Consumer reports are making some noise today because its labs said that the Galaxy S7 Active had failed the water immersion test on two different devices. In theory, the Galaxy S7 is rated to survive a dip in 5 feet of water, for 30 minutes (IP68 rating). This is an even bigger for the S7 Active, which is a more durable version of the Galaxy S7 (although both have the same IP resistance rating).
The test consisted of immersing the phones in a metallic container which was pressured at around ~2.12 PSI to simulate the pressure at that depth. Unfortunately, the devices experienced electronic failure. In one case, the display was completely garbled and unreadable. In the second case, the display kept flickering, although the phone was somewhat still usable.
Consumer reports that at least one of the S7 Active also had water penetration in both front and back cameras. Even the SIM card slot was not spared and had traces of water inside. Efforts to “dry” the phones (here’s how to dry a phone) have failed as well, even after one week.
Ironically, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have passed the same test with flying colors despite being designed with beauty in mind, instead of toughness. As a result, Consumer Reports will not recommend this phone because of this failure.
Samsung says that it is investigating the matter, probably to see if it’s a bad “batch” of devices that was not up to the specifications, or if there’s a systemic production issue with the model. Hopefully, it is the former.