I have a GPS. It’s water “resistant”. Meaning that you can get it wet or drop it in the water and it should be okay. But you can’t scuba dive with it, which is fine because a GPS won’t work underwater anyway.
And, I also have a “waterproof” camera. Just a point and shoot 200 dollar give or take model. You can’t take it DEEP, but you can leave in the water all day long or use it to take pictures underwater at say depths less than 30 feet safely.
So, these things are obviously designed to be used around or in water.
Neither one of these damn things floats. WTF? Unless the only place I drop them is in a pool there is a damn good chance that when I drop it its gone for good.
If they made them a smidge bigger they would float. And the engineers trying to cram a bunch of crap in a small place would be much happier I suspect. But NOOOO.
So, I’ve put little floaty thingys on their “leashes” so they don’t sink. But, still, WTF?
Size is very important for digital cameras. Waterproof models are also generally crushproof, freezeproof, dustproof, etc, so they’re not just for use around water. Lots of people choose those models for use in snow sports as well. Adding enough padding to allow it to float is pretty bad for those applications, and the leash is a pretty simple solution for most people around water. You can also just attach a small float to the device like those keychains.
If it is meant to go underwater why would you want it to float? Imagine snorkeling with a camera, and diving down to take a picture of a fish only to be fighting the buoyancy of the camera to whole time.
There are plenty of realistic scenarios in which a device can end up getting soaked without actually being dropped into water - and they’re made waterproof so they can survive (or be used) in these scenarios.
Kayaking/canoeing, for example - I ruined a perfectly good camera by having it in my pocket when my prototype boat suddenly capsized.
Or torrential rain - once, I got lost and I knew I could get google maps on my phone, but it was too wet to take the thing out and expose it long enough to get a GPS fix.
I don’t generally want floaty devices, because they’ll be bulky. I just want something I can keep handy and not have to worry about getting it wet.
(so I now have a waterproof models of both camera and phone)
I can see why that seems frustrating, but it goes to show that floating isn’t a feature the manufacturers considered necessary - and that the design brief was probably ‘make it not die when it gets soaked’, rather than ‘make it so it can be dropped in the sea’.
I think you could also be underestimating the size impact if adding sufficient volume to float, even for one of these devices that appears to barely sink.
I guess I can point out that if you want a waterproof GPS that floats, you can get one. The Garmin 76csx is functionally equivalent to the 60csx. Both are waterproof but the 76csx has just enough extra volume to float.
I did my research before I bought one and the “floating” feature was important to me, so that’s what I bought. I assume that for the OP, “floating” wasn’t important enough to make it a priority in GPS selection.