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What Has Your Phone Survived?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the very-harsh-words dept.

Cellphones 422

NotAnIndividual writes "On an ice fishing trip two months ago, I lost my iPhone somewhere in the snow. I searched and searched, but to no avail. But just this weekend when moving the ice hut, lo and behold there it was. I quickly threw it into a bag of rice and placed it under a lamp to defrost. Three hours later I plugged it in. I wasn't expecting much. I mean, really, it had been frozen in snow for the last two months! To my surprise, the Apple logo popped up. I put in the SIM card and voila, my iPhone was back. My apps, my contacts, my music and more importantly my life were back. And this is the same iPhone that I dropped in a cup of coffee a few months ago! This got me wondering how much damage a cell phone can actually take. How have other Slashdot users punished their phones without actually killing them completely?"

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Slow (5, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292642)

news day?

Re:Slow (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293080)

Yeah, slow news day. And, this is kind of sad...

I put in the SIM card and voila, my iPhone was back. My apps, my contacts, my music and more importantly my life were back

Really? That was the most important?

Your iPhone is your life? I know as a geek it is a priority, but your life should revolve around more than just a piece of electronics.

If you were going for some color in your story, OK, but if you were serious, not OK.

Re:Slow (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293128)

Yes, my phone has survived many a slow news day.

Re:Slow (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293168)

Exactly. Today has been the day of "But we couldn't think of anything else for today's obligitary Iphone Slashvertisement".

We've already had the classic of judging the success of a product in a completely different market, by comparing it to how few Iphones have been sold [slashdot.org] . So here we have Saturday's obligitary Iphone story. Before you know it, there'll be stories about how you can now finally visit a website On Your Iphone, like it's 2001 again. Oh wait, we we already did that one too [slashdot.org] . Before you know it, there'll be stories about how you can use your Iphone to talk to a complete stranger, as if they were in the same room as you, just like on Star Trek...

(Seriously, as soon as I read the headline of "What Has Your Phone Survived", I immediately guess that there'd be obligatory advertising for Apple, despite being a niche player in this market. You know what my Nokia 5800's survived? Not being the subject of a major spam campaign by the media, that's what.)

A full season in the snow (5, Interesting)

its (190516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292656)

I lost my iPhone while skiing on Mt Hood slopes in February last year. In July I got an email from someone that he had found the phone, charged it and retrieved my email account for it. I let him have it since my insurance had already replaced it.

Re:A full season in the snow (2, Interesting)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292818)

Mine got run over by a car once, while it was lying in an inch of snow in the street.
The velcro on my belt clip let go, and I didn't hear it hit the ground, because of the snow.

Realized it was missing a little later, and when I got home, there was a tire track right over it.

The front display was cracked - it was a flip phone - but the internal one was fine, and the phone still worked for the next several months or so until I changed carriers. I still use it on occasion for a camera or flashlight, but not a phone, anymore. But it's two years later, and the thing still works, powers up, and does everything a phone with no carrier normally does, except for the funky blue/orange splotch that should be the clock on the front display.

Re:A full season in the snow (3, Interesting)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292900)

I had an old just-a-phone get ran over by a loaded 18-wheeler. I had laid it down on the tire when I climbed the side to check the load and forgot it. It cracked the screen, but still made calls.

Re:A full season in the snow (5, Interesting)

catd77 (1743104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293002)

Wow, my phones just break on me for no reason. I keep mine in a case with screen protectors on ecery screen. I've already had to replace it once because it wouldn't shut off. My phone before that I took amazing care of and it stopped making calls after a year. All my phones hate me!

Re:A full season in the snow (2, Insightful)

gspira (654441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293136)

Sounds like you shouldn't bother with the cases and screen protectors..

Re:A full season in the snow (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293138)

Damn those white iPhones. Once at the summit of Mount Stirling in Victoria, Australia I saw these guys madly digging in the snow. One of them had pushed his ski pole into the snow and it came up without the plastic basket. New baskets are cheap but skiing to the shop without one would be a PITA.

