What you need to know to keep your mobile running even if it does get overly moist.
Taking your smartphone with you everywhere is kind of the point; they’re pocket-sized computers that keep you informed and in touch. The problem with having a pocket-sized computer everywhere is that sometimes it rains. Sometimes you drop your smartphone in the bath, or the pool, or (gasp) in the toilet. We won’t judge, but the reality is that electronics and water don’t mix well.
What if I've just dropped my phone into water?
If you're facing that particular stressful scenario, there are a few key things you can try to coax your phone back to life, but there are very few guarantees because water and electronics are not friends.
The first step is to power down your phone if it's not already off. If you have a phone with a removable battery, pull it out as fast as you can to be sure.
The next step is to allow time for as much water to exit the phone body as possible before trying to use it again. While there are commercially available products that attract water into a sleeve or pocket around a phone, the old low-tech way is to drop it into a small bag of rice and leave it for a period of at least 48 hours before trying to switch the phone back on. As noted, there are no guarantees, but given that, it's worth the price of a small bag of rice to try.
Ouch! That was expensive and stressful! What can I do in the future about my phone and water?
Not dropping your phone in water is a good start. A few light drops of rain shouldn’t be a problem, but an outright soaking, and especially immersion, is very problematic.
There have been a few notable runs of premium smartphones that came with inbuilt waterproofing measures, so you've got some choices to make. The latest iPhone model, the iPhone 8, is called "water resistant" by Apple, but it's IP67 rated so it should withstand accidental immersion. The same is true for Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, Sony's Xperia XZ Premium and even Alcatel's low-cost Go Play smartphone.