A recent test of the Galaxy S7 Active’s water-resistance performed by Consumer Reports found that Samsung’s claims might not hold water.
After testing the limits of the S7 Active’s IP68 water-resistance, which should allow it to function properly after being dunked under five feet of water for half an hour, Consumer Reports found that the “screen was obscured by green lines, and tiny bubbles were visible in the lenses of the front- and rear-facing cameras.”
It also found that the touchscreen no longer registered finger taps, either.
Consumer Reports then performed the same test on a different unit to make sure the problem wasn’t isolated to that particular phone from the first test, and the second unit failed, as well. Consumer Reports claimed that the “screen cycled on and off every few seconds, and moisture could be seen in the front and back camera lenses.” It “also noticed water in the slot holding the SIM card.”
The “Active” model of the S7 is designed to be more rugged than the standard S7, as it’s built with impact-resistant plastic rather than the fragile glass of the regular model. Otherwise, it’s nearly identical to the regular S7. The Active’s impact-resistant materials shouldn’t have much to do with the S7 Active’s water-resistance, but it’s rated with the same IP68 water-resistance as the regular S7 model.
In response to Consumer Reports’ findings, Samsung claimed that it’s possible some specific units could be defective, and that the company is investigating the issue. Tech Insider has also contacted Samsung, but we haven’t heard anything back yet.
Either Samsung is extremely unlucky and it sent two of the few defective units to Consumer Reports, or the Galaxy S7 Active simply isn’t built up to IP68 standards, which would be odd considering the Active is Samsung’s “rugged” model that should hold up Samsung’s water-resistance claims extra-well.
It’s not clear if this is a problem isolated to the S7 Active. However, CNET claimed the audio of its S7 review units was permanently muffled and damaged from its water-resistance test back in March.
Samsung was very confident about the S7’s water resistance, and the company offers a warranty for water-related damage.
To showcase the regular S7’s water-resistance, T-Mobile released an unboxing video of the S7 that was filmed entirely underwater, with the unboxer using scuba gear while turning on the S7 in a pool.
Still, the regular Galaxy S7 is the best Android smartphone you can buy at the moment, even if it might not deal as well under water as Samsung claims. It has the best camera we’ve ever seen in a smartphone, as well as a beautiful design and solid performance.