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article imageSamsung's Galaxy S7 includes an overlooked phone-saving feature

By James Walker     Mar 7, 2016 in Technology
People who have bought the Samsung Galaxy S7 have discovered it possesses a unique feature to go with its waterproofing. A tiny moisture sensor in the charging port detects if the phone is even slightly wet and refuses to charge, protecting the device.
Samsung brought back several practical fan-favourite features this year, IP68 water and dustproofing among them. The company promises the Galaxy S7 can be submerged completely in a metre of water for 30 minutes without negative consequences, although it doesn't mention the phone may refuse to charge for a while afterwards.
Pre-orders have begun to ship to customers, some of whom decided to dunk test their phone and then put it on charge afterwards. As Geek reports, the plan doesn't work too well as Samsung has taken the unusual move of safeguarding against any trace of moisture affecting the charging electronics.
After submerging the device, or if water is detected in the charging port, the Galaxy S7 refuses to accept power from a charger. Instead, it displays an error notification when connected to external power, warning "Moisture detected in charging port."
The tiny sensor responsible for the messages appears to be very sensitive. XDA-Developers forum member xxaarraa said his phone still refused to charge four hours after being removed from the water.
The feature could be annoying to people who need to quickly charge their phone after using its waterproof capabilities but is really a sensible and safe precaution. The Galaxy S7 is by no means the first phone to have waterproofing but does seem to be the only one to protect itself in this way.
Because the charging port has no seal, water enters it and floods the connectors when the device is submerged. The port is sealed from behind, preventing water from reaching the electrical connections, but it is possible moisture may remain on the pins in the port for hours after use. This could short-circuit when a power cable is connected, damaging the phone or, in a worst case scenario, starting a fire.
It is unknown how Samsung triggers the warning and how the phone decides when it is safe to enable charging again. Some reports have attributed it solely to the moisture sensor but others claim to have observed a fixed time that must expire after submerging before the port becomes usable again. It is also unclear whether it applies only to Samsung's first-party quick charger accessory or affects third-party cables too.
Galaxy S7 owners who become affected by this feature but need to charge their phone quickly do have one workaround. Placing the handset on a wireless charger will mitigate the need for the USB port entirely, charging the phone quickly and safely without any risk of short circuiting its electronics.
More about Samsung, samsung galaxy, samsung galaxy s7, Smartphone, Hardware
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