New test results reveal that Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the best choice for snorkelers who can't go without their phones for a single moment. But if your thing is parkour or something else that increases the risk of dropping your phone on a hard surface, the latest iPhone may still be the best choice.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge stand up to water better than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but not without sustaining permanent damage, according to the latest torture tests published Monday gadget-warranty outfit SquareTrade.
In the tests, which you can watch for yourself below, all four superphones are submerged in 5 feet (1.5 m) of water for 30 minutes. Both new Galaxy phones still functioned just fine once dried off, but with audio permanently muffled and distorted.
Rumors began circulating last fall that the iPhone 6s was water-resistant, but Apple has never confirmed this or used such claims in any marketing, and that's surely a good thing based on SquareTrade's tests. When subjected to the same conditions, the iPhone 6s suffered similar damage to its sound system and moisture trapped under the display glass. The iPhone 6s Plus was worst off, eventually becoming a total brick less than 30 minutes after emerging from its submersion.
Whether the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge live up to their water-resistant expectations seems to depend on when you're asking Samsung. Earlier small print, which can still be found online via partners like Verizon, claims it is water-resistant to submersion in up to 5 feet for 30 minutes, which is what SquareTrade clearly read in designing its tests. But if you go to Samsung's official launch page for both phones, it says they are only resistant to 1 meter (less than four feet) of water for 30 minutes.
Technically if it's only resistant to immersion up to 1 meter, however, it should be rated IP 67 and Samsung is definitely still claiming that the phones are "water-resistant; IP 68 certified up to 30 min. in 1m of water."
To earn that IP 68 protection rating, the device needs to resist water in more than 1 meter for 30 minutes, so perhaps someone needs to do a new torture test under 1.1 meters of water to see if that IP 68 certification is actually deserved.
Samsung did not respond to a request for clarification on the rating.
Maybe I'm just nitpicking, or maybe SquareTrade tested a few bum Samsung phones for water resistance, but the video makes at least one other thing clear -- the screens on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are more sturdy than their Samsung Galaxy S7 competitors. When subjected to a new tumble test, the iPhone 6s was the only phone of the four to survive, while the Galaxy S7 Edge was the first to succumb to the pressure of a bendability test.
Check out the full results below and decide for yourself which phone makes the most sense for doing parkour in the rain.