The basket they lost was white. Now when I replace mine I don't buy white ones.

Really.. a cup of coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292664)

How do you drop an iPhone into a cup of coffee? The thing is barely small enough to fit into a duffel bag, let alone a cup of warm beverage.

Re:Really.. a cup of coffee (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292716)

How do you drop an iPhone into a cup of coffee? The thing is barely small enough to fit into a duffel bag, let alone a cup of warm beverage.

Hard core coffee drinkers have huge mugs and for some reason they don't like to wash them either.

Re:Really.. a cup of coffee (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292866)

I think they feel that not washing it gets rid of some of the flavor. IIRC, some people do that with pots and pans. Remind me not to eat food cooked in those again....

Re:Really.. a cup of coffee (1)

leetrout (855221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293146)

I think they feel that washing it gets rid of some of the flavor. IIRC, some people do that with pots and pans. Remind me not to eat food cooked in those again....

FTFY

old phone (1)

hawicz (449905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292666)

I once dropped an old motorola flip phone off a 50 foot cliff, had it split apart into half a dozen different pieces, snapped it back together and it was fine. Somehow I doubt the G1 I have now would survive as well.

I don't have an iPhone, (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292668)

but if I did, I'd probably leave it in the stove, and the next day is wouldn't be burnt at all and would work perfectly.

Re:I don't have an iPhone, (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292732)

and the battery would be charged!

drove over it (2, Interesting)

czmax (939486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292672)

Similar to your story I was out shoveling snow one day last winter... and after I was done my iPhone was missing.

I tracked it down in the tracks of my truck -- I'd moved it to finish shoveling and driven over my phone. As in your case all was fine -- didn't break the screen and it's been working just fine for at least a year since then.

your life? (5, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292674)

My apps, my contacts, my music and more importantly my life were back.

You should really see a dotor about your addiction. I mean, seriously, that's just a phone!

Re:your life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292942)

I was thinking the same thing. I usually get my life back when I am able to unplug.

Jesus Phone (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292958)

No, it's so much MORE than just a life. It's life, it's the meaning of life, and it's the afterlife.

Re:Jesus Phone (0, Flamebait)

KillShill (877105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293112)

You mean Satan phone.

Jesus wouldn't impose DRM and the evils of lock-in on his customers.

Re:Jesus Phone (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293154)

No, it's so much MORE than just a life. It's life, it's the meaning of life, and it's the afterlife.

No - for that you can just dial #42 from any cell phone.

Re:your life? (1)

bwave (871010) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292992)

This is exactly why I always dial all 10-digits of the phone number of people I know. Too many people I know lose their phone and have no clue how to get ahold of anyone. I just don't get it. (I also know most of my credit card numbers, all my bank account numbers, my home address, the alphabet, even backwards, I must be a gotdamn genuis I tell ya) Kids today (waving fists) just are getting stupider and stupider. Of course I can also manage to leave my phone in the car when I run an errand inside the bank, the store, or food pickup. Well, not to mention the fact that even at 250lbs I'm not so lazy that I don't actually park my car and get out and walk into places instead of using the drive-up. And no, not in the fire lane, in an actual parking spot. Now if we could just rid the world of soccer mom's SUVs so I could actually get my car doors open in the parking lot we'd really be accomplishing something.

Re:your life? (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293076)

You should really see a dotor about your addiction. I mean, seriously, that's just a phone!

That's the last person he should see - his problem is too much doting!

Re:your life? (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293084)

And his life was gone for **two months**.

Sad.

I mean, I lost my cheap-ass work cell phone last week, and it's only a PITA because I have to look up everyone's number again until they are all in my contacts.

Re:your life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293098)

So, they can make phones water-proof, but not idiot proof, huh.

