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May 29, 2014

Wet cellphone can be revived; various smartphones,
accessories keep devices safe from elements

KNOXVILLE, TENN. (May 29, 2014) – The sun is beating down. A gentle breeze is blowing. The pool water is warm. You are enjoying a perfect summer day with family and friends. Then all of a sudden … Plop! Your cellphone drops in the water.

Don’t feel bad; you can take action. A recent U.S. Cellular survey indicated that 58 percent of Americans have damaged, lost and/or had a phone stolen.¹ Replacing a wet smartphone can be costly, so there are recovery steps you can take if your device accidentally ends up in the sink, gets splashed by waves at the lake or encounters a stray thunderstorm. U.S. Cellular recommends following these five steps to help ensure the photos, contacts and messages you have on your mobile device are not lost:

Step 1 – If your phone does not turn off when it gets wet, power it down immediately. Once the power is off, remove the battery.
Step 2 – Remove any skins, covers or faceplates. Grab a towel and remove as much excess water from the phone as you can. If you have a flip phone, you should open it up so air can reach the keypad.
Step 3 – As hard as it may be, the best thing to do is to leave the phone powered off for a day or two to give the internal circuitry a chance to dry out. During this time, turn it over several times so that any water trapped inside can make it to the surface.
Step 4 – It is very tempting to try and speed up the drying process with hairdryers, microwaves, space heaters and ovens. However, the intensity of the heat may cause further damage to the phone’s internal circuitry. Placing your wet phone by a fan is a much better alternative to help the phone dry out.
Step 5 – Once you put the battery back in, power on your device. If it turns on, you can breathe a sigh of relief, though it may only be temporary. Moisture damage signs may take time. Symptoms might appear several weeks or months later. Check your keypad, as keys that stick or don’t work all the time are signs of permanent damage.

“Mobile devices have improved relationships with family and friends by enabling more frequent, in-the-moment sharing, but accidents can happen,” said Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. “We want to make sure customers can create and share better moments throughout the year, so we also recommend that you back up your data, so if your phone ends up damaged this summer, you can still share the fun times you had.”

There are a number of smartphones and accessories that can keep your device safe from the elements as you enjoy baseball, softball, camping, biking or hiking this summer.

  • Samsung Galaxy S 5: This 4G LTE device is made to last longer and stronger. With an IP67 certification, the Galaxy S 5 is resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your smartphone is protected for any activity and situation.
  • ECOXBT Waterproof Speaker: Don’t worry if you drop this accessory in the pool, lake or river because it floats. The ECOXBT, which features 10 hours of battery life, can serve as a Bluetooth speaker or speakerphone.
  • Waterproof Accessories and Cases: In case your phone goes for a swim, the OtterBox Armor Series Case is waterproof in up to 6.6 feet of water for 30 minutes.

¹ Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.

4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, nearly 90 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and more than 93 percent will have access by the end of 2014. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and