The iPhone 7 is Apple’s first officially water resistant phone. We put this water resistance to the test on video in our recent post about the top iPhone 7 features. Some people have also wondered how cases might fare when subjected to water. A case like Apple’s iPhone 7 Silicone Case would be okay, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend submerging Apple’s iPhone 7 Leather Case.
What about the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case? It features the same material used in the silicone case, yet includes a 2365 mAh battery sealed inside. Is it safe to get the Smart Battery Case wet? Apple’s official response to that question is a very unambiguous no. Yet, that didn’t stop AirParrot Remote developer, Squirrels, from testing the limits of the case’s potential water resistance while on a company retreat.
Apple’s official stance on getting the Smart Battery Case wet is clear, as it’s mentioned several times in the instructions that ship with the case:
- Don’t open, remove, crush, puncture, or short circuit the Smart Battery Case, or expose it to fire, high temperatures, or liquids.
- Don’t connect or disconnect the Smart Battery Case or a Power Adapter with wet hands.
- Unplug the Smart Battery Case if any of the following conditions exist: The case of iPhone is damaged, exposed to rain, liquid, excessive moisture, or needs service or repair.
In addition, someone decided to ask Apple Support on Twitter about how the case interacts with water:
So yes, it’s very clear that you should, according to official Apple documentation, absolutely steer clear of water when charging your iPhone. Yet, due to the fact that the iPhone 7 is IP67-certified — meaning it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of static water — it might be tempting to put peripherals, like the Smart Battery Case, to the test.
But you really shouldn’t do this. Apple’s documentation makes it abundantly clear that you shouldn’t get the Smart Battery Case wet, and that you definitely shouldn’t charge your iPhone while it is wet, even if it’s being charged by the Smart Battery Case, and not the typical AC outlet. Electricity and water, right?
Still, curiosity can make it easy to disregard even the clearest of warnings, which is why the development team at Squirrels decided to put the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case to the test. (To be clear, Squirrels is not endorsing such activity, but wanted to share their findings with me, as they knew I’d be interested in the results.)
The Squirrels team submerged the new iPhone 7 Smart Battery case in:
- a pool at 2-feet deep for 30 minutes
- Florida Gulf Coast saltwater at 1-foot deep for an hour
- a hot tub at 1-foot for 30 minutes
Needless to say, that’s a pretty extreme series of tests, but the Smart Battery Case came out relatively unscathed. It’s also worth noting that this test is making me long for another beach vacation ⛱.
Apple’s iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case is epoxy-sealed, which helps keep the inside dry
Squirrels does warn that cheaper Lightning cables are subject to corrosion when wet, while Apple’s own Lightning connector didn’t encounter any issues with corrosion. In other words, you’ll want to make sure that the case is completely dry before attempting to charge again, especially if using third-party cables.
It held up well, but it’s still not a good idea to get the Smart Battery Case wet
Further, Squirrels discovered that the case’s internal components are epoxy sealed, which help provide liquid ingress protection. When considering the case’s build materials, it’s not totally surprising that it held up well under these conditions. In fact, many found that the iPhone 6s could stand up to water much better than expected, even though Apple wouldn’t acknowledge any level of water resistance.
What can we learn from this test?
Despite how well the case fared, it’s still not a smart idea to get your iPhone 7 Smart Battery case wet to any degree, and you’ll definitely want to avoid charging the case or your iPhone until it’s dry if it happens to get wet.
But it’s nice to see that if you do have an accident that causes the case to get wet, it’s not necessarily the end of the world for the $99 accessory. Simply allow it adequate time to completely dry before trying to use it again.