My phone has fallen and can't get up. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292682)

"This got me wondering how much damage a cell phone can actually take. "

Stopping a bullet.

"How have other Slashdot users punished their phones without actually killing them completely?"

Does browsing Slashdot count?

Re:My phone has fallen and can't get up. (2, Interesting)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292840)

Does browsing Slashdot count?

Maybe hosting a popular story that's linked to on slashdot would be a more appropriate test.....

Washer and dryer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292686)

LG VX8300: Went through the Washing Machine and the Dryer while turned on. No ill effects.

Re:Washer and dryer (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292756)

Was it still turned on when it exited the dryer?

Washer + Dryer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292692)

I had a Siemens cell phone that still worked after a washer and dryer cycle. I believe it was a C45. Too bad Siemens doesn't make cell phones anymore.

Your life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292696)

Pathetic.

Sony ericsson (5, Interesting)

isthisnametaken (1468337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292706)

I had their flip phone from about 4-5 years ago. After about a year the texting got quite difficult as the buttons started to stick and it became difficult to text quickly. One day when I was filling up my car with gas I put my phone on the hood of my car for some reason and then drove off. I realized about 5 minutes later and drove back and someone had run over it. It actually worked BETTER than before as the buttons no longer stuck. It was pretty scratched up though. Later that year in the winter I was digging my car out of the snow on a warm day and it fell out of my pocket and into a giant puddle of water.I took it out, turned it off and let it dry for a day or two near a heat source and it still works to this day. Sweet phone, and if anyone else has this phone and the buttons stick, run it over with your car.

This one time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292728)

I made a phone call. It must've lasted a good ten minutes. And it still works.

wtf? (4, Informative)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292730)

There's practically no difference between being frozen for one day, or arbitrarily long. There are only two dangers: contraction of metal and joints while freezing; and condensation/expansion while thawing. I'm sure the rice helped with the condensation, although putting it under a lamp couldn't have helped; better to warm it as slowly as possible.

Re:wtf? (2, Interesting)

LOTHAR, of the Hill (14645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292934)

Yup. Most of the damage from freezing and thawing electronic component comes from any water in the device. Other than that, the LCD may take some damage.

Silicon is not water based and is already frozen in a solid state. The chip components can go to -20 to -40 Celsius before damage occurs.

Hail/Rain and Multiple Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292734)

I was in a hotel and tossed my friend my phone (LG Rumor) and it slid through his hands and out the window. It fell 4 stories and landed on a gravel lot. It then proceeded to hail and rain on the phone for 30 minutes. I really expected it to not work but I let it dry and everything on the phone works still. The screen even survived... I've since dropped it off of my lap onto concrete a few times and it's still chugging along.

Re:Hail/Rain and Multiple Stories (2, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292996)

It took you 30 minutes to walk down 4 flights of stairs?

One time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292738)

A girlfriend of mine dropped her cell phone in the toilet.

Said toilet definitely contained poop.

I always gave her shit about that.

Re:One time (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293052)

One time I dropped my cellphone - an old samsung clamshell - into a urinal while it was flushing.

My girlfriend called me at work one day, but I had to pee really bad, so I just one-handed things and hoped she'd have shut up by the time I was finished. No such luck. So finish, pull up my pants and take four or five steps back from the urinal, just to be safe. Phone is cradled between my ear and my shoulder while I try and get my damn zipper up. Go figure, the phone slips and falls... right onto the end of my steel-toed boot, sending it skittering across the floor and into the bottom of the now-flushing urinal. While its still connected. I snatched it out of the water and immediately turned it off. I called my girlfriend on a landline after to explain what had happened, and left the phone to dry near a heat vent for a couple of hours. Turned the phone on later that night, and everything was tickity-boo. The phone, 8 years old, still works to this day. :)

Don't get me started on my latest phone though. It's a Sony Ericsson slider that's been dropped about four times, and sustained minor (cosmetic) damage twice. I am not impressed with it.

