My Galaxy S5 isn’t as water resistant as I thought

Update: we’ve discovered the truth about the Galaxy S5 IP67 Certification.

Ever since it was announced people have been asking- how waterproof  is the Galaxy S5? As seen in our full review, its weather resistance is one of its best new features. Or at least it’s supposed to be. This morning I woke up to find my front and rear camera had some odd bubbles forming all over each lens.

s5-water-damage-back

S5-water-damage-front

That doesn’t look good. At all. So we tested a picture.

S5-water-damage-selfie

And a screencap of the screen for safe measure.

S5-water-damage-selfiescreencap

Samsung describes the S5 as “resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your phone is protected for any activity and situation,” but the technical designation is IP67 Certification. That means water damage should not be possible in liquid immersion up to 1 meter.

I subjected my Galaxy S5 to liquid submersion twice:

Galaxy S5 in Toilet

Waterproof: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8

That was several days ago.

I’m the first to admit that waterproof and water resistant are two different things, and I would normally never purposefully put my phone in harms way, but IP67 designates that this phone should not face water damage under these circumstances. Testing these types of things is why we do these reviews.

The Galaxy S5 is very good about reminding you close your charger door snugly and make sure your battery cover is snapped on COMPLETELY before continuing. This is a message you shouldn’t dismiss (although it allows you to) because the reminder is a good one. I can say with confidence that during both water tests my phone back cover and battery port were completely secured.

Somehow, though, water snuck its way into my battery.

S5-water-damage-battery

After cleaning it off, snapping the cover back on, and firing up the camera… the drama continued.

S5-water-damage-camera-error

Twenty minutes later the camera begun loading again, but not without bubbletastic cloudiness ensuing.

So now I’m at a crossroads. This seems like a problem that will not correct itself. It also seems like a hard case to prove the water damage didn’t happen due to fault of my own. I could have separated the battery cover and gone deep sea diving for all they know.

I joke of course, but these types of water tests have been popping up all over the web, with some people even going swimming with the device.

I’m not exactly sure how this happened or how the story will end, but I felt it was a development worth sharing. I want to point out that this has been MY experience but in no way am I claiming it’s indicative of a Galaxy S5 problem as a whole. Have any other Galaxy S5 owners had similar situations? Has your Galaxy S5 been put to the water test? Head on over the Galaxy S5 Forums to share your stories!

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  • BrandoHD

    Until further notice, we would have to say this is a case of user error, at least until other reports starts coming in

    • Greg Hortin

      Sounds more like a specific device problem. If you subject a device to conditions it’s supposed to handle and it doesn’t but other users aren’t reporting the same issue then it could be a specific dud device.

      It’s not hard to fathom with the volume of devices shipped that the odd device may not be sealed properly or have any number of other random defects.

      • BrandoHD

        Agreed

    • robjackson81

      I agree. I don’t think – or at least hope it’s not – a larger problem. I tried to position this as a personal device issue and hope that came across clearly. I feel like getting g the word out will either help collect similar stories or relegate this to an individual case.

      • BrandoHD

        Yes, I should also have said a device specific issue, since it may not be the user at all

        That or a case of that one in a million situation

  • KOLIO

    THX for sharing this experience Rob!

    I’d at least report it to SAMSUNG,might give them the chance to trace defects to a specific lot of stock experiencing similar results.

    You’d actually be doing them & us a favor,so that they may better the manufacturing process.

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Just wanna say I dunked my phone in the sink to show off its water resistance and is working 100% fine, with no water seeping into the phone. Tough to say what happened in your case, but I’m sure Samsung is expecting to get a lot of reports like this (even if user error).

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      Did dunking it in water help the TouchWiz lag resolve also…?

  • Jeremy Jameson

    It may have been the streams from the faucet. Some types of water contact (e.g. gentle submersion, pants getting wet from rain, etc.) are not as forceful as others (e.g. streams of water from shower heads, hoses, etc.). The pressure behind the latter can get water past water resistant seals so that’s one possible explanation for how water got past the exterior of your phone.

    By the way, for those who don’t know, one of the best ways to get water out of the insides of a phone is to bury it in a container of dry (uncooked) rice for a day or two. The rather absorbent rice will draw out the water in many cases. I’ve used this method myself to recover phones and other electrical devices from water penetration – although damage may be done if the device isn’t quickly powered off and the battery removed before rice treatment.

    • jackdubl

      Agreed. The faucet test wasn’t “submersion”, it was exposure to pressured water.

    • robjackson81

      This is a good point. Very well could be the case regarding the water pressure. It would also mean galaxy s5 users should protect their phones in heavy rain.

      I will reach out to Samsung for a response on monday.

    • jfelts

      I was about to post this. I believe this is the cause as well.

    • Roaduardo

      Dry rice is a life saver! I’ve saved a device in past along with a couple of friends’ in the past with this method. The key is to be patient.

    • DW Duck

      A better way to remove moisture is to use a bunch of discussant bags. (the little bags you find in things like the box your new shoes came in) Place them in a baggie with the phone, back and battery out of course. One it draws out moisture much better than rice will and its in a bag so it doesn’t get in any of the ports like the headphone jack, charging port.

      • Jeremy Jameson

        Granted, discussant bags would be more effective – but I’m willing to bet most people don’t have a decent supply of those stored. I think I’ll start saving those instead of tossing them in the trash.

