Notice to the clumsy: here is our pick of the best water resistant phones to make accidents (almost) harmless.
After the fall, liquids are the biggest enemies of smartphones. And if it is possible to buy a protective shell to make your smartphone waterproof, we still prefer when the latter is automatically.
To know if your device is waterproof, you must refer to its IP certification which is an indicator of protection. The higher this index, the more resistant the smartphone will be to water or dust. For example, all smartphones in this selection are IP68 certified. This indicates that they are protected against the effects of immersion in water, more than 1 meter, for at least 30 minutes.
Be careful, however, we are talking about fresh water only since the salt in seawater has a corrosive effect against which it is difficult to protect yourself. If your phone takes a dip in the big blue, you should rinse it as quickly as possible with clean water, then dry it.
Here is our selection of the best smartphones able to survive a fall in the toilet as well as a spilled pint of beer!
If you want to get an overview of the best smartphones as long as they are waterproof or not, head to our guide.
The Samsung Galaxy S21: always on top, always waterproof
If Samsung is not the first to have introduced waterproofing on smartphones ”mainstream With that honor going to Sony, Samsung helped popularize the feature with its introduction on the Galaxy S5. Several generations later, the Galaxy S21 are part of this straight line, the three terminals in the range being IP68 certified. They also share the same Exynos 2100 processor as well as 120 Hz Amoled screens for maximum fluidity.
Their other big strong point is the photo quality. With its 10x optical zoom, the S21 Ultra is quite simply the best camera around. Equipped with a simplified photo module, the other two models in the range offer great versatility and very solid performance.
Add to that the One UI interface which is always so pleasant to use and we have three of the best androphones on the market. And if you find a Galaxy S from a previous generation at a good price, go for it: the entire range has been waterproof since 2014!
Find our full tests of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21.
Why choose a Galaxy S21?
- The most complete smartphones of the moment
- The 120 Hz screen
- An impressive photo section (especially on the S21 Ultra)
The iPhone 12 family
Finding a waterproof smartphone is not complicated at Apple: since 2016, all the new models in the range are IP68 certified. The iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are no exception this year. While we find the iPhone 12 to be the best value of the four, the iPhone 12 Pro Max particularly stands out if you like large screens and your budget follows.
Screen size aside, all models this year are specically identical. We therefore find the same A14 Bionic processor with exceptional performance. Only the iPhone 12 Pro Max is distinguished by its photo module on steroids with a larger main sensor. The last great strength of the iPhone remains iOS and the incomparable software ecosystem that accompanies it.
Find our tests for the whole family:
Why choose the iPhone 12?
- iOS and the Apple ecosystem
- Quality photos
iPhone SE 2020: small and waterproof
iPhone still with the iPhone SE 2020. This edition marketed in 2020 uses the chassis of the iPhone 8 which was also waterproof. Result: you have a compact smartphone, thanks to a 4.7-inch screen, and water resistant. With the integration of the A13 Bionic processor, however, it offers the same performance as the iPhone 11 while being sold for less than 500 euros. In short, it is a good “value for money” option.
OnePlus 8 Pro: the first (really) waterproof OnePlus
OnePlus has long refused to have its smartphones IP68 certified. Too expensive, too complicated. The Chinese brand has procrastinated. With the arrival of the OnePlus 8 Pro, and probably to better symbolize the move upmarket, it has finally decided to offer the standard on its most high-end phone.
In addition to this novelty, the OnePlus 8 Pro stands out from its little brother with an improved photo part, a 6.78-inch screen at 120 Hz with a QHD + definition. Finally, it is also compatible with wireless charging. It is always a plus on a daily basis.
With its Qualcomm 865 processor, the OnePlus Pro doesn’t mind any task, including 3D games. Its 4510 mAh battery will allow it to last a day of use without batting an eyelid, always with rapid recharging if necessary. Finally, let us also recall the presence of the OxygenOS interface, which is still just as pleasant.
You can find all the details in our OnePlus 8 Pro test.
The Google Pixel family
At Google, water resistance is reserved for the two most expensive models in the range.
