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Phones with waterproofing are becoming increasingly common, with almost every current high-end phone coming with some form of protection from accidental toilet tumbles, pint dunkage and pool party plunges.
The upcoming iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are water-resistant, earning the IP (Ingress Protection) 68 rating, while the iPhone XR is IP67 rated.
According to the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) which came up with Standard 60529 – better known as the IP Code – a two-digit number ending in a ‘7’ means that a device has can withstand half an hour of immersion in depths of up to a metre, while a number ending in an ‘8’ means the device can handle half an hour in depths greater than a metre.
Note that there’s no defined limit for an ‘8’ rating, but manufacturers have to specify the exact depths at which their devices are tested – in Apple’s case, both the iPhone XS and XS Max have been shown to prevent water ingress at depths of up to two metres over half an hour.
None of this necessarily means that you should go swimming with your new phone, mind. Apple says that liquid damage isn’t covered under the warranties for its new phones, which is standard practice across the industry. But if you don’t fancy shelling out for one of Apple’s most expensive phones yet, what are your alternatives? Take a look at our list of water-resistant phones below.
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – IP68-rated
Both the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are IP68-rated, meaning they can survive being dropped in depths of up to two metres for half an hour.
iPhone XR – IP67-rated
The new iPhone XR is IP67-rated, so it’s protected against spending half an hour in up to 1 metre of water.
iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X – IP67-rated
Like the last generation, all of Apple’s new phones are rated to survive in 1m of water for 30 minutes.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – IP67-rated
Last year’s iPhones were the first Apple handsets to be waterproof. Apple had been rather behind the curve for a few years, but given the number of its high-end Android rivals that have had water-proofing for a few years, it was time for the company up catch up.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8 and S8+ – IP68-rated
Like most of the other phones on this list, Samsung’s top-end 2017 phones all come with a high degree of dust- and water-proofing. The 5.8-inch S8, 6.2-inch S8+ and 6.3-inch Note 8 can all be submerged in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.
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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge – IP68-rated
If you fancy saving some cash, 2016’s 7-series of Samsung phones are water-proof in 1m of water for 30 minutes.
LG G6 and V30 – IP68-rated
HTC U11 – IP68-rated
HTC’s squeezable phone is also dunkable. This top-spec, gorgeous pearlescent flagship is ready for a drop into up to 1.5m of water for 30 minutes.
Moto G5 – Splash-resistant
The 5th-gen mid-range Moto isn’t IP-rated, but its “nano-coating” does protect it from accidental splashes. In Moto’s own words it’s ready for “moderate exposure to water such as accidental spills, splashes or light rain”.
Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact and more – various IP ratings
Sony’s 2017 flagships big and small get the full IP68 rating, but Sony is one of the most consistent manufacturers when it comes to waterproof phones. In fact, dating back several years, the company’s phones have had varying levels of waterproofing, although some of its older models required rubber bungs inside charging ports in order to become fully water-proof. If you’re after a water-resistant bargain as perhaps a phone for taking on holiday, a Z3 or Z3 Compact would be a great choice.