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Are Waterproof phones really waterproof?


water damage iPhone vancouver

I have worked for Cell Clinic for some time now and I have seen a lot of water-damaged phones. In fact, a lot of these phones were actually marketed as being water-resistant. Resistant being the keyword, no phone is really guaranteed waterproof.

Usually, the phones are supposed to work for around 30 minutes in one meter of water. Some are a little better, but if you read the fine print, you will invariably find that there is no guarantee that the phone will continue working after exposure to water.

In addition, water damage immediately voids your warranty, even if your phone was supposed to be water-resistant.

I’ve included a list of water-resistant phones, that I’ve personally seen, that have still been damaged by water. I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting, but these are the most common:

  • iPhone 7 & iPhone 7+

  • Samsung Galaxy S5,S6, S6 Active, S6 Edge, S7, S7 Edge

  • Sony Xperia Z1, Z2, Z3, Z3 Compact, Z5

Some of these phones that are supposedly water resistant only got lightly splashed, yet still have been damaged by water. But I have also heard testimonials from people that have actually gone swimming and used their phone to take photos underwater. So what the deal? Why do some phones stop working and others continue?

Basically, it comes down to what condition the phone is in. A phone that was sold to you might actually have been waterpoof when you bought it. But general wear-and-tear will degrade the seals. In addition, a lot of these phones have flaps that cover up power ports or slots to ensure that water doesn’t get into the phone. These flaps are often easy to break off or lose. On top of all that, any cracks or damage to the screen or casing of your phone will also let water in. These cracks can be tiny, often people aren’t even aware of them before it’s too late.

There is some good news, more often than not, we are able to repair water damaged phones. See my article on what to do when your phone gets wet for details.

For more info on water damage repair have a look at our Water Damaged Phone Repair at Cell Clinic Vancouver or Cell Clinic Surrey.


If you're like most people, you probably take your cell phone with you everywhere. Whether you're headed to the beach or just out for a run, your phone is likely to come along for the ride. But have you ever wondered how waterproof your phone really is?


Most modern phones are rated as being waterproof to some degree, but it's important to understand what that rating actually means. Water resistance is typically measured in terms of how long a phone can withstand being submerged in water without sustaining damage.


For example, a phone that is rated as being waterproof for up to 30 minutes can theoretically withstand being submerged in water for that amount of time without any issues. However, it's important to note that this rating only applies to still water - so if you're planning on taking your phone into the ocean, it's important to be aware that it may not withstand the waves as well as you might hope.


In general, waterproof phones are a great option for those who want to keep their devices safe from the elements. However, it's important to remember that no phone is 100% waterproof - so if you're planning on using your phone in an environment where it could potentially be exposed to water, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of emergency.



I've always been curious about the waterproof rating of my phones. In case you didn't know, there are two ratings that determine how much water a device can withstand: IP68 (water and dust resistance) and IP67 (full submersion in up to 1 meter of water). So I thought it would be helpful to explain what these numbers mean and which ones are really important for your phone.



IP Rating

If you're buying a waterproof phone, the first thing to know is that it's not actually waterproof. The term "waterproof" is misleading. It's more accurate to say that your new phone will be able to handle being under water for a brief period of time—but only as long as there aren't any leaks in its case.



The IP rating system was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in order to evaluate and classify the effectiveness of devices' resistance against water and dust intrusion. As such, it's important that you understand what each number means:



The acronym 'IP' stands for 'Ingress Protection', and irrelvant with your iPhone.


The Ingress Protection rating of your iPhone is what determines whether it can be submerged in water and still come out unscathed. The acronym 'IP' stands for 'Ingress Protection', and it's a measure of how well the device will protect itself from foreign materials like dust or dirt, as well as water.



You may not have heard much about this before, but that's because its main purpose is to give you an idea of how durable your iPhone will be if you ever find yourself in conditions where it could get wet - like if you drop your phone into a puddle on the way to work!



There are 7 different levels of IP-rated devices: 0 (no protection), 1 (protection against solid objects), 2 (protection against solids and liquids), 3 (protection against solids, liquids, and gases) 4 (dust-protected) 5 (resistant against low pressure jets) 6 (resistant against pressurized streams).



Your average smartphone has an IP rating between 2-6 depending on its construction material - so even though most people wouldn't consider dropping their phone into a river or getting caught in heavy rainstorm as an everyday occurrence - it's good to know which level of protection your iPhone offers just in case something does happen unexpectedly!



IP rating is a standard that grades the effectiveness of water and dust prevention in electronic devices.



In layman’s terms, the IP rating is a standard that grades the effectiveness of water and dust prevention in electronic devices. The standard was created and maintained by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

There are two different types of waterproofing: IPX7 and IPX8. Both offer protection from water submersion, but not from all liquids.



The standard was created and maintained by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


The standard was created and maintained by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This is a global organization that helps develop standards for electrical and electronic products. The IEC works with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create these standards. The IEC is based in Geneva, Switzerland



Each device will have an IP rating, which you can find online.

Each device will have an IP rating, which you can find online. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created and maintains the standard for water and dust prevention in electronic devices. It’s a two-digit number that ranges from zero to six, with zero being no protection at all and six being complete protection.

If you see your phone has an IP rating of 6, then congratulations; your phone is waterproof to a depth of 1 meter for over 30 minutes!



There are two parts to an IP rating, which we'll show you below.


An IP rating is a standard that grades the effectiveness of water and dust prevention in electronic devices. If you've ever bought something that says "waterproof," it's likely because it had a higher IP rating than other products on the market. You can find your device's IP rating by looking at the back or side of your phone, tablet, or other mobile device. Each product has its own unique number, but generally speaking:

  • A device with an IP67 rating should be able to withstand being submerged in 1 meter (3 feet) of water for 30 minutes.* A device with an IPX8 rating should be able to withstand being submerged in more than 1 meter (3 feet) for 30 minutes.* A device with an IPX4 rating will be protected against splashes from any direction


You need an extra case to make your phone waterproof, but you may be able to save some money if you only need water resistance.


You can buy a waterproof case for your phone, but you may be able to save some money if you only need water resistance.

If you want a fully waterproof phone, you'll pay more than if you just want something that's resistant to water. For example, the iPhone 8 Plus has an IP67 rating—it's completely fine being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes—and costs $799 unlocked on Amazon. On the other hand, Samsung's S9 costs $720 and has an IP68 rating: it can be submerged at depths of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes without damage.



I hope this article has helped you understand the difference between waterproof and water-resistant phones, and how to choose one. While it's not easy finding a phone that can withstand the elements, there are some options out there. Waterproof phones have become more common as time goes on, so if you're willing to spend more money on a device with an IP rating then maybe this is something worth looking into!

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