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Hot advice: take a vacation and an underwater selfie

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My family and I went to Mexico last week, and it was great. Sunshine until 7PM is a miracle and does wonders for your seasonal depression. Anyway, my dad recently bought the water-resistant Samsung Galaxy S8, and given that I didn’t pay for it, I asked him if I could take it into the pool with me to try and take a selfie. He ended up coming with me in an attempt to capture unique moments. I’m absolutely a believer in water-resistant phones now, to the point that I don’t understand why Samsung, Apple, LG, Google, and Sony haven’t marketed their new phones as gadgets designed to take unique vacation photos.

I remember buying disposable cameras covered in plastic as a kid. Those were fun, but I had to wait to get photos developed with no immediate gratification. Now, our everyday phones do an even better job. Granted, they aren’t designed to go scuba diving with you, but you can at least get in a pool and dip them below the surface to take a photo. The iPhone X can handle being submerged in up to a meter (approximately three feet) of water, whereas you can take your Galaxy S8 five feet under the surface.

I’ll admit that it feels wrong to stick your extremely expensive phone in a pool. You have to trust in the company’s water-resistance guarantee. But if you take the plunge, you’ll at least get a cool Instagram out of it. In a resort with nothing to do but eat, sleep, and drink, taking a break to goof around with a smartphone camera is a more than acceptable way to pass the time.


Ashley Carman / The Verge

Now, I do have some tips if you’re going to attempt these underwater pics. For one, don’t rely on your touchscreen shutter button. I used the volume shutter trigger on the S8, just as you can do on an iPhone. Be patient, too, because slipping your phone beneath the water sometimes triggers different actions, like filters and settings. It might take a few tries to get your shot.

As you can probably tell, I’m not the most graceful under water, but I do suggest wearing sunglasses because then you can keep your eyes closed, although my yellow ones are transparent. (My brother’s photos in opaque sunglasses look much better than mine.) I also suggest blowing out some air, just to keep things interesting with bubbles. You have to prove you’re really in water, and that yes, your phone really is that cool.


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