Sony has been offering smartphones with waterproof and dustproof bodies for a few years, even going so far as to release promotional pictures and videos showing how you could take the phone swimming and snap photos underwater.

But as XperiaBlog notes, Sony seems to have had a change of heart recently… because now the company’s website suggests that you shouldn’t actually use Sony’s waterproof phones underwater.

sony m2 aqua

Sony says you can take photos and shoot videos “in wet surroundings,” but that you should “remember not to use the device underwater.”

Why the change? There may be another clue at Sony’s updated support page. The company says it tests its phone by placing them “gently inside a container filled with tap water” and leaves them submerged in 1.5 meters of water for a half hour. Then it removes them… again “gently.”

In other words, the phones can be used underwater… but if you’re not gentle, there’s a chance you could break something and Sony doesn’t want to be held responsible.

That said, I don’t know how many people were planning to use their phones for underwater photography. I think the primary appeal of a waterproof phone is probably that you can use it in the rain, leave it lying around in the kitchen where it might get splashed with water, or even check your email in the bathtub without worrying about what will happen if you accidentally let the phone fall into the water.

Still, it’s a bit odd that the same company that released the promotional picture below is now saying you shouldn’t use its Xperia Z series phones and other waterproof devices underwater.

xperia z3

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8 replies on “Sony doesn’t recommend using its waterproof phones underwater (anymore)”

  1. 1) Bathwater is usually hot and has soap in it. Bad idea to even risk it in your bathtub, IP 67/68 or not. Sony advertises it to be water proof, not chemical proof. You don’t think soap is a chemical? Check the usually toxic ingredients list on your soap made by some huge corporation with good reason to prefer people keeling over right around retirement age…

    2) Rain: you better not be in a strong rain and have the droplets hit it directly. Same as ‘waterproof’ watches can take in water if you shower with them. Keep your phone in your pocket unless you have something to keep drops from directly hitting it.

    3) If you jump into the water with phone in hand, chances are the force of impact on the water will far surpass the water pressure at 1 or even 2 meters (3′ or 6′) of depth.

    4) This goes goes for any splash water hitting the phone, where it matters less if its a small drop or a bucket full, but more what the actual speed of impact is.

    Given the activities taking place in a pool, I always thought it was silly for Sony to advertise this.

    Especially in light of their camera+processor use overheating their phones to the point that the waterproof glue on the back gets cooked to the point where the rear panel eventually just falls out.

    And you’ll never know for how long your phone was already not waterproof anymore, before the back actually came off all on its own.

    5) Most Sony service centers can’t even work on the waterproof phones, requiring your phone to be sent off to a far-away specialized service center.


    Before I buy my next Sony phone, I will wait until they have the new SD 820 SoC which is more efficient and hence less hot running than the current SD 810 SoC used in Z3+ and Z5 models.

  2. My friend just lost his “waterproof” experia when he waded into a pool to stay close to his son. Not the first time he had done so, and as always had already pressed the seals into place. But this time, water leaked into the phone through the side of the phone chassis, and Sony is unwilling to do anything about it. Dead phone, false advertising, disappointed customer.

  3. I have to tell that, Sony’s IP68 rating is shit, as an angry Z2 owner. Yes you can use your phone under the rain or have a couple of water splashes on it without any problem. But to use under water it’s a totally different story. Don’t ever believe in commercial

  4. so “water resistant” isn’t really “water proof”, huge surprise!

    well all that and the touchscreen is just going berzerk if touching water. No that camera-button doesn’t help much if all positions on the screen (including back, home, and shutter release) are touched instantly when you open your camera app.

    1. That is why the software has a feature to lock the touch screen. You disable the touch screen, then take it underwater, then take photos with the button. Works for me.

  5. I bet they had a large number of warranty claims with water damage

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