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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
July 11, 2016
In this Feb. 22, 2016, file photo, a waterproof Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge mobile phone is submersed in water during a preview of Samsung's flagship store, Samsung 837, in New York's Meatpacking District. Consumer Reports says Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Active malfunctions in water despite being marketed as water resistant, though the regular S7 and S7 Edge models passed. Consumer Reports rates the S7 and S7 Edge phones as “Excellent” and the Active likely would have joined them. Instead, Consumer Reports isn’t recommending the model because two phones failed after being submerged in water.
In this Feb. 22, 2016, file photo, a waterproof Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge mobile phone is submersed in water during a preview of Samsung's flagship store, Samsung 837, in New York's Meatpacking District. Consumer Reports says Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Active malfunctions in water despite being marketed as water resistant, though the regular S7 and S7 Edge models passed. Consumer Reports rates the S7 and S7 Edge phones as “Excellent” and the Active likely would have joined them. Instead, Consumer Reports isn’t recommending the model because two phones failed after being submerged in water.
Richard Drew—AP

The new Samsung Galaxy S7 Active, offered exclusively by AT&T, phone was advertised as a rugged, water-resistant smartphone—a feature that could save a lot of people a lot of money.

The standard of water-resistance cited by Samsung was the IP68 international standard that means the phone should be able to function after being submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters or less. But according to Consumer Reports, it doesn’t actually meet that standard of water-resistance.

Consumer Reports submerged a phone in water for 30 minutes in a water tank with a pressure of 2.12 PSI, which simulates a depth of 1.5 meters or just under five feet. After the test, the phones had “green lines” on the screen, bubbles on camera lenses, and unresponsive touch screens.

Read More: The Best Cell Phone Plans of 2016

In the days following the tests, the phones never recovered.

Samsung dug in its heels in response to the test, telling the publication that the phones had met the standard, and suggested the tested phone had been faulty since consumer complaints have been few.

In comparison, the non “Active” standard model and “Edge” model passed this immersion test without a problem and rank at the top of Consumer Reports’ phone rankings.

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Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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