Last week I posted about a new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite from a company called Waterfi. They were nice enough to lend me one for review, so I did some tests to see if it really is waterproof.
On the surface the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite looks exactly the same as my regular Kindle Paperwhite. There’s no visible coating over the screen or anywhere else. All the waterproofing is done internally, so on the outside both devices look identical.
The one way to tell the waterproof Kindle from the regular one is the power button is stiff on the Waterfi Kindle as part of the waterproofing process. This makes it a little more difficult to turn on and off, but you just have to press the button harder, and the sleep cover magnets still work like normal.
The only other difference is the waterproof Kindle feels slightly heavier with the waterproofing material inside, but the difference is negligible.
I did some initial tests by putting the Waterfi Kindle in a Tupperware container with a couple of inches of water. The first time it was rather difficult to do because it just seems so counterintuitive to put a Kindle or any electronic gadget underwater, but I went ahead with it and was surprised to find the Kindle actually working underwater, frontlight on and everything.
One thing I discovered is that the capacitive touchscreen doesn’t work underwater, so you can’t actually interact with the device. Once you dry off the screen the touchscreen works fine.
After my initial tests of dipping the waterproof Kindle underwater several times, and rinsing it off with running water, and even after sticking it in my grandma’s fish tank just for the fun of it, everything continued to work fine on the Waterfi Kindle for a couple of days.
Then I decided to find out how waterproof it really is, but I think I may have taken the tests too far because there was one unfortunate side effect.
I wanted to see if the device could remain underwater for extended periods of time. I decided to leave the Waterfi Kindle submerged in a tub of water overnight. Much to my surprise, after spending several hours underwater, the waterproof Kindle still worked fine without any sign of trouble.
I then put together the video review below, and everything was still going fine, but then soon after that the frontlight started flickering, which is weird because it was working fine after sitting in a tub of water overnight.
So at the end of this review the Kindle itself still works fine, but the frontlight is broken. It has stopped flickering and is now off completely. The device works and even charges like normal, but it doesn’t seem that the frontlight is as waterproof as the Kindle is. Of course I took testing to the extreme. The device, although waterproof, isn’t meant to be stored or used underwater. Under ordinary circumstances—reading in a bathtub, hot tub, sauna, the pool, the rain, while boating, etc—I think the Waterfi Kindle would work just fine.