Apple's iPhone 13 models all have the same high level of water resistance, but only one can be the best. As a result, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is ranked first since it provides the best smartphone experience as well as an IP68 rating. If you don't want to pay for the Pro features, the iPhone 13 is an excellent alternative, as is last year's iPhone 12 if you want to save even more.
Samsung and Google's most recent models, such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro, have been designed to that 5-foot standard, which technically qualifies for IP68. That means it can withstand submersion in water up to 1 meter deep – the official depth varies from phone to phone. Anything up to and including 1 meter is considered IP67.
On the cheaper end of the spectrum, most models from Motorola, Nokia, and even OnePlus (to a degree) prefer to forego full water resistance in favor of water repellence via a nano-coating. That will help you if someone spills a drink on your phone, but it will not help your phone if it falls to the bottom of a pool. Such phones are not included in our list of the best waterproof phones. For $399 and $449, respectively, turn to the iPhone SE (2020) and Google Pixel 5a for budget-friendly water-resistant phones.
It promises to keep your phone dry, just as you'd expect from a phone as elegant as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple claims that all of its new phones, including the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 small, will withstand submersion in water for up to 30 minutes thanks to an IP68 water/dust resistance rating. If you've dropped your phone, you should have plenty of time to find it.
The greatest phone cameras and performance of any phone we've tested, a terrific new 120Hz display, and enhanced battery life round out the remarkable waterproof qualities. Despite the fact that the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are nearly identical, the larger phone nevertheless takes the top slot in the lineup. The only differences are its larger display and greater battery life, but they're enough to give it the best iPhone experience you can have right now.
The iPhone 13 keeps up with its Pro brothers in terms of waterproofing, but lacking a few capabilities. It can also withstand 20 feet of water for half an hour, and it, like last year's iPhone 12 series, has a Ceramic Shield display, which should prevent screen damage if the phone is dropped on solid ground rather than in water.
The iPhone 13 lacks the 120Hz display found on the Pro models, as well as the telephoto camera and LiDAR sensor. The screen picture quality, powerful chipset, and overall experience quality are all the same. The iPhone 13's sole serious flaw is its slow charging speed, which is easily surpassed by most non-Apple devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, like other Galaxy flagships, is water resistant to IP68 standards, meaning you can submerge it in up to 5 feet of water without worry. The actual value in this phablet comes from its other features, like as the built-in S Pen, which makes it the first phone outside of the Galaxy Note family to have one. On the back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you'll discover two telephoto lenses to help you capture more detail when zooming in on an image.
The dynamic refresh rate on the 6.8-inch AMOLED screen adapts depending on what you're doing – scrolling through online pages, for example, might max out the refresh rate at 120Hz for a smoother experience.
Although it's been over a year, the iPhone 12 still has the same level of waterproofing as the iPhone 13 series, with an IP68 rating and Apple-tested resistance to 30 minutes of submersion in 20 feet of water.
Even though the Apple A14 chipset has been superseded by the A15 chip, it is still more powerful than any Android phone. Its twin cameras are still excellent, and if updated to iOS 15, it will have access to all of the iPhone 13's software features. However, it has even lower battery life than the iPhone 13's base model, which is already insufficient. However, the price cut to $699 may make it worthwhile to make that compromise.
The Vivo X70 Pro Plus isn't cheap, but it's deserving of a place on this list of the best waterproof smartphones. Aside from its IP68 protection, the phone has a beautiful design and excellent specs.
The Snapdragon 888 Plus processor and 12GB of RAM provide outstanding performance. It also has a large battery, but even if it dies, you can charge it rapidly thanks to the 55W wired and 50W wireless charging options. The huge screen, which has a 120Hz refresh rate and a stunning QHD+ AMOLED panel, isn't to be overlooked.
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Xiaomi is one of the world's largest phone makers, and their products are undeniably excellent. The Xiaomi 11T and 11T, two capable waterproof phones with an IP53 rating, are among them.
