The Best Water-Resistant/Waterproof Smartphones
The rains are soon approaching, and that means most of us will be scurrying around looking for waterproof bags, plastic bags to hide away our precious phones. A vast majority of our favorite electronics simply don’t get along with water. Sometimes it’s an accidental spill, other times it’s a light drizzle that gets inside the device from some unknown area. All of these ultimately result in just one thing – a very expensive trip to the nearest service center.
But with the advancement of smartphone technology, all is not lost. Several new devices now have a standard protocol of adding a feature for water resistance, one that helps even the clumsiest of all can deal with frequent water accidents and yet, successfully emerge with unscathed phones.
How is water resistance measured?
No smartphone is fully waterproof; they are all mostly water-resistant, which mostly means that they can survive being immersed in a meter or two of water for around 20 to 30 minutes.
There is a reason why each phone has a depth limit mentioned. It’s because the water pressure goes up as your phone goes deeper, and if you exceed the depth limit, the pressure might cause the seals to break and cause irreparable damage to the device. Also, one must note that phone manufacturers don’t cover water damage in their warranty. Moreover, water resistance ratings universally refer to freshwater immersion, not seawater, so no swimming in the ocean!
Here are some of the best water-resistant phones you can buy –
Samsung’s Galaxy series was one of the early adopters of the water-resistant feature. The first was the Galaxy S4 Active which touted IP67 water resistance, allowing for 30 minutes of immersion in water up to 1 meter deep. This was followed by the S5, and with the exception of the S6, all the remaining Galaxy S phones got waterproofing. And then the Note7 as well.
With the Galaxy S10, Samsung has kept an IP68 certification, meaning it can be submerged for 30 minutes in water that’s up to 1.5 meters deep. It also sports a feature that debuted a couple of Galaxy years ago, where if the USB port is wet, it gets briefly deactivated to prevent any damage.
The budget flagship killer has created quite the buzz with its phones equipped with top-of-the-line features at a much lower price tag. However, that has also meant that the phones so far have come with certain compromises, including the absence of a water-resistance feature.
But that was until the launch of the OnePlus 7 series, whose primary marketing tactic involved dropping the phones in water multiple times. However, note that OnePlus 7 does not have IP certification due to the costs involved in standardized testing.
So, is it really water-resistant? Yes, but don’t expect it to survive 30 minutes of immersion in two meters of water.
Apple first brought the water resistance feature to the iPhone 7 in 2016, making it a little late to the water party. But they quickly made up for it by introducing their flagship 2018 iPhones to the IP68 rating, which have actually been tested for up to 2 meters of water immersion for 30 minutes. Although if you are planning to buy the iPhone XR, remember that it has the last-gen IP67 rating. Not that it would change much, though.
In 2013, the Xperia Z was one of the very first regular flagship devices to have waterproofing. Go further back and you’ll realize that even the 2011 Xperia Active was a then-midrange phone that came with IP67 water resistance. So, basically, Sony can possibly be described as the Father of smartphone waterproofing. The company’s latest flagship, Xperia 1, upholds the legacy with an IP68 rating. It additionally has the MIL-STD-810G rating that allows it to survive even harsher waterborne conditions than most phones in the market.
So, the next time you decide to step out in the rains without protection, make sure you have one of these phones handy.