Posted on August 5, 2013
We here at RepairLabs spend a lot of time fixing water damaged devices. Now, most of the time, these devices require our specially-designed RepairLabs' Cleaning Process to get back into working order, still we decided it was time to answer the question we get asked all the time: “I got my phone wet, what can I do to fix it?”
To do this test properly, we had to document each step of the process so that you guys can see exactly why one option is better than another. The most common thing people do when they get their device wet, is stick it in rice... That’s the worst thing you can do. Yes, rice will eventually absorb the water, what it will also do is cause massive corrosion build-up inside your device, which is the reason it isn’t working in the first place.
Rice has always been considered by many to be the top option for drying out a water damaged device, but the truth is that rice doesn’t absorb liquid out of your device very well, increasing the risk of a part shorting out inside the phone due to water, and an increased build-up of corrosion from the chlorine in the water.
Though the general idea behind corrosion is that it makes your phone go from working to not working, which is true, but there is more to it than that. It’s time for a RepairLabs’ Super Awesome Scientific Moment!!
Corrosion is the result of an undisturbed chlorinated-liquid sitting inside your device for an extended period of time. What this chlorine does is cause corrosion, which eats away lead-free solder, causing your device to have cold joints which is a bad connection between two connectors where the solder use to be. Another issue with corrosion is that it’s conductive, which can cause parts inside your device to short out, such as the battery and LCD, etc...
Any website or person that has told you to stick your phone in rice after suffering water damage is setting you up for failure. Luckily your friends at RepairLabs are here to help you get things back in working order.
We used the five most common drying methods, which are; rice, an alcohol bath, desiccant crystals, a blow dryer, and running a device through RepairLabs' own Cleaning Process. For the sake of consistency, we used five iPhones that have been submerged in a bucket full of pool water, which consists of water and chlorine, since the water will be more corrosive than tap water, but not quite as bad as salt water.
Each device was submerged for five minutes, removed from the water and shaken out, then put into whatever water drying method it was selected for. After their allotted time, they were all removed and disassembled to get pictures of the rust accumulation inside and the corrosion build up on the LCD connection.
Desiccant Crystals (48hrs) – The trusty 48 hour emergency water kit. All these are is a little bag full of desiccant crystals, which are used to absorb moisture. We followed the directions on the packaging to the letter, getting the phone into the bag as quickly as possible and then sealing it for 48 hours before re-opening it.
Results – The rust build-up was pretty severe on the screws inside the phone, along with most of the back housing and metal internal components. There was also a bit of moisture still on the battery, leaving it moist in areas.
The LCD connection was surprisingly relatively clean of any corrosion, raising the chances that we would be able to fix this particular phone.
Alcohol (24hrs) – Considered by some our Certified Technicians to be the best way to save your phone after a dip in some liquid. The alcohol will help break down the water while working as a non-conductive liquid to keep your device from shorting out. Note that five to ten minutes is all that is needed in the alcohol. We let it sit in the alcohol for five minutes before removing the phone and letting it air dry for another 24 hours.
Interesting to see that the phone worked the moment we put it in the alcohol, even after sitting in the pool water for five whole minutes.
Results – Not nearly as much rust inside the phone as the crystal phone. The screws are rusted and of course the water sensor has been tripped on the phone, which is a given. There is no standing water on the battery or within the device itself, being completely dry, but you can clearly see the water damage to the battery.
Underneath the cables is the LCD connection, which is almost spotless except for the bit of corrosion on the connector itself, you can tell the corrosion by its teal color.
Blow Dryer (48hrs) – This is probably your second best bet when it comes to getting your phone working again after dropping it in water. Using a blow dryer on low heat and low speed will gently push the water molecules out of the phone from the open areas. Do this for roughly five minutes, and you’ve raised the chances of getting your phone back in working condition exponentially. After blow drying it, we let it sit for an additional 48 hours to let it completely dry out.
We used the blow dryer for five minutes on the phone, constantly turning and flipping the phone to help evaporate as much water as we could.
