Weekend extra: can’t wait for waterproof cells!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Dymaxion says:

    Actually, Nokia’s are pretty good about immersion — they’re well sealed internally, and generally have a fuse that detects a short from water intrusion and kills the power to the phone instantly. A friend has one of their higher end multimedia phones which has gone into salt and fresh water at least a dozen times; on a few occasions when he’s been on a headset, he’s even finished the call he’s been on before retrieving it.

  2. AdriftAtSea says:

    Join the club. My Samsung D600 went swimming in July. As far as I know, it’s six feet down (or so depending on the tide) along side my sailboat. UGH. One of the cell phone manufacturers had a waterproof (IPX7) cell phone but didn’t come to market with it as there was NO DEMAND for it. Yeah, right. Sony Ericsson’s looks like our only hope for the near future. I hope it works with iSync. 😀

  3. Richard Peirce says:

    I’ve taken my Sony Ericsson P910 swimming 3 times in fresh water and it still works like a charm. Each time I took it completely apart and let it dry out, then re-assembled it and voila! it’s still going. Having said all that, it was fresh water.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Another phone story, from a Panbo reader in the U.K.:
    I was the proud owner of a 3 week old Samsung 400I until a recent boat
    transfer. It was a bit rough so I thoughtfully placed the phone in a cold box along side the BBQ goodies to keep it dry On reaching my boat instead of using my first rule of safety , roping things aboard (my boat is a good 8 ft above water at the stern) I attempted to pass from bumpy dingy to ladder singlehanded…not a good move.
    My first attempt was dodgy at which point the common sense side
    of me said bad move use the rope, unfortunately I wasnt listening so
    did a second attempt…perfect timing, big wave, one foot on ladder, one foot on dingy, one hand on nearside of ladder, other hand at arms length to dingy with heavy box.
    Result was ladder at 40 degree angle.
    As soon as I resurfaced from the inevitable dunking, a few things came
    to mind. Firstly packs of bacon float, rather well in fact, but pints of milk, full packs of butter and Samsung 400I’s all seem to take on the same type of buoyancy, which turned out to be rather negative.
    So any divers in Portland Harbour, UK who come accross an unnopened
    pack of butter in 25ft of water, keep looking, not much hope on the
    continued operation of the phone but at best the butter may still be usable.
    Lesson learned.
    Either wear a good life jacket (which I did) or strap at least 50 packs of unsmoked bacon to yourself to obtain safe level of buoyoncy.
    As for mobile phones, didnt we all once get by without them?
    Serious BBQ goers will be pleased to know that the Pimms and mixers were not lost or damaged in this incident, just my pride.

  5. Mystery Man says:

    This may be old news to you by now given your focus on marine (and marine-ready) electronics, but I was surprised to learn (from my nephew, an 18-year old launch driver) that Casio offers two different 1-meter/30-minutes WATERPROOF cell phones (Casio GZone Type S and Type V http://www.casiogzone.com/). Of course, neither of these phones are available on the Cingular/ATT network (my for-now cell provider), but are available on Verizon. Both phones are also relatively shockproof and have all the usual current cell features (multimedia, etc.) as well as GPS capability which can be added to a Verizon cell subscription. Do you know of any other waterproof cell phones, including any that would work on the Cingular/ATT network?

  6. Michael says:

    Hi Ben, I had to stop myself laughing about the bacon floating !.
    The other phones that are waterproof that we bring in are the XP3 from Sonim. 3 year warranty and good battery life, we use the XP1 on our boats, ( splashproof for the XP1,) and we find if we hire out the boat for a week, the phone is still working when the hirer returns the boat, so good is the battery life without even a charger used.
    If your provider has GSM, let us know and if it isn’t too expensive to post you a phone for testing we’d be happy to send one.
    The last price we heard for Fed Ex posting was $ 200 US and that was nearly the price of the phone !
    We also sell a floating snug fitting wetsuit like cover for these so the phone floats !
    Why firms make phones and radios that are waterproof but don’t float, like the Uniden Voyager VHF and the waterproof cellphones, I don’t know !
    We also are making a floating cover for the Voyager VHF too if you need one. As we have three Uniden Voyagers on our boats and currently need to use three key floats per radio to keep them floating. The Radios that is , not the boats, grin.

  7. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Well it would be ideal if our gadgets can be both waterproof and float … I found that I don’t like the products that do both, and have a terrible history of succesfully retriving things that do both.
    For example the ICOM VHF radio is much more compact and comfortable to use then the competitors floating equivalent, hand held GPS’s become very difficult to use in tigh manuvering situations when they are in waterproof / floating bags.
    My experience so far waterproof & floating things have been unretrievable 3 out of 3 times.
    #1 & #2. Lost both a floating VHF and a bright red floating winch handle (in both cases light wind days but still the products couldn’t be found among the wavelets, when we turned around to retrieve) I am not quite sure of the benefit. It only takes a few boat lengths before these things are out of site.
    #3 I lost a huge 3 foot long white fender last weekend, and couldn’t find that either despite using the MOB function on the chartplotter. The difficult level being a bit higher (20 knot winds / 2+ foot waves with white caps) and having been slow to come about.
    I do have a big honking magnet aboard my boat for retrieving things that go overboard at anchor … it hasn’t seen any use yet.
    I am dubious of the inflatable key chain option, but at least that shows some promise with waterproof products. Waiting to here good stories before I pick up one of these.

  8. Sandy Daugherty says:

    I have ben using my Casio waterproof phone for two years now. It is perfectly at home IN the water, and even takes pictures while submerged. I just wish it were easier to read in sunlight. It floats with two oval shaped foam key floats, but even I think that’s a bit over the top.

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