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The Apple Watch may be much more resilient against water damage than Apple has advertised, a series of informal underwater tests shared on Sunday suggests.
Officially the Watch is IPX7-rated to a depth of just one meter, and Apple in fact recommends against swimming with the product or even showering with it. However, in the tests — conducted by triathlete blogger Ray Maker — the Watch survived a 1,200-meter (3,937-foot) swim, dives off of a 32-foot platform, and even a waterproofing test chamber set to conduct two simulated dives down to 40 meters (131.2 feet).
For the swim test, Maker noted that the Watch doesn't have any software options for tracking swimming, and that wrist detection rarely works underwater.
The chamber test reportedly saw the Watch survive the same pressures as devices rated to 50 meters (164 feet), such as the Fitbit Surge or the Garmin Vivoactive. One difference with the Watch is that it has no warranty coverage for any kind of intentional water exposure, much less intentional submersion. Apple may have been conservative in assigning Watch's water resistance rating in order to avoid too many public complaints or warranty repairs.
Maker's tests are not entirely unique — late last month an Australian website subjected an Apple Watch Sport to a 15-minute swim, and left it at the bottom of a 1.5-meter (4.9-foot) pool for 5 minutes. In those impromptu tests, Apple Watch came out unscathed.