If your phone gets soaked, you’ve got problems. Everybody’s heard the trick about packing it in rice, but the truth is that’s a stopgap at best: As the rice pulls the water out, it tends to leach starch into your phone, which isn’t much better. So, is there a solution that works? DryBox would like to offer one.
DryBox’s solution is actually fairly straightforward. If your phone gets soaked, turn it off and, if possible, pull the battery. Then, take it to a DryBox station as soon as you can (within 36 hours of the dunk is recommended), pop it in, and give the drying chamber 25 minutes or so to pull all the water out of your phone. The DryBox sucks all the air out of the chamber, turns up the heat and puts some intense light into the equation to remove the water.
Needless to say, even if you do everything right, there might still be some (or a lot) of damage; even DryBox’s operators only claim an 80% success rate. Your smartphone is a sensitive instrument and a dunk in the pool is essentially going to be terrible for it no matter what you do. But at least with a DryBox you’ll be able to salvage it as a working phone.
Oddly enough, according to the DryBox team, the phones that have seen the best recovery rate are iPhones. Whether that’s sheer numbers, as they’re by far the most popular model of smartphone, or because Apple seals them up pretty well is an open question, but it’s what they’ve observed.
The main drawback, right now, is that DryBox is still in its early stages of getting out there and signing up affiliates. Currently their website lists only three stores with a DryBox available. But more are being added all the time, so ask your dealer about installing one.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.