'Water-Resistant' Samsung Phone Isn't: Consumer Reports

S7 Active failed immersion test—twice
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2016 9:31 AM CDT
'Water-Resistant' Samsung Phone Isn't: Consumer Reports
A Galaxy S7 Edge is submersed in water at a Samsung store.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Samsung claims its "water-resistant" S7 phones can spend 30 minutes in five feet of water and still be usable. To prove its point, it has Lil Wayne douse an S7 Edge in champagne, then drop it in a fish tank in a commercial. But Consumer Reports says Samsung's claims don't hold up. Though the S7 and S7 Edge passed the magazine's water immersion test, the S7 Active failed—twice. Staff put an S7 Active "in a water tank pressurized to 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch, the equivalent of just under five feet of water, and set a timer for 30 minutes," the mag explains. Afterward, the phone's touchscreen turned green and was unresponsive. There were also bubbles in the cameras' lenses.

Technicians tried again with a second S7 Active phone—only available at AT&T in the US for $795. When pulled from the water, its screen kept turning on and off, while water was visible in the cameras' lenses and in the SIM card slot. "The phones never returned to functionality," the mag says, noting the S7 Active scored "extremely well" on other tests for battery life, cameras, and displays. Consumer Reports' director of electronics testing tells the AP that the result is surprising given that Samsung's claims are typically "fairly good." "There may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be," says Samsung, adding it has received "very few complaints" about the issue and is investigating. (More Samsung stories.)

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