Waterproof mobile phones range from models that are resistant to a few splashes of water to especially advanced that can withstand being submerged in deep water for hours.
Who needs a waterproof mobile phone?
Waterproof mobile phones are ideal for adventure sports enthusiasts, offering them the security that they’ll be able to stay in touch even if they drop their handset into water, for instance while caving or hiking.
The handsets' waterproof casing also means that the GPS signal it emits is less likely to be impaired, making it easier for rescue services to find the owners in the event of a mishap during their trip.
Waterproof phones are also perfect for anyone who works outdoors and whose mobile is regularly exposed to the elements – potentially causing irreparable damage.
And they’re great, too, if you’re clumsy and prone to dropping your phone in sinks or in the bath or want to use the handset in humid conditions, where moisture could seep in.
By keeping the SIM card free from damage, waterproof phones mean that you need not worry about losing vital phone numbers and contact details if your mobile is dropped in water or you’re caught in a rainstorm.
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Advantages and disadvantages of a waterproof phone
As we’ve seen above, the main advantage of a waterproof phone is peace of mind. It’s great to know that all your vital personal information is safe from harm. And even better to know that you’ll be able to stay in touch if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
However, the drawback with waterproof mobile phones is that they are generally less advanced than cutting-edge mobiles. This means that the latest, high-end functions such as HSDPA support for fast web browsing and social networking are unlikely to be on board.
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Which companies make waterproof mobile phones?
Nokia, Samsung and a host of major mobile phone industry players have manufactured terrific waterproof phones that combine rugged construction with high levels of water resistance and sharp looks.
Sony has led the way in recent years, though, with select top-end Xperia phones that even let you film in HD underwater.
How can I tell if a how water resistant a phone is?
Waterproof phones employ a standard called IP certification, rather like BSI kitemarks, which appear in this format: “IP86”. The second digit refers to how waterproof a phone is, with higher numbers being indicative of greater resistance to water. The first digit tells potential buyers how resistant a phone is to dust.
uSwitch Mobile Phones recommends you choose a phone with a water resistance rating of at least 4. This is guaranteed to protect the handset’s workings from water splashing against it. The highest rating is 8, which indicates that the handset can be submerged in water more than a metre deep for prolonged periods.
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How are waterproof phones made?
Technology for waterproofing mobile phones is often highly advanced. One of the ways that a phone is made water resistant is by applying a chemical coating to the exterior and inside the handsets.
Another common method used by manufacturers is using silicon to keep the handset dry and keeping seals and seams as tight as possible.