Simple (2, Informative)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292740)

Phones break from physical impact(shattering LCD and stuff), or from short circuits.. or from component failure(caps blowing, overheating, etc). TECHNICALLY you can drop a running circuit into *PURE* water and nothing happens. Water isn't very conductive. FYI

Re:Simple (5, Informative)

kelanden (1680090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292806)

TECHNICALLY you can drop a running circuit into *PURE* water and nothing happens. Water isn't very conductive.

I'm fairly certain that if you tried this, the water would be rendered conductive by dissolving whatever contaminants you happen to have on the surface of the device and you'd still get a short. YMMV.

Re:Simple (2, Informative)

nomel (244635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292898)

Nah, it's very low conductivity even with regular contamination. Try testing your tap water...pretty pathetic. Not even remotely close enough to directly kill something. The death would be from a secondary effect, like a power converter going unstable from a huge change in circuit wide capacitance or, if you were real unlucky, something like a high impedance transistor gate being physically close enough to a voltage source to actually turn the thing on (or off), even with the high resistance.

Now, if you drop it in the ocean, I'm sure your chances of a bricked phone are MUCH higher.

Re:Simple (1)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292826)

I'm pretty sure the skin flakes, hairs, dust and other miscellaneous gunk trapped in and on the device would make the water conductive after a short period, however.

Re:Simple (1)

loose electron (699583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292954)

water is suicide - distilled, lab grade whatever...
As an EE I have done a little too much "suicide testing" of devices.

cold freeze you should be able to survive, the battery might need replacement, but the chips will survive.

If you want to dunk a phone into a fluid and see it survive you need to use something like 3M's Fluorinert

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorinert [wikipedia.org]

Neat stuff - you can take a computer (No disk drive) and put it in fluid and it still keeps on running while totally immersed in the fluid.

a Fall (1)

howardjp (5458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292742)

I dropped a BlackBerry 8800 off the roof of a seven story building and it worked fine with a crack in the case.

Broken screen (1)

msuzio (3104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292750)

I broke the screen on my iPhone over a year ago. It looks hideous, with spider-web cracks all up and down it now.

It still works. Hasn't failed at all. I have the required repair kit to fix it, just been too lazy to do so ($79 to buy the kit myself, by the way -- Apple wanted $200, and most online fixers are about $100). At this point, it's almost a badge of pride, because no one who sees the phone believes it still works.

However, I can certify that putting an LG NV3 through the washing machine and dryer will break it.

Re:Broken screen (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293014)

My Nokia didn't survive the wash cycle either. The SIM card still works fine!

Are there any phone manufacturers that will certify their products as 'washing machine safe'? :)

Coffee and snow? (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292752)

You really have a love-hate relationship with your iPhone!

Is it the love of the shiny status symbol combined with the hate of your AT&T "service", or vice-versa?

Roller Coaster (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292758)

My old Nokia fell out of my pocket whilst riding the roller coaster (Medusa) at Six Flags. It fell about 30 feet onto the sidewalk and the only issue with it was that the casing kinda split a little and the bottom 4 rows of pixels on the screen stopped functioning. I stuck some tape on the thing and it kept chugging along for about another 6 months before finally failing.

Dropped an iPhone 1.0 down a 4 story stairwell (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292762)

Dropped an iPhone 1.0 down a 4 story stairwell

It now has a small case scratch near the ring/vibrate switch. Still going strong after 3 years on the same battery, too...

-- Terry

Re:Dropped an iPhone 1.0 down a 4 story stairwell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293068)

My brother had his iPhone fall out of his pocket on a ride at a local fair. He says was 80 feet in the air. Exaggeration? I don't know, but it landed square on the top left corner on the cement. None of the buttons work now and you can see inside the phone as the corner was smashed split open pretty bad. Still works. Screen's fine.

Toilet Droppings (1)

kingkol (969645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292770)

My brother and I have both dropped multiple phones in the toilet over the years. Not sure what that says about us but an odd fact none the less. They all came back to life after some careful cleaning.

