Accidents happen: just how water-resistant is your smartphone?

13 August 2019 - 00:00 By AFP Relaxnews
Accidents happen.
Accidents happen.
Image: 123RF/Varin Rattanaburi

Would your phone survive a dip in the water? The answer depends on which IP rating it has; this designation represents how dust and water-resistant a device is.

Here's how well some of the most popularly used devices in 2019 stand up to an accidental swim, according to the  up-to-date device repository Device Atlas:


iPhone X and XR series - IP67 rating

Both the iPhone X and XR models are splash and water-resistant and can survive in depths up to 1m deep for a half an hour. With either of these models, a drop in the water won't hurt your phone.

iPhone SE - no rating

While Apple has not publicly disclosed the iPhone SE's waterproof rating, iFixit discovered that the internal components are protected by foam silicon seals to keep water out. Tests conducted by numerous SE owners have demonstrated that the model can survive being submerged under a few of water for up to an hour.

iPhone 7 and 8 series - IP67 rating

Apple confirmed that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 have the same waterproof rating as the X and XR models meaning that it can survive 1m underwater for 30 minutes.

iPhone 6 series - no rating

All the models in the iPhone 6 series are not officially waterproof; however, iFixit did discover rubber gaskets around the power and volume buttons offering the models a bit of water resistance. If you're the owner of an iPhone 6, you should be extra careful around the bath or pool.


Galaxy S9 series - IP68 rating

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can both survive for up to 30 minutes in water that's 1.5m deep.

Galaxy S8 series - IP68 rating

Like the generation that came after, the Galaxy S8 series can survive in 1.5m-deep water for up to a half an hour.

Owners of Galaxy devices can be more careless with their smartphones than iPhone users

As a rule of thumb based on these specs, owners of Galaxy devices can be more careless with their smartphones than iPhone users.

It's important to know that IP ratings are given based on a phone's resistance to fresh water. While these measurements offer users a good estimate for how waterproof their device is, the presence of chemicals or minerals in the water a phone falls in will affect its level of resistance.