As I wandered through displays at South by Southwest, I saw a table with a a few containers of water and a couple of guys in black suits. It was a rather unassuming table and I nearly passed by until one of the guys took out his iPhone and put it into a bowl of water. Completely. I had a look reminiscent of a deer in headlights until he explained that it had been waterproofed with Liquipel.
Liquipel works by bonding with your phone on a molecular level both inside and out. The nano-coating can’t be felt and won’t scratch off over time. Treatment costs $59 plus shipping and when it’s done, your phone looks and feels exactly the same. This is both cool, because your phone is still shiny and perfect, and unsettling because you can’t see anything that shows it really is waterproof.
I shipped my phone out to Liquipel’s offices in California and couldn’t wait to have it safely back in my hands. It came back to me packed in a snazzy, foam-lined Liquipel tin. Inside the tin the phone was in a little black bag just like you’d expect a jewel thief to use for stolen diamonds. I slipped it from the bag and it didn’t look or feel the least bit different. Now, I had to face the tough part and actually test it out.
I reviewed the waterproof LifeProof iPhone case awhile back and loved it, but one of the toughest parts about reviewing that case was putting my phone inside the thing and putting it in the water. If it failed, I was out one phone. If I thought that was tough, this was nearly impossible. No case. No nothing. Just your phone, a bowl of water, and a lot of faith in those guys in black suits.
The idea behind Liquipel is to protect your phone from accidental water or liquid exposure. They don’t intend or recommend going swimming with it or intentionally exposing it to water. You don’t throw your phone at things just because it’s in a sturdy case and you shouldn’t try and drown your phone just because it’s been Liquipelled. Still, I had to see if it could handle water exposure or, what’s the point of having the treatment?
Instead of sending it for a swim, I did the kinds of things that might happen in the real world and cause your phone to get wet. I answered it with wet, soapy hands when I was doing dishes. I took it out of my pocket in the rain and sent some text messages. It rang once when I was in the shower and I answered it and had a conversation. None of these situations posed a problem for Liquipel. The phone worked perfectly.
Feeling confident, and remembering the guy who’d dunked his phone at South by Southwest, I decided I had to give that a try. I filled a bowl with water, asked Siri a question and then sent my phone for a swim. I watched as Siri answered me from the bottom of the bowl. I let it sit there for a moment then took it out and dried it off. Still worked perfectly. This was about a week ago now and my phone still operates without any problem.
Although this isn’t a product designed to let you go swimming or immerse your phone for lengthy periods of time, it is the perfect product for taking the fear out of using your phone near the water. You don’t have to worry about a splash from the pool, sliding into the sink, rain, spilled drinks, or my nightmare, having it fall out of my pocket and land in the toilet. In those situations your phone is protected. I’ll still use a waterproof case next time I’m at the beach, but its really good to know it’s treated with Liquipel for all those “oops” moments that might otherwise destroy my phone.
I was provided with the Liquipel treatment courtesy of the manufacturer for review purposes.