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Galaxy S7 Active fails water-resistance test, Consumer Reports says

by Jacob Kleinman | July 8, 2016July 8, 2016 8:00 am PDT

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Active is supposed to be an ultra-durable version of the super-sleek Galaxy S7, but it turns out the ruggedized smartphone may not hold up as well as its flagship sibling in one key area. The Galaxy S7 Active isn’t as water-resistant as promised, at least according to a new study from Consumer Reports.

The Galaxy S7 Active boasts an IP68 rating, which should keep it protected while submerged in five feet of water for up to 30 minutes. But when those claims were tested they didn’t hold up. After placing the device in a water tank pressurized at 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch (the same as five feet of water) for 30 minutes the smartphone was rendered unusable.

In the first test, the device emerged with green lines across the display, which no longer responded to touches. Small bubbles had also filled the rear and front-facing cameras. A second test with a new unit yielded similar results. The display flickered on and off repeatedly and the SIM card slot filled up with water.

Both Galaxy S7 Active phones were totally trashed and never recovered even after several days. Plugging them in would light up the display, but they didn’t actually work. Thankfully, the damage is covered by Samsung’s warranty.

The company told Consumer Reports that it’s had very few complaints regarding the Galaxy S7 Active and suggested the two units tested could be defective. But it seems unlikely the testers would somehow get their hands on two defective copies of the phone. That’s a pretty big coincidence.

It’s unclear exactly what’s wrong with the Galaxy S7 Active, but if water-resistance is important, you may be better off with the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. Both of those devices offer an IP68 rating as well and passed the same test with flying colors.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...