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You can find out how waterproof a phone is by checking its IP rating (International Protection Rating or Ingress Protection Standard), which is usually included in their description, specification and reviews.
The IP rating is made up of two numbers, with each number dictating a certain level of resistance. The first digit is almost always a 6, which means the phone is protected against dust and particles that may cause it to malfunction. The second digit indicates the level of water resistance the phone is capable of.
The meaning of the second digit varies depending on the number:
- 6 - protects against powerful water jets
- 7 - protects against immersion up to 1 metre
- 8 - protects against immersion between 1 and 3 metres
- 9 - protects against hot, powerful water jets
IP68 is the most common rating on mobile phones, which generally indicates that you can submerge the device for up to 30 minutes, but these numbers can vary from one manufacturer to the next.
Although some phones are classed as waterproof, manufacturers don’t usually recommend submerging your electronic devices!
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus - has an IP rating of IP68 and can be submerged underwater for a maximum of 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 metres/5 feet. This phone has 5G connectivity, a quad-lens camera, and a powerful battery life.
- Samsung Galaxy S10 - this Samsung model has the same IP rating as the S20 Plus (IP68),but differs in some of its features. It has a triple-lens camera, bright display screen, and the 3.5mm port that is missing from some other handsets.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 - as with the previous two Samsung models, the IP68 makes this a reliable waterproof phone. Sitting somewhere in between a smartphone and tablet, this ‘phablet’ is a good option for those wanting a larger device.
- iPhone 11 - though this late 2019 model has the same IP rating as the previous Samsung models, Apple confirmedthat it can be submerged for a maximum of 30 minutes at a depth of 2 metres/6.5 feet, slightly deeper than other IP68 phones. Though overtaken by its successors, the iPhone 11 is still a reliable, long-lasting model.
- iPhone 11 Pro / Max - both of these upgrades can be submerged under 4 metres/13 feet of water for 30 minutes, and are the two best waterproof phones by Apple. Both phones match the aesthetic beauty expected of iOS devices, with OLED display screens.
- iPhone SE - the new second generation SE was created to meet Apple customers’ desire for the SE size with better software. With an IP rating of IP67, it is slightly less waterproof than the newer models, but can still withstand 30 minutes in 1metre/3.3 feet of water.
- Huawei P40 Pro - the P40 Pro has the common IP68 rating, but with its impressive features, like the Kirin 990 processor, 5G technology, and 4200mAh battery, this phone is nothing like ordinary.
- Huawei P40 Pro Plus - the next step up, this Huawei model has a whopping 6.58-inch screen for those who love a larger phone. Many of its specs are similar to the Pro, with the same IP rating, but you might prefer this one if you’re on the lookout for extra camera features.
- Google Pixel 4 - this Android phone is reasonably water-resistant with an IP68 rating, which branches across most of the Google family. This phone is more suitable for people who want to avoid larger mobiles; its 5.7inch display is more pocket-friendly than the 6.3 4XL.
- Google Pixel 4XL - the IP68 rating means this Google phone can stay underwater for a maximum of 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 metres/5 feet. The XL and its predecessor, the Google Pixel 4, are among the best waterproof phones by Google. Many of Google’s models, including the 4 and 4XL, are excellent at photography.
- Sony Xperia 1 II - Sony kickstarted the trend of water-resistant phones. The Xperia 1 II is certified IP68 with water and dust resistance. It is also one of the few newer models to offer the 3.5mm port. While it is currently more expensive than some of the other mobiles on the list, if you like the sound of its Snapdragon 865 chipset, 256GB of storage, 4K OLED screen, and 12MP camera, this Sony model could be the waterproof phone for you.
- Nokia 9 PureView - this Nokia phone is IP67 water, shock and dust resistant, so it is able to withstand the force of water spray or jets. This model also has five cameras for the biggest photo-fanatics out there!
- Nokia 8 Sirocco - once again, this model is certified IP67 with water, dust and shock resistance. With two strong 12MP and 13MP cameras, this 5.5-inch device can go with you everywhere. 128GB of storage gives you plenty of room too.
So, you’ve picked your waterproof handset. But for that added level of protection, you need a case to go with it.
Best Waterproof Phone Cases
- Ounne iPhone Waterproof Case- IP68 rating, with the ability to withstand up to six feet of water. It is also shock resistant, and can fall up to 6.5 feet without damaging the phone inside.
- Kona Submariner Waterproof Phone Case - this case can withstand up to 100 feet of water, and is suitable for smartphones under 6.3 inches in length.
- Joto Universal Waterproof Case - up to six inches of smartphone space, this case has an IPX8 rating, meaning it can protect your mobile against 100 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
- Punkcase Galaxy S8 Plus Waterproof Case - if you don’t want all the bulk usually added to these waterproof cases, this one is ideal for Samsung lovers. The IP68 rating means it can protect your phone up to 6.6 feet of water.
- Vanksy Floatable Waterproof Phone Case - this can fit iPhones or Android phones up to 5.7 inches in size. It has an IP68 rating and allows full touchscreen ability while your phone is inside. With an external audio jack as well, this case lets you do more while keeping your phone protected up to 100 feet of water.
Waterproof Phone Pouches
If you’re doing any sort of water-based activity, such as swimming, kayaking, or canoeing, you might want to consider picking up a waterproof phone pouch.
These pouches (or bags) completely seal your phone away from water, providing that extra level of protection. They’re usually translucent, meaning you can still see and use your phone inside. They also normally float and are attachable via a strap, so you can safely take your phone into the water with you without fear of losing it.
So how do you protect your phone from the elements? Which waterproof team are you on? Let us know on Twitter!