In the market for a waterproof phone? The bad news is that no phone is fully waterproof. The good news is that almost all phones now are water-resistant, with some able to withstand submersion in up to four metres for half an hour. We've picked out our selection of the best water-resistant phones on this page.
Top 5 waterproof phones
We’ll take a look at each of the top 5 phones in turn and outline what makes them noteworthy.
iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple’s 2019 top-of-the-range smartphone is water-resistant to a depth of up to 13ft (four metres) for up to half an hour.
Given that most phones that are touted as water-resistant can only withstand submersion in between 5ft of water for the same length of time, that makes the iPhone 11 Pro Max the standout by some distance.
Of course, it’s got much more to recommend it. The large 6.5-inch OLED screen is excellent and performs well in bright sunlight.
There’s an superb triple-lens camera array with a Night Mode that literally turns night into day. And thanks to the large 3969mAh battery, it lasts five hours longer than its predecessor the iPhone XS Max.
If you don’t want to pay the iPhone Pro Max’s steep asking price, it’s worth noting that the iPhone 11 Pro has the same level of water-resistance, but comes in quite a lot cheaper.
The cheapest model of Apple’s 2019 suite of iPhones, the iPhone 11 is water-resistant in up to 6.5 feet (two metres) for 30 minutes.
So that’s roughly half the maximum depth of the Pro Max and Pro. But still way ahead of most phones that are marketed as water-resistant.
Other noteworthy features include a dual lens main camera and a modern all-screen design, which makes room for a 6.1-inch LCD display.
It’s not quite as bright or brilliant as its more expensive siblings, but still performs impressively and is great for watching videos while you’re on the move.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
All three Samsung Galaxy S20 phones are water-resistant, and are billed as being resistant to water in up to 1.5 metres for half an hour.
Of those three phones, it’s the S20 Plus that we think offers the best blend of features at the best price.
Not least because of its triple camera system, with an excellent 30x digital zoom and 8K video recording. It can also connect to super-fast 5G networks and has a 4,500mAh battery that regularly lasted us up to two days.
iPhone SE 2020
The updated take on Apple’s 2015 iPhone SE is water-resistant in up to 3.3 feet (one metre) for half an hour.
That’s not close to the highest rated phones on this list, but the SE 2020 merits inclusion because at just shy of £420 when bought SIM-free and off-contract, it’s a really good water-resistant phone for the money.
In fact, it’s a really good value handset all-round. For less than half the price of most flagship smartphones, you get the same powerful A13 processor as the iPhone 11 range and Touch ID fingerprint security.
At 4.7-inches, the SE 2020 is a also a really good bet for anyone who doesn’t want a supersized handsets and prefers their phones to be more pocketable.
OnePlus 8 Pro
You can submerge the OnePlus 8 in up to five feet (1.5 metres) of water for up to 30 minutes and it’ll be right as rain. That’s not anything out of the ordinary, but will ensure you don’t have to worry about water damage in day to day use.
And the OnePlus 8 Pro is certainly a phone you’ll want to protect. Teaming 5G support with one of the best screens on any smartphone and best-in-class fast-charging, it’s one of the best Android phones so far.
Which iPhones are waterproof?
- iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS and XS Max
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Pro
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Pro
Which Samsung Galaxy phones are waterproof?
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus, S10 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Note 10, Note 10 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and S9 Active
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and S8 Active
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7
What is an IP rating?
IP stands for ingress protection. An IP rating is a measure of how long and for what depth a phone can continue to withstand immersion before it starts letting in water.
Most modern top of the range phones come with an IP 68 rating, which means they should withstand being underwater for two metres of water for half an hour.
Older phones tend to be IP 67 rated and can be submerged in one metre of water for the same time period, before water gets in.
An IP rating also indicates the extent to which a phone is dust-resistant.
What's the difference between water-resistant and waterproof?
Most modern phones are water-resistant. But not all water-resistant phones are created equally. The best will withstand submersion in deeper water for longer. So you’ve got much more peace of mind, if you drop your handset in the bath or sink.
In truth, no phone is fully waterproof. Leave any handset in water for long enough and liquid will eventually find its way into the handset. So really it’s more accurate to use the term water-resistant than water-proof.