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Is the iPhone 7 waterproof? New design FAQ

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iPhone 7
Is it waterproof? Here's the truth...

Is the iPhone 7 waterproof? You want to know, and we’ve got the answer. Here’s the truth about Apple’s new iPhone 7 design.

On Wednesday, Apple revealed the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, showing off a brand new feature: water-resistance. It’s a first for Apple handsets, so it’s no surprise that there’s been some post-launch confusion about the redesign.

Is the iPhone 7 waterproof?

The quick answer is no; the iPhone 7 is not waterproof. If you put your phone in water and it breaks, you screwed up. Sorry.

Is the iPhone 7 water-resistant?

Yes, it is. Apple is marketing the iPhone 7 as 'water-resistant', and with good reason. If a dunked iPhone marketed as ‘waterproof’ broke after being immersed in water, Apple would be liable for the damage. Apple doesn’t want this, obviously.

In fact, Sony made the switch from ‘waterproof’ to ‘water-resistant’ marketing with its own Xperia line-up only last year, thanks in part to the liability headache that comes with waterproofing electronics.

How water-resistant is the iPhone 7?

Right, we told a fib at the start. The iPhone 7 is technically waterproof, although it’s not being sold as waterproof. Here’s the proper explanation:

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the organisation that classifies waterproofed gadgets, using an ‘IPXX’ notation system. The ‘IP’ bit stands for 'Ingress Protection’, and the two digits refer to dust-proofing and water-proofing respectively.

The iPhone 7 is IP67 certified. The ‘6’ means that it is completely dust tight, as detailed by the IEC:

“No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow."

But the ‘7’ is the bit we care about; it stands for ‘Immersion, up to one-metre depth’. This means the iPhone 7 was plunged underwater to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes and survived. This was in laboratory conditions however, so your mileage may vary in real life.

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Right, can my iPhone 7 get wet or not?

Although the iPhone 7 is technically rated as waterproof, we’d warn against actually submerging it. You should always treat waterproofing as a last-resort option, rather than pushing the feature to its limits.

However, you shouldn’t worry about getting the phone a little wet. You can use your iPhone 7 in the rain. You can have your iPhone 7 near the sink when washing up. Just don’t take it into the sea, because it will break – salt water is bad for tech, folks.

Oh, and don’t charge your iPhone if it’s wet either. Because it’s really, really stupid.

Related: IP67 vs IP68

My iPhone 7 stopped working after getting wet. Help?

So you ignored our advice (or maybe you followed it, but just got unlucky), and your iPhone has died after getting wet. Well, we’ve got bad news: Apple won’t cover liquid damage. It explicitly says so in the fine print of Apple’s iPhone 7 web-page.

Apple also cautions against assuming your phone will stay water-resistant:

"Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.”

If your phone is completely borked as a result of getting wet, you’re going to have to find your own solution. There are ways of drying electronics out, but they’re not always that effective. You might just have to buy a brand new phone. Once again, we’re sorry.

Related: iPhone 8

Watch: iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus

What do you think of the new iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments.

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