Earlier this week, Sony found itself receiving some negative attention for what it had been telling users about just what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing with their so-called “waterproof” smartphones. While the company once seemed ready to challenge users to push their handsets to the limit, the new language it adopted explicitly advised against activities Sony itself once encouraged, like snapping underwater photos. Was Sony trying to protect itself in case that waterproofing failed? And just how how much water exposure can its phones really endure? In a new statement, Sony now attempts to respond to the controversy, but its words may not be entirely satisfactory.

Sony writes:

Sony Mobile is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service. Xperia models that feature levels of dust and water-resistance are validated independently and based on Ingress Protection (IP) standards agreed and used across the industry. We have every confidence in the qualities of Xperia devices, which are built to exacting technical standards and are designed to perform to high standards in normal usage.

The recent changes to guidance we provide to our customers are designed to more clearly illustrate the best ways to protect devices in day-to-day usage. We communicate necessary precautions, and the specific parameters of ingress protection ratings, to help customers to protect their smartphones and tablets in line with the applicable warranty we provide.

We have also recently updated our marketing visuals to better advocate sensible usage of our devices. The warranty terms provided for our products remain the same and any customer concerns will continue to be considered on a case by case basis in line with these terms.

OK, most of us aren’t going to snap underwater pics every day, but there’s a big difference between “maybe your phone would be better protected if you used it on dry land once in a while” and “do not use the device to take photos while performing any type of activity underwater,” as Sony directly warns its users.

Still, it feels like there’s a disconnect between this talk about “normal usage” and backing the phone up with an IP rating that seems to almost invite what many of us would characterize as “extreme usage” – dunking our phones in water, in particular. Is Sony trying to have its cake and eat it too here, or do these sound like perfectly reasonable explanations to you, and this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion?

Source: Xperia Blog

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