You'll notice amazing designs, strong processors (Dimensity 1200 or Snapdragon 888), 8-12GB of RAM, a robust triple-camera system, and a 5,000mAh battery in addition to the waterproof design. The display is likewise stunning, with a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel that refreshes at 120Hz.
The camera system is another notable feature. It's not only multifunctional, with different lenses and good image quality, but it also has a smooth gimbal video functionality that makes your recordings much more steady. However, there are certain drawbacks to the device. It may be a little too big for some, and the zoom camera isn't one of our favorites. It's similarly difficult to find outside of Asia, however there are some dealers who import it.
Oppo's Find X series is recognized for its futuristic design, and the Oppo Find X5 Pro is no exception. It's stunning, and with an IP68 rating, it's certainly one of the best waterproof phones available. It's also a pricey phone, but it doesn't skimp on features.
This high-end smartphone comes with all of the powerful specifications you could want. It comes with a Snapdragon 8 Generation 1 processor, 8-12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. A 6.7-inch QHD display with a 120Hz refresh rate is included. There's also a 5,000mAh battery inside. Not to mention the outstanding camera system, which includes two 50MP cameras and a 13MP camera.
The OnePlus 10 Pro is the most recent and most popular Android flagship device. Because of its stunning design, brilliant display, great cameras, and long battery life, it's one of our favorite new products. With an IP68 rating, you can be assured that the OnePlus 10 Pro will withstand a mishap with water – at least if you acquire the T-Mobile version.
Because of its enticing $899 price tag, we believe this is the Android phone to acquire for most people. The cameras are the greatest we've ever seen on a OnePlus device, even holding their own against the Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
This year, OnePlus did a lot of things right, including the software. The latest version of OnePlus' Android overlay, OxygenOS 12.1 is the nicest we've seen. It's smooth and responsive, especially when used in conjunction with the 120Hz display.
The Pixel 6 Pro is the gadget to choose if you want the best Android photographic experience. It's not only water-resistant to IP68, but it also has a brand-new design and the all-new Tensor chip. The Pixel 6 Pro is, in fact, Google's best phone to date.
From the exceptional hardware to the fantastic software, the Pixel 6 Pro provides the ultimate Android experience. It can endure a dunk even though it can only survive 1.5 meters. Regardless, at a fraction of the price of other flagships, this is a fantastic phone.
With the Pixel 6, Google went back to the drawing board, resulting in one of the best phones available right now. Not only are the cameras excellent, but the hardware and software work in perfect harmony.
The Pixel 6's battery life, on the other hand, isn't exactly stellar. Nonetheless, it's a great phone with a great display. With IP68 water resistance, you can rest certain that if you drop the Pixel 6 in water, it will survive.
Sony was the first major company to offer water-resistant Android phones, and the Xperia 1 III continues that heritage. The new flagship has IP68 dust and water protection, as well as being one of the few gadgets with a 3.5mm headphone jack. With the Xperia 5 III, you can go for a somewhat more budget-friendly option.
The Sony Xperia 1 III is a waterproof smartphone with a Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery (with wireless charging). A triple rear camera configuration with three 12MP sensors (primary, 2x telephoto, ultrawide) and a 3D ToF sensor is also touted by the company.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has many of the same features as the Galaxy S22 Ultra but costs less. The phone, which starts at $999, has an adaptive display and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system-on-chip, just like the previous S22 models.
Importantly, Samsung does not skimp on water resistance in this model. The S22 Plus, like the more expensive S22 Ultra, can withstand a 5-foot dive into water for up to 30 minutes.
With its 1,750-nit display and 45W quick charging, the Galaxy S22 Plus is a wonderful big-screen gadget all around.
With the Pixel 5a, Google added water resistance to the Pixel A-series. This $449 camera has an IP67 designation, which means it can withstand being submerged in water for 30 minutes. Not only that, but it's a fantastic phone in general. Not only does it have a nice appearance, but it also performs well (especially for the price).
