A lot of phones these days offer up water-resistance to a certain degree. This varies from device to device, but the general idea is that if you get them wet, it should still keep working. But not all water is made equally, which is the issue that got Samsung in a bit of trouble over in Australia.
Now the company has agreed to a settlement to the tune of AUD$14 million with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for several ads back in 2019 where its Galaxy phones were depicted as being water-resistant. The issue here isn’t that Samsung lied about water-resistance, it’s that the ads depicted the phones being dunked in pool and seawater.
When the phones were tested for water-resistance, they were tested using fresh water, which for the most part is free of chemicals or impurities. This is versus pool water which usually has chlorine, and seawater which has salt. This means that while the phones could survive a dunk in a pool or the ocean, the chemicals present could end up corroding the charging port.
This means that even though your phone will keep working, the corrosion to the ports means you might end up with a phone that cannot charge and you will need to pay to get it fixed. In a statement made by Gina Cass-Gottlieb, the chair of the ACCC:
“This penalty is a strong reminder to businesses that all product claims must be substantiated. The ACCC will continue to take enforcement action against businesses that mislead consumers with claims about the nature or benefits of their products.”
On Samsung’s end, the company says that they have since addressed the issue with hardware and software changes to more realistically reflect their claims of water-resistance.