How to save a wet smartphone
Dropped your phone in water? Don’t panic! It may not be the end, if you follow these steps
Most of us carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go – but have you ever ended up with a wet phone after dropping it in the washing up, the bath or even down the toilet? Unfortunately it’s all too easy to do.
While it’s not ideal for your phone to take a dip, it might not spell the end if you follow these top tips.
What should you do if you drop your phone in water?
- Take your smartphone out of the water immediately and dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.
- If the phone is on, switch it off straight away. Resist the urge to unlock it and check it’s working as this could stop it working further down the line. If it’s switched off, leave it off.
- If possible, take the back off and remove the battery (not something you can do with an iPhone and other high-end smartphones) Eject the SIM card and memory card if you have one.
- Gently shake your smartphone to remove any water in the headphone port, charging socket and other ports.
- Pop your smartphone in a bowl of dry rice, covering it fully, and leave for a minimum of 48 hours.
- When the 48 hours is up, check the ports for rice and remove any grains with a small pair of tweezers. Now you can switch on your phone. If it works, make sure you back up all your data immediately, in case it stops working again.
GHI TIP: You can pop the phone in an airing cupboard to dry out instead of using rice, but you run the risk of the phone overheating, so we prefer the rice method.
Is there such a thing as a waterproof phone?
If your phone can’t be rescued, and you’re looking for a replacement, consider a waterproof model. Fortunately, a degree of waterproofing is becoming more and more common on modern mobiles, particularly at the higher end. Search Google for ‘waterproof mobile’ and you’ll find direct links to water resistant and waterproof ranges on sale through Carphone Warehouse, Argos and other high street retailers.
The key spec you need to look out for is the phone’s IP (Ingress Protection) rating. This will be a two digit code, in which the first digit rates how well the device can withstand solid objects, like dust, from entering it, and the second denotes how well it is protected against liquid seeping into it. In each instance, larger numbers are better. So, a phone rated at IP67 is dust-tight (the 6) and can withstand immersion in water to a depth of one metre (the 7). If the second digit was 0, the phone would offer no water resistance; a 1 indicates that it can withstand drips.
Which mobile phones are waterproof?
The iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are rated to IP68, having been tested at depths of six metres for 30 minutes. The iPhone 11 family is also rated IP68, although these devices were only tested at depths of four metres. You can find ratings for other devices in Apple’s line-up on its help pages.
Google’s Pixel 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 and S20 families are likewise rated to IP68 standard.