Back in the day, an accidental dunk in the bathtub or pool meant saying goodbye to your phone. Luckily, that’s no longer the case. Thanks to improved water resistance, many phones can survive getting wet. Read on to find out more about water resistance ratings, and the best water-resistant phones you can get.
IP ratings and water resistance: the need to knows
An IP rating indicates how effective an electrical device is at protecting itself against things like dust, water and dirt.
IP stands for Ingress Protection, and the following two digits indicate the level and type of protection. The first digit indicates protection against solids, such as dust and sand, while the second digit refers to protection from liquids, like water and other moisture.
The first number ranges from 0 (no special protection) to 6 (total protection against dust). For phones, the second number ranges from 0 (no special protection) to 8 (can withstand being submerged in water up to 1.5m deep, up to 30 minutes). You might also come across X, which means there’s no data or testing carried out to specify a rating.
It’s important to bear in mind that even with a rating of 8 for protection against liquids, it’s not completely waterproof. It’s better described as water-resistant, meaning that although it’ll likely survive being dunked in water, there’s always the possibility of some water getting into your device if it’s left in deep water for a long time.
These days, most top handsets sport an IP68 rating, meaning they’re totally protected from dust, dirt and sand, as well as being water-resistant.
What are the best waterproof phones?
That depends on what you’re looking for in a phone, besides being waterproof.
Here’s our pick of some of the best water-resistant phones at the time of writing (August 2022), in no particular order.
iPhone 13 Pro Max
At the time of writing (August 2022), the iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s latest and greatest flagship.
As well as an IP68 rating, it sports an impressive triple camera system (complete with new software features, such as Apple’s enviable Cinematic Mode), 120Hz ProMotion display and the best battery life on the market.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung’s top-of-the-range handset for 2022, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the first Galaxy S phone to come with a built-in S Pen – making it an extremely versatile phone-tablet hybrid.
As with all current flagships, don’t expect anything less than an IP68 rating. And with the S22 Ultra, you also get a stunning screen and mind-blowing zoom photography capabilities.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Google’s highest-end phone is another IP68-rated device, and it’s cheaper than its fellow flagships mentioned above.
It’s most noted for its amazing camera and superior image quality, which gives DSLRs a run for their money. If you’re into photography, the Pixel 6 Pro is one of the best smartphone snappers on the market.
Compare Google Pixel 6 Pro deals.
The entire iPhone 13 range is IP68-rated, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. But if you want the standard, failsafe flagship, the iPhone 13 ticks all boxes.
Featuring long-lasting battery life, great camera capabilities and powerful performance thanks to the new A15 chip, it’s a solid all-rounder.
Samsung Galaxy S22
Like its larger siblings, the Samsung Galaxy S22 features an IP68 rating. And it’s the best pocket-sized option, measuring 6.1 inches diagonally – perfect for one-handed use.
It packs a lot in a small frame, including a powerful chipset, impressive display and triple lens camera system.
Google Pixel 6
The Google Pixel 6 still shares a lot of features with the higher-spec Pixel 6 Pro, such as the Google-made Tensor chip, striking design and IP68 rating.
While it lacks the extra telephoto camera of the Pro version, it’s still among the best when it comes to photo quality.
OnePlus 10 Pro
A worthy alternative to the likes of Samsung and Google, the OnePlus 10 Pro is one of the top Android phones on the market right now.
As well as an IP68 rating, it has excellent battery life and the best camera on a OnePlus phone yet – finished with a seriously sleek design.
Compare OnePlus mobile deals.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
One of the top phones of 2021, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is still a strong contender – particularly as you can get it for a cheaper price these days.
Its powerful 100x Space Zoom was – and still is – revolutionary in the world of smartphone zoom photography, and it was the first Galaxy S device to support the S Pen. Not to mention, it comes with IP68-rated water resistance, of course.
Even if it’s a few years old, the iPhone 12 still performs well. With the same rectangular design as the iPhone 13, brilliant OLED screen and – you guessed it – that all-important IP68 rating, it’s more than enough to appease most users today.
What’s more, as it’s no longer the latest release, you can get it at a cheaper price.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Looking for a non-flagship phone that still has an IP68 rating? The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE hits that sweet spot, keeping most flagship features at a more affordable price.
You get a powerful processor, perfectly capable cameras and Samsung’s signature stunning screen.
Compare Samsung Galaxy S21 FE deals.
Which iPhones are water resistant?
Which Samsung phones are water resistant?
However, that’s not the case for all phones released by Samsung. Its mid-range A-series phones, such as the Galaxy A53 and A52, have IP67 ratings.
Meanwhile, its foldables, such as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, are IPX8-rated – meaning that although they have the highest rating for water protection, they haven’t been tested for protection against dust.
Which Google phones are water resistant?
However, the “A” versions – such as the Google Pixel 6a and Pixel 5a – are IP76-rated.
Can you take photos underwater with waterproof phones?
It’s best to avoid doing so. Even with an IP68 rating, no phone is completely waterproof – there’s always the chance of water entering a port and getting into your device, particularly when submerged for a long time.
Plus, smartphone cameras aren’t optimised for underwater shooting.
If you really want to try your hand at underwater photography, a tested waterproof case is a must.