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Samsung Geeks | December 7, 2016

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How Do Samsung Waterproof Their Phones? - Samsung Geeks

How Do Samsung Waterproof Their Phones?

| On 27, Oct 2016

The internet is flooded with sources – sadly none from the last year or two – claiming statistics of how many phones get dropped down the toilet every year. Back in 2007, Gizmodo claimed it was around 850,000, equalling about 1.5% of the population. However, by 2011, Plaxo reckoned 19% of people had lost their phones to the Porcelain Express. Although the accuracy of any of these figures is iffy at best, it goes to show what a widespread problem it is, and the sudden appearance of phone repair shops on the high street in recent years speaks volumes. Now, phone manufacturers are trying to prevent water damage from the foundation level, by working water resistance into their designs.

How do Samsung Waterproof their Phones?

Far more simply than one might imagine. In short, glue and rubber. All edges and ports have a special glue thickly applied that forms a tight seal and prevents water from seeping in. Parts that glue doesn’t suit have specially made rubber gaskets and rings applied, which – rather like on your standard thermos – forms a strong rubber bond that expands when tightened.

However, some parts – such as speakers and microphones – will not work if made completely watertight, due to the simple fact that air is needed to allow sound waves to travel. This problem is overcome with the extra-fine mesh that coats the majority of phone speakers now. Of course, this isn’t entirely watertight, but is generally successful because of water’s natural tendency to group together in very small amounts, i.e. to form droplets.

Are Samsung phones Completely Waterproof?

The concept of waterproofing can be a tricky one, mainly down to terminology. ‘Waterproof’ implies an entirely seamless object that water has no way of penetrating; ‘water-resistant’ suggests a device that can survive a certain amount of water immersion, but is unlikely to be Aquaman’s handset of choice. C-Net wisely summarises, “When companies say their phones are water-resistant, here’s what they really mean: the phone was able to withstand a certain amount of water for a certain period of time”.

Fact is, if one were determined enough, or unwitting enough, water could indeed get into the innards of your phone, and cause pretty expensive damage. Samsung phones may be water resistant for a certain period at a certain depth, but variables are everything. For example, if frolicking in the sea and your phone mic was hit at the wrong angle by a forceful wave, the pressure of the water could push water molecules through any mesh covering or rubber gasket.

So this is the simple secret to how Samsung waterproof their phones. While it is novel and admittedly handy to know that a quick tumble into the washing up bowl won’t cost you hundreds, don’t push it. Samsung’s water resistance is an improvement, but not a guarantee, and definitely not a challenge. To learn more about Samsung’s design and manufacturing processes, please do explore Samsung Geeks.