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Rain-proofing your mobile phone

Besides saving yourself from getting drenched in the Monsoons it is crucial to protect your mobile phone from prolonged exposure to moisture. Here we present some quick and useful tips that will prevent any watery mishaps.

Limited mobile phones are available today that work well even after getting dropped in water or getting soaked in rain. No one would like to get his handset wet in the rain. The most simple and obvious method to safeguard a handset is to use a hands-free, or Bluetooth handset. However, some times taking out the phone becomes imperative. And accidents happen.

Besides the physical handset, it’s the data inside the phone which needs protection. Now we’ll tell you how to rain-proof your mobile phones without the need for rocket science or costly solutions. Our suggestions may not be 100 percent effective but we believe we will certainly ensure minimal damage to your mobile phones.

Inexpensive safeguarding tips

Using transparent plastic shopping bags and zip-lock pouches is an inexpensive means of saving your phone from rain. Make use of rubber bands to pack the mobile handset in several layers of plastic shopping bags.

In case you plan to use this method, do keep a pouch of silica gel or desiccant granules in the package to keep the device moisture free. A little care for your handset will make it last longer and will save its components from going bad.

Place the handset in the innermost pocket of a raincoat or wind-cheater, but do ensure that the latter is water proof. Make use of features like voicemail to store voice messages, and use call-forwarding to get calls attended by someone else.

Waterproof accessories

The safest bet is to buy water proof covers not only for rains but also for day-to-day usage. Several such accessories are available starting at Rs 100, and they can range up to the price of an entry level smartphone. These accessories are made by brands like Otterbox, Pelican, iBall and others.

Do note that using water proof and Silicon or thermoplastic polyurethane cases may save your handset from rain, but that doesn’t bail out moisture so ensure you take out the handset often and clean it, along with the case, with dry tissues.

Using waterproof handsets

Select waterproof and dust resistant handset models are available in the market. Most are budget friendly and those who need a mobile solely for telephony and messaging should buy one specifically for the Monsoons. Such waterproof models include Intex IN 3030 (about Rs 2,750) and Motorola Defy (about Rs 15,500). Sonim Technologies is one handset maker that offers smartphones for the harshest conditions and its devices cost as much as good smartphones do &#151 at approximately Rs 18,000 for a used device to Rs 38,000 for a new one.

Despite these measures if your phone does get wet, here is a list of measures to increase the chances of resurrecting your phone:

Dealing with a rain affected mobile phone

The first thing to do with a wet mobile phone is to pull out the battery. Cutting off the power to the phone will increase the possibility of the device’s recovery. Do NOT try to turn on a wet phone as it may cause a low-level short circuit and damage core components of the handset. Wrap the wet phone, SIM card module, memory card and battery separately in paper sheets or moisture absorbing dry tissues.

Wipe the wet components of the phone with a clean cotton cloth or tissues, and don’t turn on the phone immediately. Chances are that it still isn’t completely dry. Avoid using a hair dryer to dry the phone or putting it into an oven or microwave at low temperature. By doing that you’re totally warding off all possibilities to save your mobile phone. Instead, leave the phone components in a dry and moisture-free place like near the window or under indirect sunlight.

If the phone was heavily soaked in the rain, use the famous rice method. Take a bowl of raw rice and submerge the phone, battery and SIM card in it for at least 24 hours. Leave it unattended and do not turn it on after half a day or so. Let it dry completely.

Alternatively, soak the components in silica gel sachets that can be found in new bags, insulated thermoware etc. These absorb moisture.

When everything else fails, take your phone to a reliable mobile service station and be honest with what happened to the device.

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