The Alaska Highway (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292772)

My iPhone went up the Alaska Highway. It survived the crazy truckers at near Watson Lake.

weird mirror universe (4, Funny)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292778)

slashdot is mirroring the crazy awesome friday night conversation i'm having at the bar with all my male friends *right now*! and there's no girls here either!

My god (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292782)

I'm *so* glad your iphone survived. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us, I can sleep easy tonight knowing full well that another iphone owner out there has found another way to talk about his iphone on slashdot. Thank you, thank you for this.

I think (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292784)

there is with the construction of iPhones that make them a little less suspect to different water damage. I spilled a coke on mine with no ill effects, but have done similar to others with no such luck. Might just be how all new smartphones are being made. My mom dunked a phone that killed it but didn't change the stickers color inside. Was kind of amazed it didn't considering she said it was in there for a little bit before she realized where it was. Verizon replaced it free since they thought it just died. That was a samsung I think.

It's amazing (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292796)

It's amazing how many people on the subway I've seen with cracked screens on their phones. Apparently, their phone still works after whatever violent past it had!

Pissed off (4, Funny)

mrobinso (456353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292800)

Realized the iphone didn't have a drive I could mount, Safari didn't have flash, no voice recognition... a battery that can't get through The Dark Knight...

Laid it down on the basement floor and pissed on it.

Still running. Didn't help at all.

Mike

Rice does nothing! (-1, Troll)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292814)

Where do people get the impression that rice soaks up moisture from the environment? If it did you could cook rice by leaving it on the counter in humid weather. Open air would probably absorb more moisture than uncooked dry rice. On the other hand, some sort of desiccant (like the stuff they sell at floral and craft stores for drying flowers) would give you the effect you're looking for.

Re:Rice does nothing! (3, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292938)

Cooking isn't just about putting water in things, you know...

Also, rice does indeed appear to be a desiccant, just not as strong a desiccant as purpose-made things like silica gel. It's fairly common to put a few grains of dry rice in a salt shaker to prevent the salt sticking together from moisture.

Re:Rice does nothing! (3, Informative)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292980)

In the case of the salt shaker, the rice isn't absorbing moisture (the salt is WAY better at it than the rice is), it's being used for the same function as the bearing in a spray paint can, to break up the clumps mechanically. You could actually use some metal ball bearings for the same purpose (make sure they're bigger than the holes in the shaker, obviously).

Re:Rice does nothing! (2, Informative)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292966)

All those little 'do not eat' packets that come sealed in packages with devices and items you buy contain a desiccant. And it's reusable. Usually the desiccant in them is crystal granules that are blue when dry, and go white when they've absorbed moisture. You can bake them at a low heat in an oven to re-dry them out for reuse. In fact, it's worth saving all the little 'do not eat' packets for that purpose. You can tear the packet open and keep the granules inside to combine in a larger container if you wish.

It's common practice to use that kind of desiccant in a sealed safe where you are storing rare coins or anything else you don't want to tarnish. You can buy it in bulk quantities for that purpose. Put the recharged-blue desiccant in the safe before sealing it, and it'll pull all the moisture out of the sealed-in air and reduce corrosion/tarnishing of the silver/copper coins.

dropped it in water (3, Interesting)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292822)

I was on the third floor of an apartment building, taking pictures of the moon from a balcony when I dropped my Nexus 1. I watched it fall two floors before bouncing two or three times on to another roof, landing in a large puddle under and an extractor fan. I figure it would be dead and climbed down to recover my SIM card. After about 10 minutes of fishing around under the extractor fan in a 4+ inch deep puddle I recovered it, it was still on and in camera mode, not even a scratch on the case. I wiped it off and it's been working fine with no side effects from the fall and bath.