Results – Similar results to that of the alcohol bath phone. There is minor rust damage inside the phone besides the screws. Again the battery is pretty thrashed, which is why we call it water damage.
Not surprising, since the rest of the internals look similar, the LCD connection is roughly the same as well (in comparison to the alcohol phone), with there only being minor corrosion damage on the connector cable itself.
RepairLabs’ Cleaning Process (24hrs) – The idea here is to let the phone sit powered down for 24 hours, the average amount of time a water damaged phone sits before it is normally taken/shipped to a repair center for water damage repairs. After 24 hours, we ran the phone through our RepairLabs’ Cleaning Process to break away the corrosion.
Results – After getting the 24 hour treatment, this phone was torn apart and cleaned of all corrosion, and the results are pretty amazing, with the phone showing next to no signs of water damage after having been submerged in pool water for five minutes.
The LCD connection is spotless, with not an ounce of corrosion to be found.
Rice (72hrs) – The most misleading myth when it comes to phone repair probably ever. Putting your phone in rice is a terrible idea. The moisture absorbed is minimal at best compared to the amount of corrosion you will build in return. We let the iPhone sit inside a full bag of rice for 72 hours before opening it to check for corrosion.
Results – Wow... There really is not a better word to explain the phone after sitting in the rice for three whole days. The rust build-up is intense and there is still water on the battery itself, leading me to conclusion that the rice did an absolutely porous job of absorbing the water. In the battle between rice and water damage, water damage won hands down!
Gross, that corrosion means this phone is basically shot. Yes, it could be put through our water damage cleaning process, but there is no guarantee this phone could be saved with this much damage to the internals.
For reference, this is what an iPhone looks like after getting wet in pool water and sitting for eight whole days. The corrosion inside is so bad that this phone has probably seen its last days. Though we clean all phones that come through, not every phone can be saved.
The results speak for themselves. If there is no way for you to get your phone to us right away, either put your phone in a quick alcohol bath or run a blow dryer over it on low for a bit. The 48 hour emergency kits aren’t a bad idea if you’re out and about when this happens, but the two previously stated methods are cheaper and you normally have both in-house.
Putting your phone in rice doesn’t help, so don’t bother. The standing water on the battery and corrosion build-up makes it pretty clear that you’re much better off doing something else with your phone if you get it wet.
Posted on July 18, 2013
Will the iPhone 5S finally be the true innovation on an “S” model iPhone? Blasphemy! Apple has set themselves up on a pretty linear path when it comes to the launching of their iPhones. Every year somewhere between mid-summer and October they release their latest iteration in the line, starting with a whole number, such as the iPhone 5, then releasing the “S” iteration the next year, in this case being the iPhone 5S.
Now normally these “S” models offer only minor improvements over their predecessor, such as speed bumps for the CPU and minor adjustments to iOS. This year looked to be no different, until the rumors started floating around earlier this week about the delay for the iPhone 5S, due to Apple wanting to put 4.3” Displays on the device. Normally we don’t report on rumors without hard evidence, but the fact that Bloomberg felt it was worthy of being picked up intrigued us.
There are also talks that Apple is working with Samsung to get these new displays, but there is no concrete evidence that either of these rumors are true. Still, in the spirit of being geeks, we here at RepairLabs thought it would be fun to work up a mock image of what a 4.3” iPhone5S would look like in comparison to the last iPhone model, the iPhone 5.
One of the biggest complaints about the iPhone 5 was that, yes, they made the screen bigger, but the shape of the phone was just off. Some people loved it, but just as many disliked it. If Apple really is set on moving up to a 4.3” Display, their best bet would be to expand out at an angle, making the phone wider, and less oblong shaped.
Whether the resolution would increase or not, is still up for debate. With the iPhone line already boasting the extremely sharp Retina Displays, Apple may be able to get away from boosting up the pixel count, while still offering a beautiful display. Ideally they would offer us a true HD screen this time around, possibly at 720P or even 1080P, but that’s not likely to happen, and if it will, it will most likely be on the iPhone 6 that will undoubtedly be out next year.
