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5 Water-Resistant Phones That Are Making a Big Splash

Whether you’re relaxing poolside, romping at the lake, or you have a penchant for dropping your phone in the sink—you need a device that can handle a little H20. We’ll take a deep dive into some of our favorite water-resistant smartphones on the market.
Two black phones being splashed by water.

From summer vacations at the beach, to hot baths in the wintertime—we never go far without our favorite devices. So, which ones are the most likely to survive an unintended dip in the water?

Before answer that, it’s important to note that most, if not all, newer smartphones these days might handle a tiny accident two. But what about a deep plunge for several minutes? Or a gushing wave that takes over the beach? To answer that, you have to know a little about IP ratings. Let’s start there!

What is an IP Rating?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created an ingress protection standard (IP rating) to show how well a device’s enclosure can protect it from both water and dust.

For example, many new flagship smartphones have an IP67 or IP68 rating. In these cases, the number 6 in the rating shows its ability to resist foreign objects like dust (on a scale of 0-6) and the other numbers (7 or 8) rate its ability to protect against water (on a scale of 0-9). Here’s a breakdown:

  • IP67. The 7 in this number means the phone can handle being submerged in 1 meter of water (about 3 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
  • IP68. The 8 in this number means the phone can handle being submerged in at least 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The key phrase here is “at least.” Some phones can handle a much deeper submersion (depending on the manufacturer), but they still get the same IP68 rating as those that just meet the minimum.
  • IPX8. This rating simply means it meets the same water requirement of 8, but the X indicates it has no dust protection.
  • IP69K. Adding to the confusion, some ratings reflect the phone’s ability to handle, not submersion, but high-pressure and high-temperature jets of water coming at it from every angle. That would be the number 9 in this rating. Few mainstream smartphones in the US meet these criteria as of now. It’s generally used in the “rugged phone” category for military or industrial use.

Our Picks for Best Water-Resistant Phones

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at our five favorite water-resistant phone picks by category.

Best high-end devices

  • iPhone 15 Series: Apple lovers out there, rejoice! All of the phones in the iPhone 15 series offer an IP68 rating, but these go well above the 1-meter submersion minimum. Apple says that, under controlled laboratory conditions, these phones can handle a maximum depth of 6 meters (just over 19 feet) for up to 30 minutes. That’s the deepest of any phones on this list!
  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Series: For the Android users, Samsung's ultra-powerful S24 series phones are all rated as IP68. Like Apple’s tests, Samsung’s are also based on controlled lab conditions. The max submersion mentioned by the manufacturer for this series is 1.5 meters (just under 5 feet) of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.

Best budget-friendly device

  • Google Pixel 8 Series: If you’re a Google Pixel fan, or just want a feature-packed phone with a lower price tag and good rating, the phones in this series may be a good fit. The Pixel 8a is rated IP67, meaning it can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are rated IP68, offering water resistance in at least 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Best big-screen device

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5: With its stunning and massive 7.6-inch screen, this phone offers all the bells and whistles, along with an IPX8 rating. As we discussed earlier, the “X” means it doesn’t offer any guaranteed dust protection. It does, however, offer water protection when submerged in at least 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.

Best bare-bones device

  • Sonim XP3plus: Whether it’s for the senior in your life, or you just need a solid backup phone you can take on rough-and-tumble excursions, this ultra-rugged flip phone can handle it all for under 100 bucks. It’s IP68 rated for dust and water resistance and, as an added bonus, this phone meets military requirements (MIL-STD-810H) for drop-test, shock, vibration and more!

Of course, no matter how water resistant these devices may be, keep in mind, they’re usually tested under controlled lab conditions, not real-world scenarios, and will probably not be covered under your standard warranty. That makes phone insurance seem like a pretty good idea. If you do have a water incident with your phone, refer to your user guide for cleaning and drying instructions.

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