Speaking of fish (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292824)

This guy's story trumps all lost cell phone stories: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2277640.ece [thesun.co.uk] His Nokia phone spent a week in the belly of a fish and it still worked after a fisherman found it.

Personally, I had a Motorola phone that didn't survive being dunked in a toilet bowl. And a Samsung one that seemed to cave into the extreme heat of a radiator.

Re:Speaking of fish (2, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293020)

Callin' bullshit on that article.

Stairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292830)

I dropped my iPod touch which i kept stored in a leather flip-lid case down a flight of stairs, 12 steps, bare concrete. Amazingly the thing still worked afterwards and the glass front didn't break. The iPod did have a big cut on one of the corners which was so rough I had to file the edges down and the casing was a little bent. The weird thing is that after surviving all this it was finally bricked by a cheap loudspeaker dock.

how much damage can an iPhone take (1)

newsdee (629448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292834)

The iPhone has a glass screen that is very prone to cracking. I imagine it's a case of form over function, since glass looks nicer than plastic. It's not so pretty if ever the phone falls on a hard surface flat on the screen. This means an iPhone won't survive the ninja powers of a 2-year old who managed to grab your phone when you least expected it, to use as a hand grenade...

Also, for some stupid reason the screen was designed in such a way that changing it means also replacing the digitizer (the touch pad - glued to it) so you end up paying quite a pretty penny for repairs (between 1/3 and 1/2 of the price of the phone!).

Re:how much damage can an iPhone take (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292998)

really? let me check my iphone which i have dropped onto reinforced concrete no less than 5 times. Nope not a scratch. twice from heights of 12 feet. A particular ladder at work can be awkward. The phone has dropped out of my pocket a couple of time there.

no scratches in the glass, no cracks, just a small nick in the corner of the black back.

Also all touch panels are either glued to the top of the glass, or to the bottom of the glass. that keeps them in place. Only low quality ones aren't attached.

Re:how much damage can an iPhone take (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293062)

My buddy just switched out the battery and screen for $60 US, sure thats close to 1/3rd the price, but its almost two years old.

Took mine scuba diving (2, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292836)

I once took my cell phone scuba diving. It was a couple of years ago at White Star Quarry in Ohio. I was having trouble donning my rented wet suit and forgot my cell was in my swim trunks pocket. I did not even notice it until we were on our safety stop, which is where you stop on your way back to the surface for a few minutes ease decompressing. So that was 40-some minutes submerged in water up to 50 feet deep.

Miraculously after drying out the phone worked just fine.

Returned Device Horror Stories (2, Interesting)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292846)

My stories don't involve cell phones but it's devices of about equivalent size. And are from a different era.

I used to work at a medical device manufacturer that made TENS units. I worked in the Reliability Lab and my bench was across the room from the guy who serviced all the field return units.

He would occasionally get back devices that had fairly 'interesting' stories behind them. In that era, for the price we charged for the units, they came with a lifetime warranty. And the circuit boards were conformal-coated so it really was possible to offer that sort of warranty. Returned units might sometimes need the pots and connectors replaced, seldom more than that.

But the occasional unit would have a note attached. Like the unit that came back with a note that said 'Unit fell in a bucket of liquid feces.' Or the unit that came back completely filled with dried blood.

Both units were serviced and returned at no cost to the customer, BTW.

Deep fryer (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292848)

Several years ago I witnessed a restaurant developer's Samsung flip phone fall out of his shirt pocket and into a deep fryer. It took a few seconds to fish it out, and the pull-out antenna was a bit mangled, but the phone still worked! He continued to use that phone for quite sometime, though it has since been retired due to old age, I think.

Went swimming...twice. (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292850)

My phones like water.

First phone, went swimming three times: pool, lake, then creek. Survived fine. This wasn't "splash, oh no!". This was swimming around for a good 10 minutes and then "meh...it's a trooper.".

Second phone: swimming in lake, dropped into "freshly flushed" toilet. Works fine. Still can't hold this one close to my face...

