iPhone 5 Holds Up Well in Water-Damage Test

There is no worse feeling than getting a nice new iPhone, then doing something dumb that sees it get destroyed or damaged. Nothing like waiting in line for hours, then seeing all that time go down the drain … literally. It turns out your don’t have to sweat it as much with the iPhone 5, as it was put through a “torture test,” and while it didn’t come out unscathed, it didn’t turn out too bad.

I’ll be brave and tell my story. After teasing my son relentlessly for ruining his first cell phone by losing it in his bowl of cereal in the morning, then losing the next one in the kitchen sink when he was putting his dirty dishes in there (you’d think I’d be happy he was putting his dishes in the sink), I lost not one, but two iPhones to water damage in one month.

I had my original iPhone for more than two years, never getting a single drop of liquid on it. I then replaced it with a 3GS, and had that for approximately ten months. Then in the bathroom one day, I left it on the bathroom sink. Before you pass judgement, I know I’m not the only one who takes my phone in the bathroom with me. I’m just one of the few brave enough to admit it. I knocked the phone into the running water when I was washing my hands. It worked still, but kept irritatingly restarting every few minutes. Apple was kind enough to replace it when I pleaded the fifth on possible water damage.

A month later I was out and took my purse into a public restroom. I had my purse on the bathroom sink, with my replacement 3GS sitting in an outside pocket for easy access. When I went to wash my hands, my purse got knocked off the sink, and the phone did a suicide jump into the toilet. Panic-stricken, I yanked the phone out, and it worked, but I saw the liquid inside and knew it was cashed and that Apple wouldn’t be replacing it for me this time. The display quit working by the next day, and no amount of rice was going to save it. I replaced it with a new 3GS, which restarted my contract, and resolved to stop washing my hands.

My contract ended earlier this year, and I’ve been dutifully waiting for the iPhone 5. It arrived in the mail from the pre-order this week. I ordered a case, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’m panic-stricken that a drop or some condensation from a table or something is going to ruin this phone. I have not even taken it in the bathroom yet, and when sleeping at night with my headphones in to listen to music, I tuck the phone under my pillow, just in case I start drooling or something.

This video by Android Authority is good news for those of us who do stupid things like throw our phone in our cereal, or whose phones seem to be on suicide missions. They put the iPhone 5 through a “torture test” and it performed well.

The first test was to pour a hot cup of coffee on the phone. After drying it off with paper towels, it was completely unscathed. That means it just might hold up to a quick knock into the bathroom sink. Not that I want to try it, but it allays a little bit of the fear.

The second test was to put the iPhone 5 into a large Ziploc bag with keys to emulate being jumbled around in a pocket or a purse. It was shaken up, twisted around, ground back and forth, etc. The iPhone came out working fine and only had a few small scratches on the exterior. It held up well once again.

The final test involved dropping the iPhone into a fish tank for several seconds. This was longer than my 3GS ended up being in the toilet. The iPhone 5 came out and worked initially, then the screen started becoming unresponsive. After twenty-four hours in rice, the phone wasn’t working at all.

They finally killed the iPhone 5. Those still waiting for the iPhone 5 are probably sitting there slack-jawed wondering how they could ruin that prize just for a test. However, it was mostly good news. It put up with a lot of abuse before it eventually succumbed. It gives me a little peace of mind until my case arrives. I’m still leery of leaving it open to possible damage, but I’m not as completely panic-stricken with fear.Phone Credit: Hollywoodleek.com


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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.