What Makes the Note 7 Waterproof?
People have been loving Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 and are amazed by the ability to not only completely submerge the phone, but have full functionality while underwater. As we’ve been able to play with the new Note a bit and do a full teardown for our techs, we were able to learn more about what makes this possible and why no phone has been able to achieve this level of water resistance before.
Adhesive is Key
Special adhesive is what keeps our tech together, but in the case of the Note 7, an extra large amount of adhesive keeps the phone sealed shut. The adhesive goes basically everywhere– on the underside edges of the glass, under the LCD, around the battery, around all the buttons–creating airtight seals that will not break under normal use. The adhesive used is similar to industrial double-sided tape. This type of adhesive not only secures and insulates all the components of the phone, but it protects them from damage as well. You would think that all this extra stuff would make the phone wider than usual, but it doesn’t at all. In fact, the LCD on the Note 7 is one of the thinnest LCDs we’ve seen in a comparable device.
The other element that makes the Note 7 so airtight is the use of rubber gaskets around the important hardware. Manufacturers used the rubber gaskets as bumpers for the home button, the power button, the volume buttons, the headphone jack, the stylus opening and several others. These small rubber bumpers keep water from entering important hardware, but they also seal off the phone into sections. If the adhesive and the gasket around the speaker were to break and sustain water damage, then the speaker would stop working, but other areas of the internal hardware would still be protected. Empty space was also utilized in the internal design to leave plenty of room between important areas. This strategic design is what makes the phone extremely resistant to water damage.
The Note 7 is an impressive device although there are a few drawbacks to a phone created with this many intricacies. The amount of adhesive used to airlock the phone makes more difficult than usual to service the device should something go wrong. Refurbishing and remanufacturing the Note 7 is harder and will take longer because of the unsealing and resealing process. The biggest drawback is the high probability of losing underwater functionality if the device is repaired by someone who doesn’t know how to properly handle this device.