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article imageSony backtracks on Xperia waterproofing, 'do not use underwater'

By James Walker     Sep 13, 2015 in Technology
Sony has quietly made a rather major change to one of its support pages for its Xperia smartphones. It now warns users that handsets should not be used underwater, a serious contradiction to several of its own press images and advertising campaigns.
Xperia Blog reports on the controversial modification to Sony's own stance on the waterproofing strength of its phones. For years, the company has been aggressively marketing the IP68 Ingress Protection Rating of its flagship devices like the Xperia Z3.
That specific phone's launch was accompanied by several glamorous marketing shots that were sent to media outlets. They showed the Z3 being used to take photos underwater without any kind of protective case fitted to it, clearly suggesting that the average user would be able to replicate the stunt.
The Sony Xperia Z1 splashing into water in another glamorous marketing shot  another thing now warne...
The Sony Xperia Z1 splashing into water in another glamorous marketing shot, another thing now warned against by Sony
Sony Mobile
Other similar images include marketing shots of the Xperia Z Ultra, Z1 and Z2, alongside several others. All of these devices are shown being used to take pictures of smiling faces underwater. Those faces may not be smiling anymore though because Sony is now stating "Remember not to use the device underwater."
It seems as though those rather attractive images aren't actually at all representative of the waterproofing capabilities of the phones. The company says that they were never actually tested by taking pictures in a swimming pool, instead warning that they are "placed gently inside a container filled with tap water and lowered to a depth of 1.5 metres." They stay on standby in the water for 30 minutes and are then removed.
The company continues to add: "Moving or operating the device while it is submerged is not tested during the laboratory tests. There are also many environmental factors which we could not assess (e.g. water movement or water pressure changes during the movement), if a device is used underwater."
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra  also diving into a swimming pool in another unrealistic and now disowned ma...
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra, also diving into a swimming pool in another unrealistic and now disowned marketing shot
Sony Mobile
Sony hasn't explained why it ever released all the images of the cameras being used in the swimming pools or what made it suddenly realise that the phones shouldn’t be used for that purpose, years after launch. Owners may be disappointed to learn that the "fully waterproof" Xperia Z3 isn't capable of going swimming after all.
Instead, it can survive 30 minutes in 1.5-metres of completely still tap water. Swimming pools are out of bounds entirely as Sony says "Do not expose the device to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water or liquids such as fruit drinks, liquid detergent and vinegar." Apparently, the Sony press department is going to need to find a new way to showcase the company's phones in the future.
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