that the handsets were not tested for the kind of rigor of a swimming pool, for example, where the Xperia device is potentially being splashed around at fast speed. A comment from a Sony Mobile support rep makes a similar point:

    “Moving or operating the device while it is submerged is not tested during the laboratory tests. There are also many environmental factors which we could not assess (e.g. water movement or water pressure changes during the movement), if a device is used underwater. Therefore we recommend not submerge our Xperia Z5 in water.”

    These new disclaimers first appeared for the Xperia Z3+/Z4 back in May 2015. At the time, the new wording surprised us, but we thought it might only be targeted for that handset for some reason. However, when the same disclaimers were used with the Xperia Z5 launch it became clear that Sony is issuing new limitations on its waterproof devices.

    So why is this a big deal? Well, Sony Mobile’s marketing of its waterproof Xperia devices have centred on being able to take pictures in a pool and underwater. Most of Sony’s Xperia promotional campaigns for its new flagships (up until the Xperia Z3+/Z4) included the phones taking pictures underwater.

    Take the Xperia Z3 as an example, Sony Mobile’s launch press release touted the device as having the “highest level of waterproofing” and that it was a “fully waterproof” smartphone.

    Also, who remembers the countless press pictures that Sony Mobile has used showing its new Xperia devices underwater.

    Talk about mixed messages. Up until now, this waterproof feature has been a key part of Sony’s advertising, yet now Sony wants to retract it. So why the change of heart from Sony? We can only think it relates to warranties. There must be a number of users who have damaged their phone in a pool or similar and tried to get it fixed from Sony under warranty. If the ports were kept closed, then Sony has had a potentially large repair bill from these kind of incidents.

    Whatever the reason, Sony needs to be very clear on what its new policies are, as it is extremely confusing for the customer. Sony Xperia customers who purchase a waterproof device have always expected that it should be able to be used underwater, as that is what Sony has told us in its marketing. We do not think this is an issue of capability (we have used a number of Xperia models underwater to take pictures without problems), but of caution from Sony.

    What we need is for Sony to be consistent across all of its material. Case in point, this “Waterproof Technology” page on the Sony Mobile website says: “Casual use in chlorinated pools is permitted provided the phone is rinsed in fresh water afterwards” and that “you can’t take the phone deeper than 1.5 m of water and for longer than 30 minutes.”

    Then we have the Xperia Z3 product page which says: “You can even dive down to 1.5 metres with it”. These are just a couple of examples that were quickly found whilst writing this post. We’re sure there are countless more examples showing something similar.

    The Xperia Z5 product page does use the updated language: “You should not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water or liquids such as drinks. Abuse and improper use of device will invalidate warranty.”

    So it’s quite clear here, that Sony is saying unless you adhere to this restriction there is a risk that you will invalidate any warranty claims. We have reached out to Sony for a clear statement on its new waterproof policies and will update this post when we hear back.

    Does Sony’s new waterproof policy surprise you? Would it impact on your purchasing decisions? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
    sony's official statement:

    Sony Mobile is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service. Xperia models that feature levels of dust and water-resistance are validated independently and based on Ingress Protection (IP) standards agreed and used across the industry. We have every confidence in the qualities of Xperia devices, which are built to exacting technical standards and are designed to perform to high standards in normal usage.

    “The recent changes to guidance we provide to our customers are designed to more clearly illustrate the best ways to protect devices in day-to-day usage. We communicate necessary precautions, and the specific parameters of ingress protection ratings, to help customers to protect their smartphones and tablets in line with the applicable warranty we provide.

    “We have also recently updated our marketing visuals to better advocate sensible usage of our devices. The warranty terms provided for our products remain the same and any customer concerns will continue to be considered on a case by case basis in line with these terms.”
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    If that's the case, its disappointing to know the fact. Thank you for the substantial information @MegaMaverick. I havn't seen that news coming, I just focused on building up the product not researching about the changes made by the Manufacturer. That means Samsung still leads the way as of water resistant capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubie View Post
    If that's the case, its disappointing to know the fact. Thank you for the substantial information @MegaMaverick. I havn't seen that news coming, I just focused on building up the product not researching about the changes made by the Manufacturer. That means Samsung still leads the way as of water resistant capability.
    welcome!
    or it may also mean, they (samsung) are not (yet) so forthcoming.

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    Gold Member webworld's Avatar
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    Thanks, that is really a lot to know. That means Sony Xperia is no more reliable as a water resistant phone as it claims. Thanks for updating. Earlier they were claiming that we can even take photos underwater! But I think it can still withstand minor rains or things like that.

    Then what about Samsung, have they made any declarations like this. Sony seems to be a honest player than Samsung.

    @Rubie thanks for updating my knowledge. That was really helpful.

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    Spny Xperia M4 Aqua. The unit has robust specifications and two interesting features: the Xperia M4 is waterproof and promises two days of battery life. The smart can be up to 30 minutes underwater. In addition, The M4 needs to have plastic covers to protect the device holes - as in previous models of the company. Headphone jack port and USB port are also water resistance, favoring OmniBalance design, characteristic of the Xperia line.

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    For Sony to come out and say that their waterproof phones might not actually be waterproof is more than a blow I would have thought. It makes me wonder if this happend to any other manufacturers, what the backlash would be because as of now, this seems to have gone largely unreported for some reason?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwarbi View Post
    For Sony to come out and say that their waterproof phones might not actually be waterproof is more than a blow I would have thought. It makes me wonder if this happend to any other manufacturers, what the backlash would be because as of now, this seems to have gone largely unreported for some reason?
    Yes, you are right. I think most of the users might not be aware of this news which in someway went unnoticed. I think other manufacturers might also be experiencing these issues and they might be somewhat reluctant to come forward to tell the truth. A common customer who is not a member to any forums like this will never come to know of it and will use the handset as it is completely water proof. In fact it is cheating. I think Sony needs to call back those sets and return the money to the customers who purchased it on the assumption that it is completely water proof.

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