What you need to know about waterproof phones

What you need to know to keep your mobile running even if it does get overly moist.

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Taking your smartphone with you everywhere is kind of the point; they’re pocket-sized computers that keep you informed and in touch. The problem with having a pocket-sized computer everywhere is that sometimes it rains. Sometimes you drop your smartphone in the bath, or the pool, or (gasp) in the toilet. We won’t judge, but the reality is that electronics and water don’t mix well.

What if I've just dropped my phone into water?

If you're facing that particular stressful scenario, there are a few key things you can try to coax your phone back to life, but there are very few guarantees because water and electronics are not friends.

The first step is to power down your phone if it's not already off. If you have a phone with a removable battery, pull it out as fast as you can to be sure.

The next step is to allow time for as much water to exit the phone body as possible before trying to use it again. While there are commercially available products that attract water into a sleeve or pocket around a phone, the old low-tech way is to drop it into a small bag of rice and leave it for a period of at least 48 hours before trying to switch the phone back on. As noted, there are no guarantees, but given that, it's worth the price of a small bag of rice to try.

Ouch! That was expensive and stressful! What can I do in the future about my phone and water?

Not dropping your phone in water is a good start. A few light drops of rain shouldn’t be a problem, but an outright soaking, and especially immersion, is very problematic.

There have been a few notable runs of premium smartphones that came with inbuilt waterproofing measures, so you've got some choices to make. The latest iPhone model, the iPhone 8, is called "water resistant" by Apple, but it's IP67 rated so it should withstand accidental immersion. The same is true for Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, Sony's Xperia XZ Premium and even Alcatel's low-cost Go Play smartphone.

Water-resistant phones

Name Product Display Display Rear camera Battery size Overall rating More info More info
Apple iPhone 12
6.1
inches

2532 x 1170

  • Display

    6.1 inches

    2532 x 1170

  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    N/A
12MP + 12MP
N/A
View details
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
inches
  • Display

    inches

  • Rear camera

    MP
  • Battery size

    N/A
N/A
N/A
Not yet rated
View details
Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52
inches
  • Display

    inches

  • Rear camera

    MP
  • Battery size

    N/A
N/A
N/A
Not yet rated
View details
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (2021)
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (2021)
inches
  • Display

    inches

  • Rear camera

    MP
  • Battery size

    N/A
N/A
N/A
Not yet rated
View details
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
6.7
inches

2400 x 1080

  • Display

    6.7 inches

    2400 x 1080

  • Rear camera

    108MP + 8MP + 2MP
  • Battery size

    5,000 mAh
108MP + 8MP + 2MP
5,000
mAh
View details