In today’s world where smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, accidents are bound to happen. Drops and spills are common accidents that can lead to serious consequences for our beloved devices. However, there is a solution to this problem: waterproof smartphones. These masterpieces of technology are built to withstand water encounters, ensuring that water accidents are (almost) without consequences. In this article, we explore the world of waterproof smartphones and explore the best options available in 2023.
One might wonder how to make a smartphone waterproof. The answer lies in its IP certificate, which indicates the level of security. The IP rating consists of two numbers, the first indicating the device’s resistance to solid particles such as dust, and the second indicating its resistance to water. More number, more protection. In our selection, we chose smartphones with IP68 certification. That means it is highly resistant to both dust and water.
It should be noted that the IP68 certification guarantees protection against immersion in fresh water for a limited period of time. When it comes to salty water like the ocean, the corrosive nature of salt can be a challenge even for waterproof smartphones. If your phone takes an unexpected dive in the ocean, you should immediately rinse it in clear water and then dry it thoroughly. Taking these steps can help mitigate potential damage from saltwater exposure. Now, let’s get into the top contenders for the best waterproof smartphones in 2023:
Explore the best waterproof smartphones of 2023
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung, while not a leader in waterproofing in mainstream smartphones (credit to Sony), played a major role in popularizing the feature when it introduced it on the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S23 series, which includes three models, quickly bucks the trend with all three devices boasting IP68 certification. Also, these smartphones feature Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and 120Hz AMOLED displays, which ensure an incredibly smooth user experience.
One of the notable strengths of these devices is their exceptional image quality. All three models in the range are equipped with a streamlined and versatile camera module, delivering impressive and reliable photographic performance.
Additionally, Samsung’s One UI interface is very easy to use, which enhances the overall appeal of these three premium smartphones. If you find an affordable Galaxy S from the previous generation, don’t hesitate to get it, as waterproofing has been a standard feature across the range since 2014. Of course this includes the S22 and S21 models.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series
When it comes to waterproof smartphones, Apple complicates the process compared to the Android market. The rule is simple: since 2016, all new models in the Apple range have been IP68 certified. However, Apple goes above and beyond by ensuring that its phones can be submerged in water to a depth of 5 meters for 30 minutes! This applies to the new iPhone 14s and all iPhone 13s including the mini variant.
In terms of performance, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max offer the A16 Bionic chip. The iPhone 14 retains the A15 chip from the previous generation. This upgrade results in a significant power boost. Also, there are some amazing improvements in the camera department. Most notably, the iPhone Pro and Pro Max made a significant change with the introduction of the “Dynamic Island,” which replaces the notch at the top of the display with a tablet shape. While the iPhone 14 models are great devices, they offer minor differences compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. So, if you don’t need the latest features and want to be more budget conscious, it is better to consider one of them. Instead of iPhone 13 models..
The iPhone SE 2020 is a possible option iPhone. Launched in 2020, this version inherits the iPhone 8’s architecture, which already has water-resistant capabilities. As a result, you get a compact smartphone with a 4.7-inch screen that is waterproof. Despite its small size, it doesn’t compromise on performance. Equipped with the A13 Bionic processor, it delivers the same level of power as the iPhone 11, all at an affordable price. In essence, it’s a commendable choice that offers a good balance between quality and affordability.
Google Pixel 7 series phones
Google has maintained a tradition of offering waterproof features in its high-end Pixel smartphones, and the latest generation Pixel 7 is no exception, boasting an IP68 certification. However, these Pixels stand out not only for their water resistance, but also for their unique and captivating designs, impeccable craftsmanship and especially their exceptional cameras, which make them the best in the market.
Google took this opportunity to improve its internal processor with the introduction of Tensor G2. While the performance may not match the high-end Snapdragon chipset, the overall user experience is better, especially when paired with the original Android 13 operating system.
However, it is in the photography department where Pixel devices shine once again. Google has wowed users with its impressive image rendering capabilities, especially in low-light conditions, thanks to its impressive algorithm improvements. The introduction of the “Super Res Zoom” software function enhances the photography experience and enables amazing zoom capabilities. More details on these features and performance can be found in our detailed Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro reviews.
It’s also worth noting that the Pixel 6 models also excel as waterproof smartphones, offering the same IP68 certification. These devices offer a great alternative at a lower cost, making them an attractive option for potential buyers.
Asus Zenfone 9
The Zenfone 9 proves to be a compact and easy-to-use device that can be easily handled with one hand and fits effortlessly into skinny jeans. Despite its small size, the phone is surprisingly powerful and features IP68 certification, a notification LED and a headphone jack – a rarity in a compact smartphone.
With a 5.9-inch AMOLED display running at a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, the Zenfone 9 offers a stunning visual experience. Also, the device offers great performance despite its small form factor. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor powers its animations. This configuration, coupled with 8GB of RAM, ensures excellent gaming capabilities. Surprisingly, this compact smartphone also excels in battery life, offering great autonomy.
However, the only downside to this positive review is the Zenfone 9’s camera performance. The device is equipped with a dual sensor on the back, so the device falls short of the best image quality. Its price is disappointing.
However, the Zenfone 9 is still a very commendable smartphone overall. Especially for people who like smaller devices and are looking for alternatives to Apple’s offerings. Despite the poor camera performance, it is one of the best options.
Everything you need to know about waterproof smartphones
When it comes to waterproof smartphones and certifications, there are a few things to understand. The main way to protect smartphones from water is to install seals to prevent water from entering small spaces. However, there is another important factor to consider: IP classification. This rating measures the resistance of devices to both dust and water. It has two numbers, the first indicates dust resistance and the second indicates water resistance. The higher these numbers are, the higher the level of protection.
Most of the waterproof smartphones in the market today have IP68 certification. This means that they are protected against submersion in more than 1 meter of water for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. This is a good level of protection against accidental exposure to water.
However, it should be noted that IP68 certification does not guarantee protection against sea water. Sea water is corrosive due to its salt content and leaves salt deposits on a smartphone even after it dries. Although IP68 certified devices are generally rugged, they are not designed to withstand exposure to salt water. If you need a smartphone that can handle saltwater, there are select models, such as some Crosscall products.
If you accidentally dip your smartphone in sea water, don’t panic. The best way is to rinse thoroughly with clean water as soon as possible. This will help reduce wear and potential damage.
Although a waterproof smartphone is capable of withstanding exposure to water, it is not intended to be used underwater. The seal is primarily intended to protect against accidents, not to encourage underwater photography or prolonged immersion. Hence, it is advised to avoid taking underwater photos or using the smartphone underwater as a drysuit.
In conclusion, the era of fragile smartphones subject to drops and spills is fading. This is thanks to the advent of waterproof smartphones. IP68 certification has become an essential feature in determining a device’s ability to resist water. In our pick for 2023, we’ve highlighted some of the best waterproof smartphones available. Be it Samsung Galaxy S23, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 family, Google Pixel smartphones or Asus Zenfone 9, these devices not only offer great specifications and features but also offer good protection against dust and water.
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