By Larry Magid

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— AT&T has started accepting returns of water-damaged Samsung Galaxy S4 Active smart phones, which aren’t quite living up to the hype that they can be water resistant to a degree.

Samsung does advertise this phone as being able to withstand being submerged into up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It actually was tested by PC Magazine and they said it did meet those claims.

However, many users experienced water damage to their phones, supposedly under those conditions. Normally if you bring a water-damaged phone to a company (I did this years ago with Sprint) they would take it apart and say all bets are off and the warranty is void. Basically if you wanted a new phone, you’d have to buy one.

It’s great that Samsung has a phone that claims to be somewhat water proof and that AT&T will replace them for free if they get damaged, but I’d still caution against mixing water and phones. Water and electronics generally don’t get along too well.

Word to the wise if you do get your phone wet: Not all is lost.

Take the battery out if it’s removable and put the phone in a bag of rice (because rice absorbs) and wait two or three days and try turning it on. That may or may not work, but it has saved some soaked phones.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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