Friday, November 05, 2010

Phone Friday: The G2 isn't Waterproof. Or, How to Surving a Dunking

Let's say you're giving your 14 month old a bath and the nearly unthinkable happens: you manage to drop your handset into his little bathtub thingy. What should you do?

Well, I'm sorry to say I now have some very hard won insight into this quandary.

In my case, I thought I was pretty smart: I immediately yanked the phone out of the tub, dried it, removed the battery and let the whole unit sit out. I thought I got to it fast enough that my biggest issue was the white disk under the battery had turned pink, meaning any sort of warranty I had on the phone was toast.

Oh, but did I underestimate my problems. After hours of drying, I popped the battery in and turned on the phone. Nothing. That's right, nothing at all happened. In fact, here's more or less what happened over the next few days:

  • Day 1: Phone doesn't turn on or given any indication it works
  • Day 2: Phone seems to turn on, but the screen is dead
  • Day 3: Phone turns on, and some image can be seen on the screen, but it's still mostly dead
  • Day 4: Phone turns on, screen appears (whoo!), but the touch screen is totally reversed. Touching the left part of the screen triggers events on the right side.
  • Day 5: Phone turns on, screen appears, touch pad works! The main problem: there's serious discoloration in part of the screen

Since day 5, the screen has basically cleared up and the phone is almost back to the way it was before it took a swim.

The moral of the story: if you get your handset wet, have some serious patience. Keep the battery out of the device and the back off and just let it dry for days and days.

This is actually a lesson Shira and I learned years ago when we dropped a Motorola into a swimming pool. We went back to AT&T and begged our way into a new phone at a reduced rate. Then a few days later, the Motorola started working again. We ended up selling one of the phones on eBay and all lived happily ever after.

Like I said, if this happens, you've got have patience. Lots of patience.

Update: Here's my Dad's advice:

Rice - you needed to put the phone in a big bag of rice.

Thanks Dad!


  1. ouch.... good to know... now all I can hope is that I never have to put your advice to the test.

  2. Exactly. That's my wish - that you never need to know this.

    The fact that I've needed to use this technique twice now tells me it may be time to invest in one of these phones. When they start running android, I'll be all over them.

  3. I've heard people have success by putting wet phones (or other devices with LCD/LED screens) in vacuum chambers.

  4. Jon -

    That's good to know. At the rate I'm going, I should be needing this advice in another year or so.