Is Moto G (3rd Gen) really waterproof? Here’s what you can and can’t do

We decided to test the Moto G's water resistance, dunking it in a bucket, placing it by the pool while swimming, taking a call in the rain

Written by Mihir Patkar | Mumbai | Updated: August 18, 2015 10:02:15 am
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Everyone loves the idea of a waterproof phone. Rain, spills, a drop into a puddle—these are the things we have to be so careful about otherwise, but a phone that braves these elements gives you peace of mind. That’s what the 3rd generation Moto G claims. But is it really waterproof?

Well not exactly, but it’s close. Waterproof is not the same thing as water-resistant. The Moto G is water-resistant, so it does a good job of not being affected by liquids—but to a certain degree.

We decided to test the Moto G’s water resistance, dunking it in a bucket, placing it by the pool while swimming, taking a call in the rain, spilling all sorts of liquids on it, playing music while taking a shower, and so on. The good news is that our Moto G is still working flawlessly. The bad news is that if you thought you could do all of the above without a glitch, you were wrong.

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What the Moto G’s water-proofing can do

The thing you should pay the most attention to is this: The Moto G’s water resistance is a protective measure, not a utility feature. Motorola doesn’t really want you to go swimming with this phone in an arm band, or leave it out in the torrential rain. But it wants to ensure that in case something unexpected happens, like you spill water on it or it dropped it in a puddle, the phone will be safe. Still, take the usual precautions and don’t spill coffee on it just to prove a point.

Moto G (3rd Gen): What you can and can't do with the water-resistant feature. Moto G (3rd Gen): What you can and can’t do with the water-resistant feature.

That said, you can intentionally expose it to areas where water damage is likely. For instance, you can take it with you in the shower (even though it’s mono audio output) and listen to your tunes while you bathe. You can also take a call while out in the rain and you won’t have any trouble. Just remember to wipe the speaker grill on the front, otherwise the voice seems muffled.

What the Moto G’s water-proofing can’t do

The Moto G’s water resistance protects it from immersion in water up to one metre, so don’t go crazy and swim with it. You also can’t use it under water anyway—the touchscreen does not register input when immersed; the few times it does, it hardly works.

In fact, even when your phone’s screen is wet, you won’t be able to use the touchscreen with the usual precision. Taps don’t register well, and swipes simply don’t work. You’ll need to wipe before you can swipe.

Watch our first look video: (App users click here for video)

When the Moto G was wet, we also faced one other issue: sometimes, we would get a message saying the microSD card is corrupt. Once the phone was wiped clean, it would work perfectly again. Suspecting that this was a problem with the card, we tried a brand new card—and again, the problem persisted. The card does work eventually, but just know that while wet, it might be a problem. So if you have set your camera to save images to the memory card, then there is a chance something you click with a wet phone might not get saved. We didn’t face that issue, but to be on the safe side, save your images on the internal memory.

Read more: Waterproof smartphones: What you need to know before buying one

Based on our tests, we are comfortable recommending a few steps to take in case of a water accident:

What to do when your Moto G gets wet

Make sure your back cover is secured tightly. Press all the edges just to be sure.

Disconnect any power banks or chargers connected to the device.

Clean and dry the speaker grills on the front as often as you can. These get affected easily and your sound will be muffled if you don’t dry them.

Once you are out of the “water disaster zone”, switch off your phone, open the back cover, and wipe everything clean. Water seeps into the back cover even if it is shut properly, but stays in this area without going further.

Once your phone is dry, switch it back on and continue using as usual.

Moto G (3rd Gen) First look+video: This can be a good overall smartphone

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