The photography experience is the Pixel 5a's claim to fame. It's without a doubt the greatest camera phone under $500, and because to Google's computational photography skills, it punches well above its weight. The Pixel 5a should be at the top of your list if you're on a budget and want the greatest cameras for your money.
In the body of the iPhone 8, the new second-generation iPhone SE sports the lightning-fast A13 Bionic technology from 2019's premium iPhones. It also benefits from the iPhone 8's water resistance because it repurposes the iPhone 8's design. This phone meets the IP67 standard, which means it can resist a half-hour submersion in 3.3 feet (1 meter) of water.
That may not seem spectacular when compared to other gadgets on this list that are a little more water resistant. But it's the iPhone SE's low price that makes its water resistance stand out. The iPhone SE is the cheapest IP-rated, water-resistant phone on the market, costing $399. It also has wireless charging capabilities and a luxury aluminum-and-glass design, helping it stand out among comparably priced Android phones. Even Google's Pixel 4a, another of the greatest budget phones, lacks both an IP rating and wireless charging capabilities.
The new second-generation iPhone SE has the lightning-fast A13 Bionic technology from 2019's premium iPhones in the body of the iPhone 8. Because it repurposes the iPhone 8's design, it also benefits from the iPhone 8's water resistance. This phone is IP67 certified, which means it can withstand a half-hour submersion in water up to 3.3 feet (1 meter).
When compared to other items on this list that are a little more water resistant, that may not seem like much. The iPhone SE's modest price, on the other hand, makes its water resistance stand out. The iPhone SE, which costs $399, is the lowest IP-rated, water-resistant phone on the market. It also includes wireless charging and a luxurious aluminum-and-glass appearance that sets it apart from similarly priced Android phones. Even Google's Pixel 4a, which is one of the best affordable phones, lacks both an IP rating and wireless charging.
How do you pick the finest waterproof phone?
If water resistance is a top priority for you when purchasing a smartphone, you'll want to pay close attention to manufacturers' IP-rating promises.
An IP67 certification in the mobile sector means that your device will be protected against submersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 3.3 feet (1 meter). IP68 typically refers to a minimum of 5 feet (1.5 meters) of durability, while other businesses, such as Apple, use IP68 to refer to up to 13 feet (4 meters) of durability. You shouldn't trust a phone that doesn't have an IP rating or has been treated with a water-repellent coating if it's been submerged. Unfortunately, most inexpensive phones, even some flagships like the Motorola Edge Plus and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G, rely on this low level of protection.
It's also worth noting that an IP rating does not imply that your device's warranty covers water damage within the defined restrictions. Unfortunately, while several phone manufacturers boast about their water resistance, you won't find a single one who is confident enough in their promise to replace or repair one of their products free of charge if it gets wet.
How do we evaluate smartphones?
To make any of our best phone lists, a smartphone must perform admirably in a series of tests that we administer to each handset. Some of these tests are carried out in our laboratories, while others are carried out in the field.
When it comes to graphics performance, we use synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 5 and GFXBench to measure it. We can compare performance between iPhones and Android devices using these tests. We also time the results of a real-world video transcoding test on each phone using the Adobe Premiere Rush software.
We use lab testing to evaluate the brightness of the panel (in nits) and how vivid each screen is to determine the display quality of a phone (DCI-P3 color gamut). Higher numbers are preferable in certain situations. We also use a Delta-E rating to assess the color accuracy of each panel, with lower values indicating higher color accuracy and a score of 0 indicating perfect color fidelity.
The battery test is one of the most critical tests we perform. We do a web browsing test over 5G or 4G with a screen brightness of 150 nits till the battery dies. In general, a phone with a battery life of 10 hours or more is considered decent, and anything with a battery life of 11 hours or more makes our list of the greatest phone battery life.
Finally, we put the top phones to the test by taking images outdoors, indoors, and at night in poor light to see how they compare to their closest competitors. We photograph landscapes, food, portraits, and more, and we let you be the judge in our assessments with side-by-side comparisons.