  • Captain Obvious

    I have the S4 active (same IP67) – the day I picked it up I went straight to the pool, had it in there for a while… taking pictures and making sure it wouldn’t have problems down the road. Since then I have had it in the shower, the pool some more, and under running water from the sink. No issues to report, still running like a champ. I picked up the GS5 yesterday…hopefully wont experience this same problem, however if I do I will be sure to share.

  • Squeak

    While I love having a removable battery, I have to say that Sony’s design on the Z series of devices seems far superior for water resistance.

    • NexusMan

      Well, it DOES have a different rating.

  • np6s4x

    I’m thinking there’s a different between accidental, and deliberate in terms of the kind of water it can handle

  • supremekizzle

    Ah the toilet. Exactly where the S5 belongs.

    • Fel Pe

      LOL

  • Mitchel White

    I’ve had no issues with mine and I did test it. Also I’m not sure but the pic under the fosit looks like the back is not fully on. I could be mistaken and could be a shadow but looks like it’s not on properly. I poped that part off on mine and very much resembled the picture. I could be wrong though.

  • gmaninvan

    These are good points Rob. Samsung has created a conflict in this due to the fact that they have insisted on maintaining a removable back cover while obtaining IP67 certification. I could see some lawsuits over this due to the fact that they will likely refuse service for cases like this but cannot definitively prove that you didn’t have the cover firmly in place. If they were going for IP67, they should have done away with the removable cover imo

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    S5 is obviously junk. I will stick with Nexus line

    • NexusMan

      See how that Nexus 5 stands up in the toilet.

      • lolwut

        Probably about the same, based on what I just read

      • WickedToby741

        Um, I’m just going to simply refrain from putting my phone in the toilet. And for the S5’s off-contract price I can just about buy 2 Nexus 5’s.

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    The GS5 is a piece of junk in my eyes, and I didn’t even need an article to tell me that. Nothing about the GS5 is desirable to me, it just lacks the refined class and smoothness of other handsets such as the m8 and Z2 and quite frankly not in the same league at all. My opinion of course, yours may differ.

    • Roaduardo

      Ah the Z2. That device feels so nice in the hand. True craftsmanship there.

    • Anfronie

      Mine does differ :)

  • JBrowne1012

    I already knew this because usually devices with removable backs aren’t waterproof period

    • NexusMan

      They never claimed it to be. It’s water resistant.

    • Nicholas

      Tell that to my Sony Xperia A, it has a removable back and battery. It is totally fine in the shower.

      • J Cav the Great

        what are you doing with a phone in the shower?…….never mind……

        • Nicholas

          Listening to podcasts on the weekends when I have time to clean the bathroom or when I am washing the dog.

  • smithj33

    Ip67 is rated for water immersion, not direct pressure. There are other ip ratings for direct water pressure.

  • Timbo1

    Similar to the so called water resistance as the S4 Active….make sure all the clips on the backplate are firmly snapped in place including the center of it.

  • guitarist5122

    Gross! Couldn’t you have tested and submerged it in water elsewhere? Why the toilet? Gross.

    • Tony Lai

      Some other places that you touch more often are actually dirtier than the toilet, such as your room’s door knob.
      At least the toilet looks clean LOL!

      • J Cav the Great

        That’s a hotel room toilet… they look clean..but when you use a blacklight….we all know what cums up….no pun intended.

  • Jeffrey Fazal

    Samsung next tagline…. Next is what? A gutter test to
    check the device, if it is working fine there or not! Toilet test is successful
    I think. Well thanks for explaining the difference between the water resistant
    and water proof. I am using Galaxy S5 that I purchased along with flip case and qi wireless charger from almost 1 week and it is the best phone I have even had
    till date. Forgot about the water test just choose the best.

  • mewikime

    I was in my local Best Buy Mobile store today and a customer was returning his S5 because it was water damaged.

  • ciccio

    i am happy to know that my s5 might survive in my pocket in case of a torrential rain and me getting drenched.but going to the length of putting it in a dunny to prove if its “waterproof”
    or not is beyond me.its a phone you do calls with it or surf the net,not giving swimming lessons……….

  • Coinmanmat

    Sounds like the Galaxy S5 is having the same issues with the rubber o-ring on the battery door that the S4 Active did. Samsung will have to replace defective units like they did last year with the S4 active and maybe they need to stop using that design for the IP67 rating

  • JoeP

    The IP67 standard is a little misleading. 1 meter under water for 30 mins, but that is a static standard. Once you start moving the water around, or moving the phone around under water, all bets are off.

    I ruined a 100m water resistant watch in a swimming pool.

    • PRAFTD

      Agreed. People need to take “water resistance” with a grain of salt. Even while being water reistant, I’d never get my phone near water.

  • ciccio

    hey rob,
    here is one for you,try to work out why the sphere camera shot can not be assembled properly after you just spent 5 min to do the full 360 shots

  • Curtis Coburn

    The whole GS5 was a fail.

  • Ralph

    well i put my S5 to the water test and it pass all of them .Iran it under water for a while and put it in a pot of water for at least 20 min and took it out and no water under the back cover at all may be you got a bad rubber seal

  • socalrailroader

    The One M8 is water resistant too.

  • socalrailroader

    Geez, calm down there, it’s a phone, not the savior of mankind.