Water damage is a common problem for smartphone users, with a study suggesting that 25% of users have experienced it. When your phone gets wet, water can quickly enter the device and cause serious damage. It may start slowly, like rust on a car, but can eventually lead to Wi-Fi not working, the camera turning off, the phone not charging, or the screen going black. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and fix water damage.
According to DryBox president David Naumann, the sooner a phone dries, the better chance it has of surviving unscathed. He claims that in 36 hours the chances of success are three out of four. After that, it drops to less than 50%. If you want to dry your phone quickly, consider leaving it on a window sill in sunlight or using air inside a can to blow the water out at full speed.
Waterproof means that a device is impervious to water for any time, while waterproof means that a given device is rated for exposure to water for a certain period of time and up to a certain depth. Salts in ocean water are very corrosive to electronic devices and can damage a phone much more quickly. If you're lucky, your phone may have been turned off before the water or liquid affected it. This is the best way to fix a phone that falls into the water without rice (more on that option in a minute), since it can enter the cracks and power ports of the device once it's soaked from absorbing water from the phone. Water resistance only implies that the device can withstand some exposure to water before substantial damage occurs. To prevent water damage in the future, make sure you keep your phone away from liquids and never submerge it in water.
If you do drop your phone in liquid, act quickly and take all necessary steps to dry it out as soon as possible.