Sony sinks former stance on underwater Xperia devices

Joanna Tatum
September 15, 2015

Sony’s recent change of heart reveals uncertainty about Xperia’s underwater survival.

Sony has contradicted its own website in a recent update of its support pages. While the official page for the Xperia Z3 declares that “you can take pictures with the best smartphone camera while swimming in fresh water,” as long as all the covers for the micro USB port, the micro SIM slot and the memory card slot are firmly closed, the support pagefirmly announces, “Do not use the device to take photos while performing any type of activity underwater, including diving or snorkeling.”

So which one is right?

The second position was confirmed by Community Manager Johan today in the Sony Xperia Support Forum. The explanation given is that Sony tests to the minimum requirements for an IPX8 rating for waterproofing; a certification that means a device is waterproof within given limits.

Those minimum requirements involve the gentle immersion of the phone or tablet in still, fresh water at a depth of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. More active use, such as swimming with it or spraying it with water, are not covered in the tests performed by Sony.

So, in short: rain and clean water are okay, but soap, seawater, and chlorine are all very unhealthy for your phone. Your phone might hold up to the latter, but Sony won’t be taking responsibility for the damage.

For more on Sony, visit What Mobile’s dedicated Sony page.

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