Are Apple’s new iPhones secretly waterproof?

Now that the two new Apple iPhones are in the hands of reviewers and the public at large, we’re starting to learn a few things about these handsets that Apple didn’t explicitly cover in the run up to the launch — such as how waterproof or otherwise they are. YouTuber Zach Straley has posted an online video showing both the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus survive an hour in a bowl of water.

This impressive capability is something Apple hasn’t mentioned at all. For that reason you shouldn’t consider the new phones officially waterproof, but it’s still good to know they’ll hold up well in a deluge. Both phones stay running throughout the test and everything from 3D Touch to the phone cameras continue to work after the hour spent underwater.

You might remember a number of similar tests done on the Apple Watch, another Apple device that holds up surprisingly well to water. Part of the difficulty in classifying water resistance is that it depends on pressure: An intense jet of water from a shower is potentially more damaging than placing a device just under the surface of a pool, for example.

Of course you should always err on the side of caution and stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines on these kind of matters: Just because someone else’s iPhone survives a drop in the sink doesn’t mean yours will too. If you want to push your phone’s waterproofing capabilities to the limit, you’re going to have to take responsibility for what happens (and we really wouldn’t recommend it).

Nevertheless it’s interesting to see how Apple’s waterproofing technology is improving — and the test has to be reassuring for anyone who’s spent hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone. Based on patents we’ve seen Apple file in the past, it looks like the company wants to use a thin, hydrophobic coating across all of the electronic components in its devices, though whether this is the case with the new iPhones is hard to say.


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