Gadget Saver review: wet device rescue system

Horror! Shock! A wailing and gnashing of teeth. We’ve all felt it – that sinking feeling as you watch your beloved electronic buddy bubble and fry as it tumbles into the pool. Or worse yet, the toilet bowl.

Fortunately, the good people at Gadget Saver have stepped up and declared that there shall be no more water damage insurance claims. Step forward, the Gadget Saver – a little red bag containing a pouch of Drying Magic™ and a couple of accessories for drying hard-to-reach places.

The Gadget Saver currently comes in two sizes – R199 for small, R249 for medium.

The small Gadget Saver handles gizmos up up to 10x15cm in size, such as mobile phones, MP3 players, watches, bluetooth headsets, car remotes, diabetic electronic measuring equipment, hearing aids, earphones, small cameras, and small medical testing kits.

The medium bag handles devices up to 24x18cm in size, such as tablet PCs, eBook readers, TV remotes, PDAs, sat-navs, handheld gaming devices, cameras, medical testing kits, and headphones.

Gadget Saver Bag
Gadget Saver Bag

Being the serious investigator type, I have of course taken photos of this entire process and recorded some fairly dreary video if anyone really wants them.

I was sent two phones to test with the Gadget Saver, both fairly entry level beasts – the Samsung Chat 322 and the Huawei G6005. Since it’s quite fun to wilfully destroy electronics, the Samsung went through the washing machine in a pocket and the Huawei was tossed into a jug full of water until it stopped bubbling. I feel that this is fairly typical water damage and would have resulted in significant water exposure.

The Huawei was amazingly resilient and took a full 45 seconds before the screen finally dimmed and gave up. The Samsung died almost immediately.

Following the instructions given by Gadget Saver resulted in two perfectly working phones that were most certainly dead before. They were still happily running along when I sent them back from review and I can only assume they’re still going strong.

There is a very specific order of operations for the Gadget Saver and if you’re prepared to wait (approx. 8 hours), it looks like they’ll be true to their word and bring your devices back from the dead. Although I needed to put the devices in their bags for more than the recommended 8 hours each time, your mileage may vary.

If nothing else, it’s got to be better than the typical turnaround time at your local cell outlet.

Process (Huawei G6005)

  • Ensured phone was fully charged and powered on before dipping.
  • Dipped phone until bubbles stop appearing (+- 45 seconds).
  • Immediately removed device from water, removed battery, removed SIM card.
  • Dried visible moisture using cloth provided.
  • Dried SIM and battery contacts with ear-buds and cloth provided.
  • Placed all components into newly opened Gadget Saver bag to be sealed for at least 8 hours.
  • After 8 1/2 hours, opened bag, observed moisture still within LCD enclosure.
  • Resealed for further 8 hours.
  • On opening, observed no visible moisture remaining.
  • Reassembled phone, placed on charge.
  • Once fully charged, tested phone function and found all to be good.

Process (Samsung Chat 322)

  • Ensured phone was fully charged and powered on before dipping.
  • Put phone into washing machine in pocket. Full cycle – approx. 90 minutes.
  • After cycle, immediately removed device from water, removed battery, removed SIM card.
  • Dried visible moisture using cloth provided.
  • Dried SIM and battery contacts with ear-buds and cloth provided.
  • Placed all components into newly opened Gadget Saver bag to be sealed for at least 8 hours
  • After 9 1/2 hours, opened bag, observed no visible moisture.
  • Device did not take charge immediately. Resealed bag for further 8 hours.
  • On opening, observed no visible moisture once again.
  • Reassembled phone, placed on charge.
  • Once fully charged, tested phone function and found all to be good

We were left wondering how the Gadget Saver worked with sealed units, such as an iPhone. A Gadget Saver representative told us that the product has been tested and works with iPhones as well, aided by the fact that the iPhone has an on-board moisture-detector that cuts power to the PCB when activated.

With the Gadget Saver taking up a relatively small space, it’d be well worth your while to keep a few handy just in case. Gadget repair is a booming industry and with lead times sometimes in the 6-8 week range, the Gadget Saver may well save you both time and money – never a bad thing.

At the time of writing the Gadget Saver is available at certain branches of the following retail chains: Cellucity, Vodashop, Autopage, Outdoor Warehouse. The recommended retail price is R199 for small, R249 for medium. There is currently no large option. You can also order online through the Gadget Saver Facebook Page.

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Gadget Saver review: wet device rescue system