Phone Swimming

I dropped my Samsung Galaxy Nexus in orange juice yesterday morning. And though it may sound bad, there is, somewhat, a happy ending to this tale.

So to start things off lets first state that my fiance’s car died last Thursday. Since we did not get it fix but decided to go car shopping over the weekend and had no luck finding a car I had to take her to work yesterday morning. Being that it was so early in the morning she decided to fix breakfast to eat on the way to work (we live about a good 30 minute drive from her employment), which included a cup a orange juice. My usual practice when I drive my car is to plug my phone into the car charge and place it in the cup holder between the driver seat and the passenger seat. Being that it was so dark at 6:00 in the morning, and wasn’t paying attention, I did not notice that she had put her cup of orange juice in the usual spot I put my phone. Needless to say I dunked my phone in the cup and did not realize it until almost a minute later. Luckily, the entire phone did not submerge, just the top half. Well, of course, I immediately removed it from the cup, unplugged it from the charger, and pulled the battery while at the same time pulling every fast food¬†restaurant¬†napkin from my glove box to dry the phone off. I wasn’t expecting a good ending to my favorite phone.

Almost two hours later after arriving to work (I had to drive back home, pick up my 13 year old, and take him to school before I could get to work) I disassemble the phone and soaked up the remaining juice with napkins that was hanging out on the circuit board. At this point I was definitely thinking I would need to buy a new phone. I let it sit on my desk for most of the day completely exposed to help dry any remaining juice that was inaccessible in the cracks. At lunch I decided to pop the battery back in and power it on to gauge the state of the phone. A gamble, I know, as you are not supposed to give power to a soaked electronic gadget. The phone powered on completely however, because I lock my phone with the swipe method on Android 4.1, the swipe was not working, I could not unlock my phone. I pulled the battery and let it dry some more. Again, around mid-afternoon I tried giving power to it; unfortunately it was in the same state. By this time, since it was during my mid-afternoon break, I started searching eBay and Craigslist to see if I could find an inexpensive refurb, of which I was able to find at no less than $250 on average.

Finally, just before leaving for the day at work, I decided to try giving it power one more time; I had a little bit of hope left in me. I placed the battery in and powered it up, tried to swipe the unlock, and what do you know, it unlocked. My level of hope rose from the bottom of the drum to the half empty mark. I removed the battery, wrapped up all the parts and left work to pick up the family from work and school.

Since I did not have a lot of time last evening to troubleshoot it some more I left it on my desk in my home office over night to dry some more. This morning I put it all back together, powered it up and what I have found, so far, is that everything seems to be working at about 97%. The touch screen is not as responsive as it used to be, I find I have to press a little bit harder than usual. The power button is a little stiff so awaking the phone with the power button requires a little more effort. And, finally, the ear speaker is dead, I think. I can hear out it a little so it can’t be completely dead it’s just not as loud as it used to be. I’m thinking that there may be some dried orange juice in the slots on the cover of the phone that is not allowing direct sound to come through to my ear. I may have to troubleshoot this some more or learn to live with a Bluetooth earpiece in my ear every time I want to talk on the phone, at least until I can afford to buy a refurbished Galaxy Nexus to replace what I have. I don’t want to buy another phone but I may have no choice. We’ll see.

Out of all this the optimist in me can say, at least the orange juice was the no pulp kind of orange juice. I can’t imagine it would have been easy to clean out all those chunks of orange on and in my phone. And, it could have been a different outcome.