Being able to survive under 5 feet of water for 30 minutes is one of the Samsung Galaxy S7’s best features, and you would expect this ability to have been improved in the rugged version of the handset – the S7 Active. But it seems this may not be the case.
While the new smartphone has the same IP68 rating as the standard S7/S7 Edge, it’s supposed to handle being submerged in water better than the original smartphones. However, in Consumer Reports tests where the device was placed in a water tank pressurized at 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch (equal to five feet of water), the S7 Active malfunctioned and became unfunctional.
The first test saw the device’s display become obscured with green lines and cycle on and off every few seconds. Unsurprisingly, the touchscreen was no longer responsive, and there was moisture in both the front and back camera lenses.
The team conducted a second test using a different handset, but the results were similar. Again, the screen repeatedly power-cycled and some liquid made its way into the camera lenses. There was also water in the SIM card slot.
For a few days following the tests, the phone screens would light up when plugged in but couldn’t be read. They never returned to working order, but Samsung’s warranty does cover water damage. Ironically, the standard versions of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge passed the same test with flying colors, and both devices top Consumer Reports' smartphone Ratings.
Samsung said that it is currently investigating the findings, and there may be a chance that the two Active handsets were defective. “The Samsung Galaxy S7 active device is one of the most rugged phones to date and is highly resistant to scratches and IP68 certified,” the company said in a written statement. “There may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be.”
Aside from the potential waterproof issue, the Active is reportedly tough enough to survive being dropped from a height – something the S7 doesn’t cope with very well.