For all the cases, took the battery out and let it dry in a sunny window for two weeks without trying to turn it on. Always powered right up. The water indicators always worked...and always fell off the second time around. There's not really that much in a modern phone that can be damaged by low conductivity water directly. I suppose if you caused the power converter to go unstable or something, then you have a chance of killing it. Unfortunately, my GPS died in the second lake incident...the old school LCD that used rubber contact strips had debris trapped in it...couldn't get it to align properly or stay put after cleaning it..

VisorPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292852)

I still have and use a Handspring VisorPhone (remember those?). It's survived being dropped, sat on, washed, lost in snow, and crushed, several times over. Hell, my original Visor that carried it didn't survive getting washed, but the phone part did, and Visors sell on eBay for dirt cheap nowadays.

Your life? (1)

aaandre (526056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292862)

"My apps, my contacts, my music and more importantly my life were back."

Where was your life during the last two months?! Associating having a life with having a gadget is pretty sad.

Try the outdoors, now with 100% surround sound and full-immersion 3D.

Original iPhone 2G (5, Funny)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292876)

My iPhone 2G has survived almost three years of AT&T's spotty reception, their failure to offer a reasonably priced rate plan for people who don't talk much but need data service, their woeful customer service, and their lack of 3G coverage outside metropolitan areas. Other than that, it's been very enjoyable.

Re:Original iPhone 2G (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293170)

With quality like that, could you tell if it was broken?

Does this count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292878)

My phone survived 2 Girls and a C...well you get the idea.

I'm pretty sure those videos are bad to the phone.

Re:Does this count? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293104)

Steve Jobs likes to think so :)

Lake Michigan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292894)

My iPhone took a quick dip when I fell through the ice (while jumping from piece to piece before they sunk like Mario) in Lake Michigan two winters ago. After clawing my way back onto a steady piece I turned off the phone and sucked as much liquid as I could out of all inputs. I don't know if that helped but a day later the phone was fine, so I was happy about that and not dying in the lake.

Perhaps the better question is. . . (1)

R3coiler (1740032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292908)

What has Chuck Norris's phone survived?

Note to self... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292914)

... iPhone frozen in snow for the last two months!
... same iPhone that I dropped in a cup of coffee a few months ago!

Note to self: Never lend him electronics.

Re:Note to self... (1)

wasabioss (1196799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293126)

How have other Slashdot users punished their phones without actually killing them completely?

It survived after being slashdotted... I got Apache installed on it.

Nuclear Apocalypse (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292924)

My own phone has survived more than a mere season's worth of snow, getting run over, being dropped in a cup, and the more mundane causes of death. My own phone has survived the nuclear apocalypse. The zombie one. It was used as a weapon to bash in zombie skulls, and it survived a direct nuclear blast from a 50 megaton nuclear warhead; not even a scratch. Let's see your phones do that! Oh, and it survived a direct attack by God Almighty; all I had to do was trick the bastard into thinking that the phone was a chariot of iron [biblegateway.com] . And you know what? It still had a full charge! It never drops a call or anything. Now, if you'll excuse me, I will return to my time machine after I laugh at your pathetic "iPhone" and "Droid." Smart phones? Ha! If only I could tell you more....

Zune (3, Interesting)

xbeefsupreme (1690182) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292928)

I know it's not a phone, but someone in my scout troop brought his zune 120 on a campout and accidentally left it out on a bench the night it rained. After finding it in a small pool of water, he turned it on to find that it still worked like new.

I dropped my Gyration media remote... (1)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292982)

... in a glass of water. The thing was totally submerged. I took the batteries out and laid it on the counter for 2 days. I put them back in, and I'm still using it.

none at all (3, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293040)

This got me wondering how much damage a cell phone can actually take.

One of my previous phones was working just fine one minute, and then the next minute it wasn't, and it never worked again. Based on the overwhelming weight of that single anecdote I would have to say that 'none it all' is how much damange a cell phone can actually take and still continue working.

