Sink or Swim? How the iPhone 6s Stands up to Water Damage


Ever dropped your phone in the bath? Ever taken a swim and realised your phone was in your pocket? Remember that ‘oh, s***’ moment when you feared your favourite piece of communication device – your entire digital life! – had become waterlogged and unresponsive? Yeah, we’ve all been there. If we’re lucky we manage to quickly rip the phone from the water, dry it out, and chalk the whole episode up to experience. But how does an phone – specifically, the brand new iPhone 6s – actually fare if you dunk it in water? What keeps working and what doesn’t? Does it sink or swim (figuratively speaking)? In this article we discover the new features of the 6s and how it deals under (water) pressure.


Question – How do you make smartphones smarter? Answer – Keep upgrading. Make the processor faster, make the images sharper, increase the pixel capability of the cameras. Well, the iPhone 6s, the latest upgrade from Apple, does just that. The 6s has a faster processor, better camera, quicker Touch ID, and a brand new pressure-sensitive 3D Touch screen. But like many famous rockers who live fast and die young, so does the 6s with its short battery life. Be prepared to plug-in frequently and brush up on your ‘Do you have an iPhone charger?’ polite face.

Yes, the 6s has more megapixels, and while you may notice a slight picture quality improvement it’s not going to blow your mind and explode your vision into a million shattered pixels. The new pressure-sensitive screen has the new ‘peek’ and ‘pop’ gestures, as Apple calls them, which, for example, allows users to preview an email without opening it by pushing harder. Releasing and pushing harder again opens the email fully. The 3D Touch upgrade is a great addition that is certainly technically impressive.

iPhone 6s features:

  • Processor: dual-core Apple A9
  • Operating system: iOS 9
  • Screen: 4.7in 750 x 1334 pixels (326 ppi)
  • RAM: 2GB of RAM
  • Storage: 16/64/128GB
  • Camera: 12MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera
  • Dimensions: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm
  • Weight: 143g

Despite the frustratingly short battery life, the iPhone 6s is one of the best smaller smartphones on the market. Apple’s iOS 9 fits and works great on the 4.7in screen, the better camera and faster fingerprint scanner are great improvements, and the iPhone looks and feels good in your hand. Another drawback, however, is that if you want more than the standard 16GB you have to pay a premium.


To test whether a 6s could survive underwater, EverythingApplePro conducted an experiment by submerging the 6s in a foot of water for 30 minutes, removing the phone every 10 minutes to find out if it still works. First off, be warned – the iPhone 6s is NOT waterproof! It does not have an IP68 water resistant certification. This is not an experiment you should replicate, unless you want to risk wasting hundreds of dollars worth of equipment.

Here’s what happens when you submerge it in a foot of water. First off, the Force Touch and 3D Touch don’t work underwater. The display continues to work fine, but there’s no signal. Take it out after 10 minutes and the display and the digitizer still work. The sound is a bit tinny but it works, and the phone recognises the headphones and charges when it’s plugged in. After 20 minutes underwater the buttons are still on, the touch pad works, the phone picks up wifi, charges, and the front and rear cameras still work. Again, the sound is muted but you can still hear it. From 20-30 minutes it’s a different story. During this time liquid begins to seep under the screen, making the display flicker. The backlight starts to dim and flicker and diagonal lines appear on the screen. Eventually, the phone reboots. Take it out at 28 minutes and it’s dead. Plug it in and it doesn’t work.

So as for being waterproof, well, it isn’t. If you spill liquid on your phone, clean it off immediately. If you drop your phone in water, chances are if you pick it out and dry it out ASAP (and by dry it our we mean leave it in a bag of rice for at least a couple days and resist the urge to use it) then everything should continue to work OK. But anything longer than a minute and you’re taking a risk. And if your phone is submerged for over 20 minutes or so, be prepared to see it go to sleep and maybe never wake again.

To forestall this happening and to fix any water damage to your phone, stop using your phone immediately and bring it in to Repair Express. The sooner your phone is treated for water damage, the better the chance are that the phone will have a full recovery. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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