Water-resistant smartphones are becoming increasingly common among the Android set, and we may have Sony to thank for it. The Japanese giant was one of the first to push an IP68 rating as a key feature, but it turns out the company’s own devices may not be as protected as originally promised.
If you head over to Sony Mobile’s support page on water and dust protection, you will find several statements on Sony’s new policy including: “Remember not to use the device underwater” and “The IP rating of your device was achieved in laboratory conditions in standby mode, so you should not use the device underwater, such as taking pictures.”
Waterproofing has long been a key selling point of the Xperia line, and the Z5 has the highest possible IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. That means it’s been tested by being immersed in fresh water for 30 minutes in depths of up to 1.5 metres.
Bad news if you were planning to take your Xperia Z5 for a dip.
In other words, Sony can’t guarantee that swimming and snapping photos won’t damage your handset, because it didn’t test the phone in every possible scenario. It remains one of the best handsets for waterproofing, however.
There are also many environmental factors which we could not assess (e.g. water movement or water pressure changes during the movement), if a device is used underwater. Therefore we recommend not submerge our Xperia Z5 in water.”
The updated guidelines apply to all three models of the Xperia Z5 and you can read them for yourself on the official Sony website. “You should not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water or liquids such as drinks,” it says.
It’s important to note that Sony issued these warnings for the Xperia Z3+, but they now also cover the company’s latest flagship: the Xperia Z5. Because Sony isn’t required to operate an Xperia handset while it’s being subjected to water and dust tests, the phone maker is reinforcing the fact that its devices were never intended to be subjected to a shallow dive.
What should you do if you own a top-end Xperia? Well, you’re clear to use it in “wet surroundings.” You can probably use it briefly while underwater, but that’s completely on you. Sony is just trying to set expectations and stop you from invalidating your warranty, even if it kind of flies in the face of previous marketing campaigns.