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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Water and Dust Resistant Features fully explained

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The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are designed to be water and dust resistant, so that it can join you wherever you go – through rain or shine. The new feature solves one of the biggest pain points of mobile devices.

We always talk about Water Resistant, but what exactly is it and how it works. Let’s have a close look at the features as explained by Samsung senior engineers of the Mechanical R&D, Mobile Communications Business Suk Chul Park and Jong Min Choi.

Water Resistant

In common user language, when a mobile phone is exposed to water, the liquid leaks into the body, eroding its hardware and causing electrical shorts. In contrast, water and dust resistant phones are equipped with a more advanced technology that prevents moisture from reaching their inner workings. This technology allows people to use the phone safely, even in very wet environments.

How Samsung differentiates Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge : Most other water and dust resistant phones come with bulky detachable covers or a clunky design, but the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge offer excellent protection without sacrificing the aesthetics of the phone. To ensure exceptional water and dust resistance, Samsung conducted rigorous experiments to find the right materials to seal the device’s USB port without using protective caps.

Technology Used by Samsung : Samsung used Non-corrodible materials like Nickel and Platinum  for frequently used parts such as an USB port or an earphone jack, without compromising on functionality.

Another point was to use special elastic material during assembly for sealing to block the moisture. When assembling individual parts like USB port, earphone jack or SIM card tray, there has to be a slight hiatus. Special silicon-type material is used to close that gap to prevent water from getting into the phone.

Special connection technology was also used to seal the space between the device’s metal frame and plastic parts for the antenna placement, replacing the plastic resin method used in previous devices.

One of biggest challenge was to apply water and dust resistant feature within the limited bezel space in order to maintain its size.

In particular, the Galaxy S7 edge has an extremely narrow bezel and curved display which made it impossible to apply water protective tape around the edge. To maintain and highlight the curved display of the Galaxy S7 edge, a different approach was needed. The material and location of the water protective tape were changed and liquid sealing material was used for the curvy area and to connect the taped part. Also, curved display itself is made up with water resistant material.

Now the key Question, Can you use Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge under water or in shower or in rainy season or water fall  ?

if you use these devices under fresh water for a short time, but it is recommended that you do so according to the product specifications. In fact, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are certified with an IP68 rating, which is the highest rating available for water and dust resistance of electronic appliance. However, ratings do not guarantee a device’s performance beyond the specified depth of water, or in liquids other than water.

We would recommend against using the phones for longer periods of time under high-pressure water taps, or in the ocean or other saltwater environments.

What IP68 rating standards are ?

IP means ” Ingress Protection “. This is a rating system set forth by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to inform consumers of how well protected an electronic device is against foreign bodies. An IP rating actually tells you two things about the device it’s attributed to – how well it resists water ingress, and how well it resists dust ingress.

First digit is for solid particle protection. 0 is no protection, 1 to 4 is protection from objects larger than 50, 12.5, 2.5 and 1 mm (I will use metric units, sorry). Number 5 is “dust protected” which Wikipedia, for confusion I think, calls “dust proof”. Standard states that “Ingress of dust is not totally prevented, but dust shall not penetrate in quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of the apparatus or to impair safety”. Number 6, highest level of particle protection, means no dust what so ever in the enclosure. Easy.

Second digit is trickier. 0 for no protection is fairly obvious. 1 is equivalent of light rain. 2, 3 and 4 are different degrees of splashing water. Think washing your hands with different degree of sloppiness. Numbers 5 and 6 is water jets with specific flowrates. My back of the envelope calculations show that 5 is equivalent to my water tap in the kitchen that’s open in full. 6 is much stronger.

And now the popular numbers – 7 and 8. First one is up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It does NOT mean that it will start leaking after 30 minutes. It just means that this is the test that was done and passed. Number 8 means test done for more than 1 meter (has to be specified) for a specified amount of time.

For common user, The rating goes like :

Dust : 0 – 6

Water : 0 – 8

Now, its clear first number represents Dust and the 2nd number represents water. Higher the number, better is the resistance. it means that the phone is “protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter,” according to the IEC. The usage case supplied for this is “Rain, splashing and accidental submersion.”

The IEC requires that the manufacturer itself supplies the precise depth and length of time the device can be exposed to water in such a rating, and in the Galaxy S7’s case Samsung says that it can withstand “Up to 30 minutes or 1.5 meters under (water)”.

On paper, the main advance from older IP67-rated phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 to the IP68-rated Samsung Galaxy S7 is a simple matter of depth. The newer phone can withstand water ingress to a half-metre greater depth.

In real world usage, though, an IP68 phone and an IP67 phone are pretty much equally dust and water resistant. As already mentioned, a more meaningful advance would have been the addition of an IP65 rating.

Of course, there has been a genuine improvement from the environmental sealing of the Galaxy S5 to that of the Galaxy S7, and that’s the fact that the latter no longer requires a clunky rubber stopper for its microUSB port. All the sealing work is properly integrated and internal, so you won’t have to remember to ‘shut the door’ before you take a dip in the bath.

 

 

 

 

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Rakesh Bhatia

2 Comments

  • I have a Samsung S7 Edge that I tested out at a pool. It is water resistant, However, I was unable to use the function buttons or apps under water. I could start the video and continue to record as I slowly submerge, But as I take it out from the water, it stops recording. I was also not able to take photo manually when underwater.
    Sound was affected after the immersion but recovers as moisture dries.

    • I did same experiment with my Moto G 3rd generation. I submerged it in river, but for a short duration. If ever you face the same moisture issue again, dip your phone in DRY rice for a day. The whole moisture will be gone.

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