Here we are within the first few days of the iPhone 7’s release and many people have the same question: How waterproof is the iPhone 7, and what kind of help can I get from Apple if it does get wet? Let’s open it up and find out.
Splash and water resistant
First off, it’s important to remember that Apple never said that their phone is “waterproof”, just splash and water resistant. The terminology is very, very important and I’ll tell you why. The Apple iPhone 7 has a Ingress Protection of 67. The first number is talking about solids, like dust, and the second number is talking about liquids. The iPhone 7 is labeled as IP67. A 7, at the end, means that the phone can be immersed in water shallower than 1 meter, or 3 feet, for short periods of time.
This is much different than Samsung’s IP68 rating that can be submersed in water deeper than 1 meter. The testing standards are different for each number. IP69 is the highest IP rating which would be able to withstand steam jet cleaning. An example of an IP69 rating would be the Sonim XP6. So when compared to other water resistant phones, Apple is at the lowest end of immersion protection.
Not covered by warranty
The most important thing to remember from this information is that if your phone does get wet, it is not covered by any kind of warranty whatsoever. It is written pretty clearly on Apple’s website: “liquid damage is not covered under warranty”. There are not many ingress points for water on the iPhone 7, especially since Apple got rid of the headphone jack. Apple saved a significant amount of money by removing that hole, and not having to waterproof it.
Let’s start with the biggest hole in this phone. One you might not think of is the screen slot. The gap between the edge of the screen and the edge of the phone is the largest area that needs to be sealed. When doing a bend test you can clearly see the adhesive and when removing the screen from the phone. There’s a sticky black substance that is water resistant and helps keep water and dust out of the phone.
The second biggest hole is the charging port. The port itself has 6 different screws in close proximity to the port that hold it tight against the frame of the phone. A rubber ring around the tip helps keep water out, and the lighting port hole is sealed with a clear plastic. Each little component on the charging port ribbon are also protected by plastic. This is pretty smart, just in case water does get inside the phone, the electronics close by the opening will still be protected.
What about the two speaker holes at the bottom? The one to the right of the charging port is the loudspeaker hole and it has a thin mesh inside the exterior holes to keep water out, as well as a thin mesh inside the speaker itself, so there are 2 simple layers of protection. To the left side of the charging ribbon is a microphone hole, and that is still protected by the same type of waterproof mesh. It allows air and sound through as long as the water pressure is minimal, liquid would rather stick to itself than pass through the small openings of the mesh. Thumbs up for this sweet waterproof mesh!
What about the earpiece? It is held tightly against the screen of the phone with several screws. A rubber seal around the front also helps keep water out, along with multiple layers of that same waterproof mesh. There is even mesh on the back of the speaker, just in case. So what is keeping water out of the side buttons? The power button internal housing is along the edge.
All you have to do is pop off the two screw and normally there would be some kind of rubber sidewall between the button layers and side of the phone, but it looks like Apple is just hoping that these really small holes work in their favor. If you remove the button entirely, each prong of the button has a little rubber washer on the tip and that will probably help keep water out, as long as it’s extremely shallow water with no pressure. The SIM card tray has a loose fitting little rubber ring around the edge of it.
Water damage indicator
So how will Apple be able to tell if your phone has been wet? Well, right on the motherboard is a water damage indicator. It looks all innocent and white when dry, but it turns red the second liquid touches it. Rumor has it if you want to try and fake out Apple you can apply a small amount of bleach to the water indicator to make it white again.
Water resistance is the biggest upgrade from the previous model iPhone 6. Yet the motherboard itself is not water resistant at all.
Some electronics will be covered in a hydrophobic spray that repels water. Liquid would bead up, and roll off, without sticking to the board at all. But if you apply droplets of water to it you can clearly see that the water clings very tightly to the motherboard. This signals that it is not treated with any hydrophobic spray.
So if water gets in, water will kill it. So, if you use your iPhone as your daily device, it is strongly recommended that you still avoid water. Just think as that IP67 as an added layer of protection, a slight peace of mind, but do not trust it with regular water contact, and definitely keep it out of the hot shower. Steam gets into more places that regular water does not. And if your phone gets water damaged it is entirely your problem, and not Apple’s. But don’t worry if you do damage your phone with water. We at www.SellBroke.com will buy your broken iPhone.