(by a strange coincidence, 'none at all' is exactly how much of a scientific conclusion you can draw from this :)

Life? (1)

broknstrngz (1616893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293056)

My apps, my contacts, my music and more importantly my life were back.

If that's your life, you need a real one.

Steve, is it you? (1)

Billano (1617023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293066)

Is it really you posting?

Nokia and Apple (1)

kwwii (663850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293082)

I had a Nokia years ago which I twice dropped into a bathtub full of water which after careful drying still worked. In addition, I have a powerbook which has taken a good amount from a bottle of beer as well as half a glass of red wine (which did more damage, the backlighting only works on a few keys and the left apple key is dead). My X60 faired better from the .5 liter of red wine, it simply flowed out the bottom and with a bit of water afterwards and careful drying works fine.

Not me personally but... (1)

nikomo (1338131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293086)

I haven't really had anything, but my mother.. another story. First the phone was my big brother's. It dropped on some sort of automated painting line. First submerged in paint and then heated in an oven, works fine. Gave to my mom, she forgot it in her pants, goes through some washing, still works. The battery started dying so bought a new tho'.

Washed and Dried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293094)

Once, I washed my Palm LifeDrive in the pocket of my jacket. I put the jacket in the dryer and heard a "thunk, thunk" sound when I turned it on. My LifeDrive had been through a complete wash cycle and several hard impacts in the dryer.

I took it out and let it dry out for two weeks....and it worked without a problem!

Phones and Motorcycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31293110)

I have dropped my phone on a highway at about 55 mph from my bike, it dinged up the case a bit but, someone found it and it made it back to me, and then it also survived me totaling a bike, I finally gave up on it because the battery eventually got to the point to where it would not charge, and decided it was time for another phone.

Ironically my friend still uses that phone, after he bought a new battery and door for it.

Phone is a Motorola ic902

Dropped mine in a pot of Chili -- (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293114)

-- and unfortunately it didn't survive. I ended up donating the phone and accessories to a charity, because I heard that they can still make money from recycling it.

dunk in the lake (1)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293120)

my friend and i were canoeing around toronto island in the summer of 2007 - which unfortunately got us turned-over from a big wave on the home stretch - there we were in the water, bailing out the canoe - cell phone in the back pocket... dried it out for a week.. got a black screen.. dried it out for two weeks.. it worked!! and for another two years after that. :-D

The volcano at the entrance to Hell (1)

saltire sable (1197695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293164)

I was at Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland last year, and noticed a certain touchscreen phone lying in the mud at the base of a giant volcanic crater. I figured it was a dead bit of electronics but picked it up anyway. When I later tried charging it, I was surprised to see it turn on, and indeed work perfectly. There was a bit of water damage behind the screen, but over the next couple of days that faded away, leaving only a little sprinkling of sediment. Turned out its owner had lost it in March sometime, and I'd found it in June.

What worried me at first was that, next to an ominous black cone in a remote, nearly deserted, highly volcanic area choked with flies and smelling of sulphur, within sight of a smoking crater once believed to be the entrance to Hell, I'd found this shiny black object glinting in the sun at me, just waiting to be picked up...

Palm Centro (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293166)

I got my daughter a Palm Centro via AT&T. It did not survive normal use. She is not particularly careless, the case never showed any visible damage. It was replaced 3 times by AT&T and failed again. She fell back to one of those $15 by-the-minute phones they have at Target, which work when you swap in the SIM card. At least the damn thing works reliably. AT&T no longer sells Palm smartphones, at least in California.

News Flash: Palm stock is down nearly 40% in the last 5 days. Gosh, I wonder why.

Wrong pocket (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293172)

Put my phone in the wrong pocket once. I always put it in my left hip pocket, so I got a fright when I reached for it and it wasn't there. Eventually found it in my right hip pocket. Fortunately it still worked.

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