Thus the Pixel 4A 5G is certified IP68 while the Pixel 5 must for its part be content with an IPX8 certification. It is therefore a little more vulnerable to dust than its more affordable little brother.
The two phones take the same recipe in a different way: we therefore find an ultra-optimized pure Android and above all a very high-level photo module, with software treatments that are like black magic, especially in low light.
The two models differ mainly in terms of the screen, that of the Pixel 5 being a little smaller, but offering in passing a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The Pixel 5 also benefits from 2 GB of additional RAM.
In short, two smartphones of very high quality, offered moreover at an attractive price.
Find here our test of the Pixel 5.
Why do we recommend the Google Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5?
- The Android Pixel Experience
- Always so good at photography
- A reasonable price
Sony Xperia 10 II
If your budget is tight, finding a quality waterproof smartphone becomes complicated. The Sony Xperia 10 II is one of the only models on the market that we could recommend in this role. It is indeed certified IP68.
The rest of its services, however, leave us more divided. We really appreciate its design, the OLED screen and the excellent battery life, but the performance of the processor leaves us hungry. This is sufficient for use “office automation», But do not plan to play on this phone, for example.
The other big weakness of the Xperia 10 II is its photo module. It turns out to be mediocre by day and frankly on the street as soon as the light is down.
In short, a fairly average smartphone, but if you absolutely need a waterproof smartphone without emptying your PEL, it is one of the only ones to meet the specifications. You can find his full test here.
To go further on waterproof smartphones
How does water protection work?
In most cases, protecting smartphones against water is done through the installation of gaskets that prevent water from passing into the interstices, but this is not the only way. The classification IP exists to gauge the resistance of devices to dust and water. This protection index is made up of two digits: the first corresponds to dust resistance and the second to water resistance. The higher these numbers, the more protected the device is. Today, most waterproof smartphones have IP68 certification. This indicates that they are protected against the effects of immersion in water, more than 1 meter, for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
|Index||Protection against dust||Protection against water|
|0||No protection||No protection|
|1||Protection against solid objects over 50 mm||Protected against vertical drops of water drops.|
|2||Protection against solid objects over 12 mm||Protected against falling water drops up to 15 ° from the vertical.|
|3||Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5 mm||Protected against rainwater up to 60 ° from the vertical.|
|4||Protection against solid objects larger than 1 mm||Protected against splashing water from all directions.|
|5||Protected against dust (dust can enter the device but must not interfere with its operation)||Protected against water jets from all directions at the lance (22.5 mm nozzle, 12.5 l / min)|
|6||Totally protected against dust||Protected against water jets from all directions at the lance (12.5 mm nozzle, 100 l / min)|
|7||–||Protected against the effects of immersion in water, up to 1 meter maximum, less than 30 minutes.|
|8||–||Protected against the effects of immersion in water, more than 1 meter, for at least 30 minutes.|
|9||–||Protected against the effects of immersion in water, more than 1 meter and for more than 30 minutes. The manufacturer must specify precisely the pressure and the time during which the device can go underwater.|
Does IP certification also work with seawater?
The simple answer is no. Seawater contains salt, it is noticeably more corrosive and also leaves a deposit of salt once the smartphone has dried. Therefore, just because a smartphone is IP68 certified does not mean that it will be protected against salt water. For this, it is necessary to use smartphones specially designed for the question, such as certain Crosscall products for example.
Can I take pictures underwater with a waterproof phone?
Just because your smartphone is water resistant doesn’t mean you have to deliberately immerse it in water. Sealing is made to prevent accidents, not to cause them. They are not designed to be used underwater as if you were dry. We will therefore avoid taking underwater photos with it.
Does the warranty work if water causes damage to my waterproof phone?
Generally speaking, this is not the case. The IP certification does indicate that the smartphone is resistant to submersion in water, but the warranty generally does not cover such damage. We therefore recommend that you do not deliberately immerse your waterproof phone in water. However, IP certification is not useless, if manufacturers prefer to cover themselves, it is generally effective and prevents many stupid accidents.