Consumer Reports says that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active failed its test for water resistance
Consumers Reports readers might have noticed the absence of the rugged Samsung Galaxy S7 Active from the not-for-profit magazine's list of recommended smartphones. The AT&T exclusive device, which is designed to withstand drops and falls better than the regular Samsung Galaxy S7, failed Consumer Reports' test for water resistance.
With an IP68 rating, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active should be able to stay submerged in up to 5-feet of water for as long as 30-minutes, and come out of the water unscathed. The IP certification also rates how well the phone is protected from dust. To see if the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active would live up to its IP68 rating, Consumer Reports placed the device in a tank filled with just under 5-feet of water, pressurized to 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch. A timer was set at 30 minutes. After the timer went off and the phone was removed from the tank, green lines covered the screen, and bubbles were seen inside the back and front-facing camera lenses.
Following Consumer Reports' protocol, the test was repeated with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. The result? Another test failure as the screen blinked on and off. Water was spotted on the SIM card holder and moisture could be detected in both camera lenses. Both tested phones never functioned properly again.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, both of which have the same IP68 rating as the Galaxy S7 Active, passed the water resistance test conducted by Consumer Reports. Those two models are at the very top of the magazine's smartphone rankings, and would have been joined there by the Galaxy S7 Active if the device did not fail the dunk test twice. Samsung says that it is investigating, and adds that it has received very few complaints about failed water resistance on the Galaxy S7 Active.
This isn't the first time that Consumer Reports refused to rank a smartphone because of a test failure. Back in 2011, the magazine refused to include the Apple iPhone 4 in its list of recommended smartphones because of "Antennagate." This issue caused the signal strength on the phone to drop when it was held in a certain manner. While the magazine did say at the time that the iPhone 4 had the sharpest display and best video camera on a phone, it continued to keep the phone unrated. It wasn't until the Apple iPhone 4s was launched the following year that the iPhone returned to the list of recommended smartphones published in Consumer Reports.