Sony is changing its stance on the waterproof capabilities of the phones. The new message - don't submerge your phone.
For many of Sony's customers, the message comes a little too late. I recently lost both an Xperia Z1s and an Xperia Z Ultra which turned out not to be waterproof, though I followed Sony's instructions and kept everything sealed. Both phones were lost in less than 10 seconds in less than 6 inches of water. So much for the 1.5 meter limit.
The first time Sony ventured into waterproof territory was with the Xperia Tablet S, the successor to the first Tablet S. It was marketed as "splash proof" rather than waterproof, and that was just fine. I could use my tablet and not worry about the occasional spill or splash. With the Z series, the message changed. Sony was now offering waterproof, not splash-proof phones. I, among all the other Sony fans, was pretty excited about the new feature.
In accordance with all the marketing promos around the Z series, I took my Xperia Tablet Z to the swimming pool as soon as a could. I got some great underwater footage (though the camera on the tablets has always been subpar), and was able to brag to a group of iPhone-toting friends and family that I could take my tablet underwater. I let my kids play with my wife's Tablet Z in the bathtub, and it also proved to be waterproof. My first Xperia Z Ultra performed just as admirably. Unfortunately, that one met up with a rock just right and I had to replace it. That was the end of my waterproof experience. Losing the Z1s and Z Ultra to water so close together has been frustrating, especially since my Xperia ion is so old and slow now.
Learn more about the new recommendations at the Xperia Blog: http://goo.gl/2BU9XT.
I decided that once I get my Xperia Z5 Premium, assuming it is sold in the USA, I am going to treat it like the splash-proof Xperia Tablet S. Apparently Sony thinks that is a good idea, as all the recommendations are now suggesting exactly that. Sony is not the only one marketing underwater photography, as Samsung ran into recent trouble too. As both organizations learned, if you market your phone with underwater photos, your customers will want to take underwater photos, and will submit warranty claims when they fail.
I am looking forward to a truly waterproof Xperia (or whatever line Sony comes up with next). For now though, splash proof will have to do.