Product Design

We Dropped an iPhone 7 Into a Fish Tank—Here’s What Happened

Good news for chronic phone fumblers: Apple’s newest iPhones are water resistant. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have an IP67 rating, which means they theoretically should survive at one meter underwater for up to half an hour. That’s good—because (as we often hear from community members) phones tumble into water (read here: toilets) all the time. And liquid-damaged phones aren’t always easy to fix.

So, in the name of durability testing, we decided to test the limits of the iPhone 7’s water resistance. Can it survive under extreme conditions? Let’s find out. It’s time for an experiment.

Now, iFixit is dedicated to science and technical perfection, so we busted out some of our favorite bathtub toys and our cheapest webcam and answered the real question you’ve all been wondering: How long will an iPhone 7 last if dropped in a fish tank? (We drop the iPhone into the water at the 30 minute mark.)

The answer: longer than you might think. In fact, we couldn’t get the thing to die.

As part of our (very informal, very unscientific) experiment, we popped a fully-charged, powered-on iPhone into nearly a foot of water, turned on the phone’s timer, and left it to soak. We expected the iPhone to last for at least 30 minutes, but the iPhone 7 just kept going. And going. And going.

In fact, it survived almost 8 hours in our tank, withstanding several vicious attacks from a wind-up toy shark, and even an hour of underwater charging. Even with all the abuse, the iPhone wouldn’t quit. In fact, we actually ran out of time on our live stream and had to end the experiment. Final score — iPhone: 1, Fish tank: 0.

iPhone 7 water resistance test in a fish tank
Final verdict on the water resistance test? iPhone 7: passed.

So, should you take your iPhone 7 on your next scuba dive? Of course not. An iPhone sitting in a foot of tap water doesn’t replicate real life conditions. In real life, people dunk their phone in chlorinated pool water, in mugs of tea, and in dirty lakes. However, the sheer length of time our iPhone 7 spent underwater does speak to the effectiveness of Apple’s waterproofing efforts. Despite the fact that the iPhone spent a whole 8 hours under water on Friday, as of Monday, it’s still working just fine.

So, if our water test is anything to go by, you might not have to worry the next time your iPhone falls victim to ye old toilet tumble.