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The Galaxy S8 is water resistant, not liquid resistant

One of the features you'll find in most top-end phones in 2017 is water resistance. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from Samsung are no exception. Raining outside? No problem. The Galaxy S8's IP68 rating means the rain has no effect. The same goes for a splash at the sink, a dip in the pool, and maybe even a spilled soda or beer.

Yes, maybe. Not everything wet is water and even things that are mostly water might be best kept away from your water-resistant phone.

This doesn't only apply to the Galaxy S8, or even phones in general. Water resistant objects are designed to keep out water — exclusively. Because of the chemical composition of any liquid, anything water resistant might not be beer resistant. Or champange resistant, because science!

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Liquids feel, well, liquidy. But all liquids have other things dissolved into them. Things like magnesium and calcium are in the water you drink and depending on where in the world you are you can have very hard water (lots of calcium and other dissolved minerals) or very soft water (very few dissolved minerals) or somewhere in between. The GS8 is designed to be soaked in good old tap water with no ill effects. You don't have to worry, but we don't recommend you take your phone snorkeling. (If you do, send us pics because that's pretty cool).

Other types of water, specifically distilled water and really hot water, are probably something you don't want to dunk your phone in. Science also means that distilled water is virtually free of any dissolved minerals and might be able to penetrate where "regular" water can't. Hot water, on the other hand, can loosen adhesives and gaskets.

A quick rinse to wash away chemicals or sticky liquids isn't going to hurt anything.

Other liquids like beer or antifreeze — or anything that's not just plain water — might have chemicals that can penetrate the water resistant barriers or just make a mess in speaker holes, headphone jacks, and SIM card slots. If you get something that's not water you'd drink on your phone, rinse it gently in the sink with room temperature water as soon as you can.

If you get the ports all gunked up, and it happens to the best of us, don't go jamming toothpicks or sewing needles in the nooks and crannies to scrape it out. Wipe it down with a damp washcloth and let the fabric scrub away the surface dirt and sticky stuff or take a toothbrush and gently work at it. If you do end up having to dig in any holes with anything smaller than your elbow, be super careful not to cause any damage to parts or finishes. All that is part of being water resistant and needs to stay as intact as it can.

You don't need to baby your Galaxy S8 when it comes to using it around the water. It's built for it! Just be mindful for spills and splashes of other liquids.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

37 Comments
  • How does this compare with the s7 edge. I take mine in the pool always
  • Same thing. Both have the same IP rating. But even if the S8 had better protection for WATER, this article still holds true: IP Rating is for tap water, not other liquids. Most likely it'll still hold up pretty well, but milk is not the same as water, and salty water (which corrodes seals) is definitely not the same as tap water.
  • I'd imagine chlorine is just as, if not more, detrimental to a mobile device than salt water.
  • This sucks....I usually like to sit my phone in my bowl of milk and cereal and read the news. Guess I have to be careful now.....
  • 😂
  • I heard that it's ok with whole milk. 2% is a big no no. Good news so that you can still do your thing!
  • LMAO
  • LOLz!
  • This is what I really like about my GS7. Now, I don't soak it in my bowl of cereal, but on more than one occasion I've spilled food on it. A quick rinse and all is good.
  • Damn....not supposed to soak it in beer or anti-freeze......there goes all my fun....
  • I've done it a few times with my S4 Active and S5..it was always funny to see the looks on people's faces at the bar when your phone is ringing from inside a pitcher of beer!
  • wanted it for scuba diving.. darned puffer fish. you've foiled me again.
  • 🐡😉
  • So that is why mine stopped working when I submerged it in the swimming pool.
  • What because your swimming pool is filled with beer or antifreeze?
  • No, because there's other chemicals in pool water. Chlorine, for example.
  • I'd not worry about it. If it goes bad due to getting wet just file a claim. They aren't going to deny it.
  • Urine?
  • It'll likely survive an accidental drop into a full toilet, but you shouldn't use it in your weekly BDSM sub games... It's very salty, and could eventually degrade the gaskets.
  • Trump will be missing out on the S8 then.
  • ^This. Since a toilet bowl isn't deep there's no pressure to push the water through. Urates are mostly nitrogen and ammonia, which are big and soft molecules (that's why membrane filters work so well to remove them) and the water would need pressure to seep through gaskets and sealants. Pull it out and rinse the living hell out of it and try not to think about it being in a toilet when you're using it. And finally, years of taking care of aquariums pays off.
  • I've snorkeled with my Note7 knowing that it would be replaced during the recall and it held up. Some water did get into the fingerprint button but after a few good rinses to wash out the salt and some time to let it air out, it was working again. Did notice the USB-C connector did start to corrode tho. Good thing it was replaced shortly thereafter. Would not do it with my S8 tho haha
  • Salt water is pretty corrosive, so yea, the seals will not hold up to it for long and what's more, damage still occurs after being wet, especially on the metal terminals. And with more and more pools out there switching to salty water, this is even more 'dangerous' for people who still think 'water resistant' means 'yeah, you can swim and shoot underwater video with it'.
  • I did this with the S7. The salt water started affecting the charging port. It made it difficult to charge. Sent it in to Samsung to replace under the warranty, which they did. But they ended up replacing the charging port, screen, camera and headphone jack. I guess the salt water did more damage than i could see because none of those had any issues.
  • Ha...i did similar with my Note 7...as i was about to drive to the store and return it for good - and the store already told me they'll take it back in any condition free of charge - i purposely dropped it on the pavement a few times, just to see how it would hold up...figured this would be the only chance ever to do my own drop tests on my shiny new phone! :-) it took a few drops and then was spider-cracked to hell.
  • I've used my Xperia Z2 in salt water, a couple of times. Other than some corrosion on the headphone jack, it held up quite well.
  • If we can't trust Lil Wayne, then who can we trust?!
  • For realz!
  • Well, remember that it's more about protection from accidental spills or rain than taking it into the pool.
  • Good article. I think a common misconception is that water with soap in solution is the same as water...
  • I imagine a sticky soda getting into the USB port would not be ideal.
  • That's a nightmare. I splooshed some Cherry Ginger Ale into my Z Ultra (and my lap) goofing off in a bar and it got inside the port. Just horrible to try and clean, even with the phone disassembled.
  • I guess the lesson is no drinking while driving your S8.
  • Even more basic. Watch out for soda or juice. The sugar is sticky enough to make your buttons stop clicking.
  • I suppose that's why they stopped with the Lil Wayne commercials 🤔...
  • On top of this, can reviewers (not you, just others in general) stop conflating water resistance with water proof? The latter would make for an outlandishly higher price tag.
  • There's no way to make a phone truly water proof. I've seen a video wherein someone used a high speed jet of water to cut an iPhone IN HALF!