Posted on June 11, 2013
Please note people that the version of iOS 7 used within this post is the beta developer’s version, and that the final product may differ from what you’re about to see.
Ok for those of you didn’t hear or are living under a rock with poor internet reception, yesterday Apple announced the new iOS 7, among many other things. iOS has been criticized for a long time now for being the same with every “new” iteration. What was Apple’s answer to this? Why to pretty much blow up the look of the operating system and rebuild it.
We here at RepairLabs have gotten our hands on the new beta version of iOS 7, and are here to give you a full rundown of our thoughts and opinions on it up to this point.
The results are mixed, at best. I personally dislike the whole look. It’s like Apple thought to themselves “WWAHD?” or “What would a hipster do?” This was the result. Now for the sake of being fair, I got past my initial disgust of the design and utilized the new features to test out the actual functionality of the new iOS.
From a design standpoint, my feelings are pretty clear. I don’t like the new look at all. The icons all have a bright, colorful vector feel to them that I feel is far too hipster for the phone’s own good. Nothing else really changed when it comes to design for the icons. You still have the standard layout with the app rows and the main functions at the bottom.
The lock screen is one of those interesting changes. It’s essentially identical to its predecessor in how it functions, but it now looks nearly identical to a handful of Android phones.. Very interesting.
When it comes to additions to the design, this is where Apple has made improvements. With the new slide down menus on the top and bottom, which are called the Control Center and the Navigation Center, along with the redesigned unlock screen, we get the feeling that Apple has been watching the competition closely while working on this latest version.
The slide down from the top gives you access to the Navigation Center, which houses your calendar and the stock market widget. I find them to be an odd combination, but having instant access to your calendar is a handy feature.
Sliding the screen from the bottom up gives you the Control Center, much like the top bar of an Android phone. From here you can change your general settings such as WiFi and whatnot, below that is the media player, brightness, and a few of the essential apps; flashlight, (handy) stopwatch, calculator, and camera.
You may have noticed that the search page is now gone. Replacing it is this new frustrating feature where you have to do an angled swipe down to pull down the search. It feels silly and they should have left it be. You know that they say, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Also note that you can now voice search, much like Android phones.
This is where Apple impressed me. The aesthetic changes were an extremely mixed bag, but the functionality changes were across the board positives. The speed to open apps is unrivaled at this point, and the way it pulls you into the app instead of simply opening it is a nice touch.
I felt that in general the phone was a lot more snappy and quick while moving from app to app. The only issue I’ve had functionality wise is that Siri is currently broken. Now I don’t know if this is because of the phone or the update, and am not going to hold it against Apple right this very moment, but it is an issue that is apparent as this time.
While I’ll show you the difference in design for a lot of the apps, the only two apps that seem to function differently are the camera and the music player.
iTunes Radio – This is the music player that iPhone users have deserved for a long time. It’s clean and simple and runs really well. I love the design of it, and found navigating through it was a breeze.
Camera – The camera is essentially the same, Apple just made a handful of thoughtful additions to it, including the ability to add filters on the fly, like Instagram, but not… Instagram..
Parallax effects and a new App Cleaning function are really the highlights of the new features at this time. I’m sure as we get further into development Apple will add more new features, including access to Airdrop, which I couldn’t use at this time.
Parallax Effects – Ok, these are silly and unnecessary, but dang-it they look cool! With the parallax, you get the effect of depth with your screen, which is compounded by the fact that the background shifts and skews as you twist and turn the phone, really adding to the depth effect.
App Cleaning – Goodness, I honestly can’t believe it has taken Apple this long to implement a quality app cleaning function. The App Cleaning function that Android and Windows use are extremely intuitive; and the Apple version is no different. Flinging apps up causes them to close-out, helping to conserve your battery life and improve overall performance.
The Good – Speedy, Intuitive and finally adding features that the other OS’s have had for a long time now. New iTunes Radio and App Cleaning functions are handy and feel like they should have been introduced a few iterations ago.
The Bad – Vector.. Really, Apple? The feel of the new colors and icons is extremely hipster and may turn off more serious or mature users. I still would like to see widgets instead of just little app bubble icons.
