According to a reader of Phone Arena, an internal memo shows that AT&T may begin offering replacements for water-damaged Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active smartphones.
You might recall that some users have been complaining about water damage to their handsets, even though the phone is IP67-rated for water resistance. (IP67 refers to the phone’s Ingress Protection rating, and the Active should protected against temporary immersion between 15 centimeters to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.) If AT&T is indeed offering replacement devices, it appears the problem could be even more widespread than we thought.
According to the anonymous tipster, AT&T and Samsung will offer users the chance to exchange a water-damaged unit one time only, and only for another Galaxy S 4 Active. And this offer is only good for water-damaged phones, so if your phone has been damaged by more traditional means, like dropping it too hard, you’re out of luck.
AT&T reps have reportedly been instructed to verify that you bought your device directly from AT&T. If it came from another retailer you will be instructed to bring the phone back to your original point of purchase. We’ve contacted AT&T and Samsung to verify that this exchange policy is valid, but we haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update this post as soon as we do.
This still doesn’t solve the problem that you can’t get the supposedly water-resistant Active wet. If you bought this phone because you work in a moist environment, you may want to think of additional means of protection like a case. And until this gets sorted out, you probably shouldn’t record any underwater videos like Samsung advertises in its commercials.
Update: AT&T has confirmed to GigaOM that a water-damaged Galaxy S 4 Active may indeed be exchanged for a new one. A spokesman writes: “Samsung designed and tested the Galaxy S 4 Active to adhere to IP67 standards for water resistance (1 meter for 30 minutes). If your Galaxy S 4 Active has been damaged due to water exposure, bring it back to an AT&T retail store as soon as possible for a one-time exchange for another Galaxy S 4 Active.”