Don't throw your Sony Xperia smartphone in the sea

Sony Xperia smartphones Most of Sony's Xperia smartphones and tablets are water resistant | AFP

The company that started the trend for water and dust resistant handsets has started warning its customers about getting their phones wet.

In a perfect example of how a marketing campaign can be too successful, Sony wants Xperia owners not to get too carried away with semi-aquatic smartphone-based activities.

It has published new guidelines explaining that although its latest flagship and mid-range handsets are the most water-resistant on the market, that they achieved their ratings via laboratory-controlled conditions.

"Sony devices that are tested for their waterproof abilities are placed gently inside a container filled with tap water and lowered to a depth of 1.5 meters. After 30 minutes in the container, the device is gently taken out and its functions and features are tested," they explain.

So in other words, spilling a glass of water over a handset, texting in the rain or checking messages while in the bath are ok. But tossing the device in the sea or using it while scuba diving is a no-no.

This is a huge about-face from a company that has even set up underwater pop-up stores as a means of highlighting its handsets' features and of adding correcting filters to cameras for underwater photography.

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