Apple Has Not Been Truthful About How Water-Resistant iPhone 12 Is, Tests Show

Aadhya Khatri - Feb 22, 2021


Apple Has Not Been Truthful About How Water-Resistant iPhone 12 Is, Tests Show

For the tests, an iPhone 12 was mounted on Theseus – an underwater drone and submerged under freshwater at the temperature of 10 degrees Celsius

Apple claims that iPhone 12 could survive splashes and spills, but the following tests are proof that the Cupertino tech giant might have downplayed the phone’s level of water-resistance.

The iPhone 12 has IP68 certifying that it can handle being submerged for half an hour under 6 meters of water. This is true for every phone in the iPhone 12 lineup.

Much like previous generations of iPhones, tests have shown that the phones can survive even harsher conditions.

For the tests, an iPhone 12 was mounted on Theseus – an underwater drone.

iPhone 12 water resistant test
For the tests, an iPhone 12 was mounted on Theseus – an underwater drone

Dive 1: Testing Apple’s Claim (6 Meters For 30 Minutes)

Apple’s support page warns that no one should intentionally bring the iPhone 12 for swimming, submerge it, or expose it to extreme temperature, but for the sake of the test, this phone was pushed to the limit.

The first dive is to test the IP68 certification – 6 meters underwater for 30 minutes. The iPhone 12 was mounted on the drone with its screen stayed on to see what happened when it was underwater.

Iphone 12 Waterproof test 1
The iPhone 12 was mounted on the drone with its screen stayed on to see what happened when it was underwater

The water temperature was 11 degrees Celsius at the time of the test.

After 30 minutes, the phone was pulled out of the water and dried with a cloth. It was just fine, with the screen was still responsive and the volume rocker worked as it was supposed to. The three rear cameras showed no evidence of fogging and the pictures they took look fine.

dry iPhone 12
After 30 minutes, the phone was pulled out of the water and dried with a cloth

However, the time underwater did take a toll on the phone’s speakers. A recording was made before the test and played after the first dive. Sounds were a bit muffled but things might improve if the phone was left to dry for a bit longer.

Apple advices users to place the phone’s Lightning connector and base in front of a fan to accelerate the drying process.

Dive 2: The Extreme Test (65 feet, 20 Meters)

With the iPhone 12 breezing through the first test, it was mounted on the drone for the second one which involved the phone being submerged for 20 meters, or 65 feet, three times the recommended limit.

iPhone 12 water resistant test 2
It was mounted on the drone for the second one which involved the phone being submerged for 20 meters, or 65 feet, three times the recommended limit

The water temperature was 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 30 minutes, the phone was left submerged for 10 more minutes to see what happened to it. The same tests were done again here.

The iPhone 12 was in working order, with the power button, volume rocker, cameras, and the screen was responsive as normal. The muffled speakers showed no sign of getting worse and audios were still audible.

After the second test, the phone was wiped, turned off, and left alone for 72 hours to dry completely.

The Final Test

After the 72 hours had passed, one final test was done to see if the two dives left any permanent damage to the phone.

While the phone was dry, the three cameras developed fogging. After plugging it in for some time and powered it on, the iPhone 12 showed a Diagnostics prompt that wouldn’t go away no matter what the testers tried. The phone was connected to a MacBook and reset but the Diagnostics prompt still persisted.

The cause of the error was unknown. It might be because of the damage done by being submerged in water or the difference between the temperature underwater and on land, or both.

How Water-Resistant Is The iPhone 12?

Please bear in mind that these tests are unscientific and don’t guarantee the same results in other similar situations.

Here are the recaps of the tests. The iPhone 12 clearly met the IP68 claim of 30 minutes under 6 meters (19,6 feet) of water. However, the handset has its limit so you shouldn’t intentionally submerge it underwater under any circumstances.

The IP rating is for freshwater only so there is no guarantee that you will get the same results with salt water or other liquids like coffee and beer. Bringing the phone to the pool with you is also a big no as IP tests are done in lab conditions with the phone in standby mode. Pool water is full of cleaning chemicals so there is no way to tell how long the iPhone 12 will last.

iPhone 12 water resistant ability
The handset has its limit so you shouldn’t intentionally submerge it underwater under any circumstances

Another thing to remember is that the warranty doesn’t cover water damage.

If your iPhone 12 gets wet and you don’t know what to do, here is what Apple recommends. Strictly following these guidelines will increase the surviving chances of your phone if it comes into contact with liquid.

>>> iPhone 12 Pro With Steve Jobs’ Turtleneck Inside Costs $6,500

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