One of the biggest appeals that Sony’s Xperia range of smartphones had been water resistance – the ability to take the phone underwater without having to worry about re-emerging with a glorified paperweight. That’s why we’re a bit perplexed why the company now recommends not taking its waterproof phones underwater.
The new policy change is with the Xperia Z5 series of phones, though it first appeared with the Xperia Z3+ and Z4. Sony writes:
The Xperia Z5 is waterproof and protected against dust, so don’t worry if you get caught in the rain or want to wash off dirt under a tap, but remember: all ports and attached covers should be firmly closed. You should not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water or liquids such as drinks. Abuse and improper use of device will invalidate warranty.
So what’s going on here? Are Sony’s new phones now vulnerable to water? Well, not exactly – Sony’s probably closing off an avenue for warranty claims. The phones are definitely water-resistant – an underwater unboxing of the Z3 shows that the phone is more than capable of withstanding water pressures that would destroy other phones, but that’s only if all the ports are sealed properly. Water resistant phones are only as strong as the weakest of its seals – we’ve seen our fair share of careless users who don’t seal the ports of gadgets rated for IP65/68 and proceed to wreck them as they’re submerged in H2O.
Will this change anything? Probably not – Sony’s Xperia Z5 series of phones are rated for IP65/68 and should stand-up to the odd swim or two. You can probably take it whale shark diving with you without any problems but remember – if anything happens to it while it’s underwater, you’re probably out of luck warranty-wise.