No warranty claim – this hidden sensor tells you whether your iPhone is broken


One wrong movement and the coffee is poured over the cell phone or the device ends up in the toilet. This is how you can find out if your iPhone has water damage.

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Accidents happen quickly with a cell phone.

Getty Images

It slipped out of hand quickly ...

It slipped out of hand quickly …


... and lands in the water.

… and lands in the water.

Getty Images/EyeEm

  • Accidents happen and sometimes the iPhone ends up in the toilet or bathtub.

  • This can lead to water damage to the device.

  • A simple test shows whether this is actually the case.

  • iPhones with water damage are not covered by the warranty.

It happened quickly – one wrong movement and the phone slipped out of your hand. In the worst case, this ends up in the toilet, bathtub or lake. In addition, it happens again and again that the coffee or the water glass is spilled over a cell phone. Although models such as the iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus) and the iPhone X are water-resistant, none of the Apple models are completely waterproof. So it may well be that an iPhone suddenly no longer works as intended after such an unintended dive.

A simple trick that few people know can be used to check whether the cell phone has actually suffered water damage. Because, as Apple describes on its website, iPhones have a hidden sensor that shows whether the device has been damaged by water or not. This is important to know because water damage to Apple devices is not covered by the warranty.

Changes color

iPhones and most iPods manufactured after 2006 have this water damage sensor. This is called the Liquid Contact Indicator or LCI. On newer iPhone models, this sensor is located in the SIM card slot. To check whether an iPhone has suffered water damage, you must first remove the SIM card tray. With older devices, the sensor can also be located in the headphone socket (see picture).

In the normal state, this sensor is white or silver. However, if the device has been exposed to high levels of moisture, it will turn red. Depending on the location, the sensor can be difficult to see, so Apple recommends using a magnifying glass and a strong light source for inspection.

To make sure that high humidity or large temperature differences have no influence on the color of the sensor, Apple has tested it extensively. If it is colored red, you can assume with great certainty that the device has been damaged by water.

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