Complaints: Cellphone Battery Designed To Fail At First Drop Of Water?

dropthecell1.jpgDoes one of the LG cellphone batteries have a sensor on it to cause cellphone failure after the first touch of water? Even though no significant amount of water has penetrated the actual battery or cellphone itself. That's what Tim wonders after conducting a little experiment and paper hack following dropping his cell phone into a tiny bit of coffee.


I recently dropped my cell phone into the last sip of coffee I had in my cup, so I know the liquid didn't penetrate to any meaningful hardware, especially considering I plucked it out immediately. Stickers, on both the inside of the battery casing (on the phone) and the battery itself, were pink/red when I opened the battery cover, however, very little moisture was present. 5 minutes later my phone turned itself off and I wasn't able to turn it back on until I plugged it into my charger at the end of the day. The phone blinked the 'Charge Complete' signal to me almost immediately, but when I unplugged it from the charger it immediately turned off again and I wasn't able to turn it on without it being plugged into the charger.

Here's where the super-sketchiness comes into play. I noticed that the pink sticker on the battery was covering an indented rectangular area, so I pulled off the sticker which revealed two small brass sensors. When I cut out and installed a plain piece of white paper to replace the color changed sticker, the phone miraculously began taking a charge again and when I unplugged it from the charger, it didn't turn off.

This seems like something that would create a lot of unnecessary consumer battery purchases and therefore sales for LG (the manufacturer of the phone and the battery) while at the same time serving to void warranties for few, if any, legitimate, consumer caused issues. These phone companies take advantage of water exposure by attributing future glitches to water damage whether water is the cause or not. It is also my opinion that they have gone so far as to implement 'water activated failure mechanisms' into phones and batteries in an effort to create replacement sales for products that aren't really damaged. As my example illustrates, the removal of the failure mechanism (the pink sticker on the battery) restored the phone and battery to its pre-coffee state . . . What a scam!

That's very interesting, can you supply photos of the paper and sensors?

Your reply prompted the attached pictures and an additional test. Upon insertion of the white paper rectangle, the phone recognized the battery as not being fully charged and began charging when plugged in. After a full charge was again realized I tried two more things with the same result:

1. I removed the white paper rectangle so that no barrier existed between the 'sensors' and the phone.

2. I replaced the pink/red rectangle between the sensors and the phone.

Both resulted in full functionality when I disconnected the phone from the charger. I'm sure you can hypothesize as well as I can as to the possible scenarios here. What I can tell you for sure is that I removed the phone from the charger after seeing the 'Charge Complete' message at least four times with the same result . . . immediate shut off. I then removed the pink/red rectangle, replaced it with the white paper rectangle, plugged it back in, started receiving a charge, waited 5 minutes, unplugged it, and it did not shut off.

I have ordered another battery and will check the original color of the pink/red rectangle when I receive it.

Is this a safety feature, a product designed to fail, or something else entirely?

(Via Consumerist.)