Most of us aren’t really bothered about whether our smartphones are waterproof or not.
We are too afraid to take our devices (entry-level or premium) for a dip so we ensure that they remain dry no matter what the situation, even if it is the wet and sticky monsoon season.
The only time we wished our smartphones were waterproof is when it accidentally falls into a toilet bowl, into a washbasin, goes with your clothes into the washing machine… or when you rushed out to play Holi and forgot to pull out your smartphone from your pocket.
Yes, it’s only when your smartphone goes through that accidental dip that it can give you a whole lot of anxiety and panic attacks solely because you do not know whether your smartphone is waterproof or splashproof, which is precisely the reason you can’t tell whether it’s going to wake up to another day of calls, messages and browsing.
This is why I have listed all the currently available waterproof and splashproof smartphones for you and also a bit of education about what to do if you accidentally dipped or drenched your smartphone.
What is waterproofing and is it the same as water resistance?
Let me simplify.
‘Water-resistant’ as the word itself signifies is the ability of a device to resist water. Water-resistant devices may be built in a way to keep out water, which also means it will not be able to hold it out for long. And when the resistance breaks down, you are in for trouble. With smartphones, manufacturers usually refer to devices as being “splashproof”.
‘Water-repellent’ is the next best thing to being water-resistant. This means that the electronics inside a device come with a coating that will prevent it from getting corroded (or repel water) in case the device comes in contact with good old H2O. Your device may not be designed to hold out water, but if water does get it, it can also flow out and your device can function once it has dried completely.
In smartphones terms, manufacturers usually claim that such devices come with a “P2i” rating, where the internals boards come with a water repellent coating to avoid corrosion, in case water enters the device and is not able to get out or dry properly.
‘Waterproof’ is where things actually begin to make some sense. If a manufacturer claims that the device will be waterproof, you can stick it up to them and fight it out at the service centre, which is something you won’t exactly be sure about when it comes to water-resistant and water-repellent designs.
But without no real standard, the best scale or indicator we can get from a manufacturer about a device’s water-proofing is the Ingress Protection Rating or the IP Code.
Made up of alphabets and numbers, these are quite simple to decode.
“IP” stands for ingress protection and the following two digits give an indication of intrusion protection (the ability of foreign objects or particles to get in) and moisture protection (water and condensation).
With smartphones, most will only have to worry about ratings starting from IP 67 to IP 68.
The “6” stands for protection against dust (mud, sand etc.)
And the “7” stands for protection against strong sprays of water or waves.
While the “8” stands for protection against immersion in water.
List of waterproof and water-resistant smartphones
Enough with the science lecture, let’s just check out whether the smartphone you own has actually made it to the list.
iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus (IP 67) iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XR, XS, XS Plus (IP 68)
Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Plus (IP 68)
Mate 20 Pro (IP 68), P20 Pro (IP 67)
Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs (IP 68)
LG V40 ThinQ, LG G6, LG G7 ThinQ, LG G7 Plus ThinQ, LG Q7, LG Q7 Plus, LG Q Stylus Plus, LG Q Stylus (IP 68)
Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 7 Pro (P2i)
OnePlus 6T (manufacturer claims splash resistant)
View 20 (manufacturer claims splash resistant)
Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, One Power (P2i)
Since the OnePlus 6T and Honor View 20 don’t really come with any manufacturer given ratings, I would recommend keeping them away from any sources of water or dust because you will have a hard time explaining the same at the service centre.
My phone’s not on the list but I still want to click photos.
If you still want to risk getting your phone doused in colour and water, the best protection is to place your phone in a thick case (protect it from drops) and a zip-lock waterproof pouch (to protect it from splashes).
What do I do if my phone got soaked?
So if you are looking up this article on Holi, after the festivities are done and you discover your phone is drenched…
Step 1: Pull it out of your pocket or water ASAP!
Remember, the longer your smartphone stays in water, the more prone it is to a short circuit or damage. So if you have been splashed at (or someone dropped a nasty surprise with a water balloon) head for cover and pull out your smartphone from that damp pocket. If it has accidentally fallen in a puddle, draw it out immediately.
Quick Tip: Keep your smartphone turned off when it’s not in use.
Step 2: Wipe off the water or colour from your smartphone
Instead of pressing down on all the buttons to see if your phone has survived, hold on, take a deep breath and first wipe off your smartphone with a dry cloth or tissue. If there’s none around (which will be the case) just shake your phone vigorously (grip it tight) and try and shake the water off that could be stuck between the buttons. Then quickly follow the next step.
Step 3: Blow dry it
If your phone is still on, power it down (don’t touch any other button). Then hold it up against a hairdryer on the low setting and blow air into the cavities by facing that cavity towards the floor. Start with the USB port at the bottom, the headphone jack, the speaker grille, the receiver at the top and then to the power and volume buttons. Another great tool is a rubber hand air pump.
Step 4: Check for signs of life in the right way
Once you have blown off or wiped off the excess water, it’s time to check for signs of life. The right way to do it is to press down on the power/unlock button only. Pressing every button may give way for the accumulated water to enter the circuitry inside so only do what’s needed.
Step 5: Further drying
By now, you may have already killed the mood of your Holi celebration. Once the smartphone has been dried (at least from the outside), don’t power it up again, but bury it in a bowl (not a closed tin or jar) of rice for a couple of hours. The dry rice should absorb the moisture and dry up your smartphone from the inside.
A more effective trick is to place it in a box (not airtight) with the lid slightly open (for airflow) with a dehumidifier pack or lots of silica gel packs (that you will find in new shoe boxes and bags) inside. These are purpose built and depending on the size of the packet will get the job done faster. Still, then it’s safe to keep in the box for a few hours. And in the meantime, head out to enjoy what’s left of Holi.
Once you are done with that, it’s best you try and revive your phone the next day. If it does not, it’s straight to that service centre from there.
If you just need to enjoy some tunes during Holi celebrations, here’s our hand-picked list of waterproof Bluetooth speakers.