Partner Sun, sand and splashes – how to protect your phone this summer

Sun, sand and splashes – how to protect your phone this summer

As summer approaches, so too does the number of broken phones with more of us taking them to the beach or using them by the pool. Photo: Getty
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Glorious summer brings sun, sand and splashes – all of which can be a risk to your phone.

As summer approaches, so too does the number of broken phones with more of us taking them to the beach, using them by the pool or just plonking them down on a picnic table (right near the drinks).

Here, we look at all the ways you can protect your phone this summer and hopefully avoid any costly repairs from heat or water damage.

Water resistant phones 

Phones have Ingress Protection (IP) ratings to give users an idea of how well they resist things getting inside.

The number after IP rates how good it is at protecting against small particles such as dust and sand, with a maximum rating of 6. The last digit is the liquid or water resistance rating, with a max rating of 8.

Every iPhone since the iPhone 7 has a rating of IP67, while the iPhone 12 and 13 series have improved submersion and splash defence taking it up to an IP68.

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According to Apple, these phones are resistant to accidental spills from common liquids, such as soft drinks, beer, coffee, tea and juice. But the company advises against swimming or showering with your iPhone or using it in a sauna or steam room.

Each phone in Samsung’s S21 range has a rating IP68, with testing carried out in fresh water.

Phone cases

If you haven’t got a water resistant phone, your next best step is a protective case. ​​Waterproof cases ensure your phone stays dry and safe while you enjoy the sun and the water.

You don’t need to spend big bucks on a premium case. The basic models start for as little as $10.

There are generally two types of cases – the regular type that snap onto your phone, while still allowing you to use the camera. Then there’s pouches to put your phone inside and these are usually big enough to fit other valuables such as cash and credit cards.

Both types of cases offer varying degrees of protection. Some are chunky yet flexible enough to stop your phone breaking or smashing if it’s dropped, while also protecting from sun and water damage.

If you opt for a pouch, make sure the seal is waterproof and you can still use the phone even when it’s inside the pouch.

Water resistant phones and secure cases mean you can still capture the summer fun. Photo: Getty.

Warranties

Standard warranties don’t typically cover liquid damages. However, AppleCare+ includes up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months. Apple Care+ fees depending on the phone type with the most expensive coverage for the iPhone 13 Pro andiPhone 13 Pro Max comes to $239 for two years (the equivalent of $9.95 per month).

And Samsung Care+ lets you swap your phone for a ‘like mobile device’ if you damage it for any reason.

You can only do this twice during the 24-month swap period. Samsung Care+ costs between $159 for the Galaxy A series and $399 for the Galaxy Z Fold series Galaxy Z Flip (first generation), while swap fees are priced between $149 and $299.

Avoid extreme heat

Not placing your phone in a very hot place seems an obvious way to protect your phone, but it’s an all too common accident many people make. Just by placing your phone on the dashboard of your car for too long or anywhere outdoors on a sunny day can be enough to make it overheat.

Keep it covered and remember to never leave your phone in a hot car. Exposing your phone to high temperatures too often can permanently damage it.

Keep your phone cool and safely away from water to enjoy summer without the stress and panic of a damaged or broken phone.

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