The Ugly – Why is Siri broken?? On top of that the phone runs extremely hot with this new update. We’re not talking thermal meltdown, but rather uncomfortable in the hand after 30-45 minutes of use.
Other Thoughts – I feel that Apple really hasn’t take a huge leap forward with this new “revolutionary” iOS 7 update. Yes, it’s an upgrade on iOS 6, I’m not denying that – BUT where is the features that have become common-place with the competition that Apple still lacks?
The design is silly in my opinion, but the speed and functionality increases make this a worthwhile upgrade. We can only hope that it gets better as it gets closer to release.
How varying are opinions on the new iOS so far? Well check out some thoughts from the RepairLabs staff. And remember, the next time you break your iPhone or need to get your iPad repaired, to think of your friends here at RepairLabs!
Taylor ~ Lead Repair Technician - It's ugly.. The flat bright colors for the icons just looks flat out stupid. I'm definitely going to Android.
Jason ~ I.T. Manager - I don't understand why they went away from the old icons, there was nothing wrong with them. The new parallax effects are cool, but the icons are bad.
Brittany ~ Nobody Knows What Brittany Does - I love it! Granted, I understand why guys who aren't hipsters may not like it, but it's so bright and happy!
Michelle ~ Graphic Designer - The vector design is really eye-catching, and I like it. It definitely has a hipster feel to it, but I still like iOS 7.
Posted on June 13, 2012
We’ve compiled a list of the Coolest Gifts for Dads this year. We asked all the dads at RepairLabs what’s on their wish list for this Father’s Day, and here are some of the ideas that they gave us.
DIY Gadget Card - Free
A fantastic tutorial and a really creative idea for a card for dad that you can make yourself, with the kids. Look inside each of the “apps” to find a cute personalized message. From Charlottes Fancy.com
A Gadget Grip Mat - $11
Grippy Pad holds all sorts of things in place with an advanced silicone material. (I.e., stolen from aliens.)
BioLite CampStove- $129
This little beauty also charges devices. If Dad’s a camper, this will be on his list. (It’s good to keep a phone around even when you’re unplugging-- in case of emergencies.)
Mouse Armrest -$30
This is an ergonomic attachment for Dad’s office chair or desk. It will help reduce the possibiltes of bad posture and repetitive stress injuries from using a mouse.
Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit - $52
Camping survival kit. Because Tech Dads can MacGyver anything.
iKoa Phone Case- $179
This beautiful case also holds Dad’s credit card and ID.
igrill thermometer and app $79
Just insert the probe thermometer of this device into the meat and use your iPhone or iPad to monitor the temp while you’re off relaxing with a beer.
LawnBott Robotic Lawn Mower $1199
It’s not cheap, but if Dad hates mowing, this gift may be worth it.
Laptop Desk - $25
A Lap desk designed to keep you cool with special insulation that blocks 95% of laptop heat.
Custom Housing Color for his iPhone 4S $249
Custom iPhone housing color change. Choose Dad’s favorite team’s colors.
We <3 Daddy DIV Photo –Free
We think it would be relatively simple to take some posterboard and an iPhone and shoot this picture on a sunny afternoon. If my calculations are correct, the kids need to hold the signs upside down. You stand facing them. Print it on photo stock pop it in a frame for his desk at work ~and best part, it’s Dad’s favorite gift of all. Laurie, the fantastic blogger at Tip Junkie , provided this great picture, but was unable to find the source of this beautiful image.
Hope these ideas get you going to show Dad how great he really is.
Sources and Links
*Note: prices are valid at the time of publication (6-13-12). Please check links to be sure.
This post was posted in Opinion, Tablets, Gifts, Tech, Geek, How To, What We Do, iPhone, iPad, Uncategorized and was tagged with Accessories, Housing, Color, Car, Grip Pad, Ergonomics, Photos, Camping, Mowing, Cards, Ideas, Techie, Father's Day, Dad, Gifts, Tech, How To, iPhone, iPad