I've had a real bad news/good news couple of days with my Stratosphere, and I wanted to share the story and some advice.

On Friday I dropped it into water. After taking the battery out, I hurried home and started drying the phone out, following advice I found online (), using absorbent material, and then putting it in uncooked rice overnight. Saturday I put the battery back in and tried to turn it on. I got the Samsung logo once, then nothing. Next time it went into Factory Mode—not a good thing. After that it did nothing at all.

I called Verizon to get an overview of my options. The rep said it sounded like the phone was damaged, and suggested I look for a cell phone repair service. I didn't realize that repair was even possible, but I Googled it and found a service nearby. I took it to them dead as a doornail this morning, and they fixed it in an hour for $99. Considering that I was prepared to pay $100 for a used phone if this one was toast, I was very happy to get my own phone back, with all my apps, contacts, wallpaper, settings, pictures, etc., intact, for that price.

I really thought my phone was done for, but now I have it back in perfect working order. So if you have a similar "event," don't despair; hit Google and see if you can find a reliable repair shop nearby.

As to what to do if a phone gets wet, the folks at the shop went against all the advice I saw online. They said that drying it out is a mistake, since it's not the water but the corrosion that sets in when air gets to it that causes problems, though minerals in the water are also a problem. They recommended bringing the phone to a repair shop wet, even keeping it in a bag of water if there's no shop open (distilled water would be best, I imagine); but do take the battery out to prevent short circuiting.

For those who happen to live in metro Atlanta, the name of this place is Cell Phone Repair (CPR, get it?) Atlanta, with locations in Tucker, Sandy Springs, and Kennesaw. Their policy is to fix it if they can, and if they can't fix it, there's no charge at all, so you really can't go wrong. They seem like real straightforward people, and I would absolutely recommend them for any kind of repair of cell phones or similar devices (they also fix video games, computers, MP3 players, etc.). They also have a mail-in service if you can’t get to them. Their Web site is .