From reading eBooks to posting on social media to navigating your way around an unfamiliar area, we now use our mobile phones for everything. We use them in the bath, next to the swimming pool and out in wet weather. Unfortunately, this means they’re even more at risk from water damage.

Whether it’s due to carelessness on your part or you’ve been a victim of rainy weather, losing your phone to water damage has happened to the best of us. But it’s not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in.

Dropping your phone in the bath, in the washing-up bowl or even down the toilet used to be a huge problem back in the day. But technology has come a long way since, and mobile phone manufacturers are aware that many of us now take our phones with us everywhere we go. So, they are continually developing water-resistant technology to avoid those costly mishaps.

In this article, we’ll explain how waterproof phones work, who they are for, and recommend nine of the best the market has to offer. If you’re thinking of buying a waterproof phone, you might find it helpful to read this guide first.

The best water-resistant phones currently available to buy include the Apple iPhone 14 series, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, the Apple iPhone 13 series, the Google Pixel 7 series and the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Some other top water-resistant mobile phones are the Apple iPhone SE, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, the Google Pixel 6 series and the Sony Xperia 1 IV.

Continue reading to find out why we rate these phones and for information about waterproof phones in general.

How do waterproof phones work?

To understand how waterproof phones work, first, you need to understand how they are made. 

Mobile phones are constructed of many components, meaning there are many gaps for water to get in. And the gap between the body of your phone and its glass screen is the most problematic for manufacturers.

But when developing water-resistant technology, they discovered a solution: Glue. By using sticky substances like seals, tapes, adhesives or rubber gaskets, they are able to create an airtight seal. 

Here’s how some of these substances are used:

  • Glue — As well as using it to attach the screen, glue is used at the back of ports and also on top of any exposed circuits that might be near the edge of the frame.
  • Rubber gaskets — Glue isn’t practical for the parts that stick out of a mobile phone (such as the buttons), so rubber gaskets are used. They are also used around the charging port, headphone jack and SIM card tray. Depending on which component they are used on, they will expand to create an airtight seal as they are pushed into place or cover the part to completely separate it from the electrical components inside the phone.

However, there are some parts of a mobile phone that aren’t completely sealed, such as the microphone and speaker. These parts need air to enter and exit the phone because they produce sound by creating vibrations. In the past, the answer to making these parts water-resistant was to add port covers. Modern mobile phones, however, have a thin mesh in front of the microphone and speaker to prevent water from entering the phone. Some manufacturers go a step further by adding a pressure vent made of water-resistant, breathable fabric that allows air through and equalises the pressure.

Who are waterproof phones for?

Although waterproof technology has come a long way, none of the techniques explained above is truly waterproof. If there is enough pressure, water will still be able to get through.

This is why mobile phone manufacturers like Apple, Sony and Samsung use the phrase “water-resistant phone” rather than “waterproof phone”.

So if you are a watersports enthusiast, don’t be fooled into thinking you can take your phone into the water while you swim, surf or scuba dive.

“Waterproof” phones are designed for people who want to take their mobile out in wet weather or use it in scenarios where there’s the risk of a quick dunk, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it happened.

What is an IP rating?

Mobile phones and other electronic devices that claim to be waterproof — or water-resistant — are given an IP rating (or IP code) according to a standardised scale. Set by the International Electrotechnical Commission, this scale is called the IEC Standard 60529, and it measures how well a device is protected from liquid and debris.

The rating consists of two digits, the first of which indicates how well-protected it is from debris like dust; the second of which indicates how well-protected it is from liquids like water. The higher the number, the better protected it is.

Mobile phone manufacturers are not allowed to rate their devices themselves. An IP rating can only be given to a device that has undergone special testing by an independent, certified company.

Top nine water-resistant phones

Here’s our pick of the nine best water-resistant phones that are currently available to buy:

1. Apple iPhone 14 series

Apple’s iPhone 14 series includes the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus, all of which are IP68-rated. The manufacturer promises that all these phones can last for 30 minutes under six metres (about 20 feet) of water. Which gives you plenty of time to recover your phone if you drop it.

Other features:

  • Excellent cameras
  • High computing performance
  • Ceramic Shield display to prevent screen damage if dropped on solid ground
  • Long battery life

2. Samsung Galaxy S22 series

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 family consists of the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, all of which are, again, IP68-rated. You can drop it in one-and-a-half metres (almost five feet) of water for up to 30 minutes without worrying about water damage.

Other features:

  • Excellent cameras
  • Large displays
  • Considerable battery power
  • Plenty of memory

3. Apple iPhone 13 series

Consisting of the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, this series of Apple mobiles has the same level of waterproofing as the iPhone 14 series, meaning you can drop your device in six metres of water for up to 30 minutes.

Other features:

  • Cheaper than the iPhone 14 series
  • Excellent cameras
  • Long-lasting battery life

4. Google Pixel 7 series

The Pixel 7 series includes the Google Pixel 7 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Each of these phones comes with an IP68 rating and can withstand being dropped in a metre (3.3 feet) of water for up to 30 minutes.

Other features:

  • Beautifully designed
  • Excellent cameras
  • Plenty of storage
  • Competitive pricing

5. OnePlus 10 Pro

The OnePlus 10 Pro is another mobile phone that offers an IP rating of 68 — but only with the T-Mobile version. This means it can also survive an unfortunate dunk in water.

Other features:

  • Excellent camera
  • Sleek design
  • Large 6.7-inch display
  • Powerful battery
  • Affordable

6. Apple iPhone SE

The iPhone SE benefits from the same water resistance as the iPhone 8, which has a rating of IP67 and can survive being submerged in a metre (3.3 feet) of water for 30 minutes. Plus, it is the cheapest IP-rated, water-resistant phone you can buy.

Other features:

  • Good camera
  • Wireless charging
  • Plenty of storage
  • Premium aluminium and glass design

7. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE is IP68-rated and won’t suffer water damage if it is dropped in one-and-a-half metres of water for up to 30 minutes.

Other features:

  • Good camera
  • Powerful Snapdragon 888 processor
  • 6.4-inch Full HD screen
  • Cheaper than the Galaxy S22 series
  • Plenty of storage

8. Google Pixel 6 series

Like Google’s Pixel 5 series, the Pixel 6 series is water-resistant and IP-rated. The Google Pixel 6a has a rating of IP67 and can withstand a one-metre dip for 30 minutes, while the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro have a rating of IP68 and can survive being dropped in one-and-a-half metres of water for up to 30 minutes.

Other features:

  • Excellent cameras
  • Beautifully designed
  • Great performance

9. Sony Xperia 1 IV

The first big brand to develop water-resistant Android phones, Sony is still leading the way with its Xperia 1 IV. As well as an IP65 rating, it’s got an IP68 rating, meaning it has endured more water-resistance testing than its rivals and can survive for 30 minutes in depths of more than a metre.

Other features:

  • Excellent camera
  • Plenty of storage
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Can you take photos underwater with a waterproof phone?

As mentioned earlier, no mobile phone is completely waterproof, so we’d advise you not to use it to take photographs underwater. The longer your device is submerged, the more chance there is of water damage — especially if it is submerged in saltwater, which can corrode the seals. Because of this, some manufacturers advise rinsing off your water-resistant phone with fresh water — even if it is only splashed with saltwater.

Not only that but the cameras on smartphones aren’t optimised for taking photos or recording videos underwater. But if you do want to use your phone to take pictures underwater, you are best off buying a waterproof case for it.


Dropping your phone in the bath, in the washing-up bowl or even down the toilet used to be a huge problem back in the day. This meant we had to be extra careful about where we took our mobiles. But nowadays, we rely on our mobile phones for everything, which means we often use them in various situations where they risk getting wet — such as in the bath, next to the swimming pool or out in wet weather. Because manufacturers are aware of the modern-day need for waterproof phones, there are many different types that are now available to buy. If your preference is iOS mobiles, there’s the Apple iPhone 14 series, Apple iPhone 13 series or Apple iPhone SE, while some examples of waterproof Android phones are the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, the Google Pixel 7 series, the OnePlus 10 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, the Google Pixel 6 series and the Sony Xperia 1 IV.

When developing these phones, manufacturers use glue to make them water-resistant — which means they can survive the odd dunk — however, it is important to understand that no mobile phone is truly waterproof. This means it is not advisable to use a “waterproof” phone to take photographs or videos underwater.