In today’s world, where smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, accidents are bound to happen. Drops and spills are common occurrences that can lead to disastrous consequences for our beloved devices. However, there is a solution to this problem: waterproof smartphones. These marvels of technology are designed to withstand encounters with water, ensuring that aquatic accidents are (almost) without consequence. In this article, we will delve into the realm of waterproof smartphones and explore the best options available in 2023.
One might wonder how a smartphone can be made waterproof. The answer lies in its IP certification, which serves as an indicator of its level of protection. The IP rating consists of two numbers, with the first indicating the device’s resistance to solid particles like dust and the second denoting its resistance to water. The higher the number, the greater the protection. In our selection, we have chosen smartphones that are IP68 certified. Meaning they are highly resistant to both dust and water.
It is important to note that the IP68 certification ensures protection against immersion in fresh water for a certain duration. When it comes to saltwater, such as the sea, the corrosive nature of the salt can pose a challenge even for waterproof smartphones. If your phone happens to take an unexpected dive into the ocean, it is crucial to rinse it as quickly as possible with clear water and then dry it thoroughly. Taking these steps can help mitigate any potential damage caused by saltwater exposure. Now, let’s delve into the top contenders for the best waterproof smartphones in 2023:
Exploring the Top Waterproof Smartphones of 2023
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung, although not the pioneer of waterproofing in mainstream smartphones (credit goes to Sony), played a significant role in popularizing the feature when it introduced it on the Galaxy S5. Fast forward to the present, the Galaxy S23 series, which includes three models, continues this trend with all three devices being IP68 certified. Moreover, these smartphones boast the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and feature 120 Hz Amoled screens, ensuring an incredibly smooth user experience.
One notable strength of these devices lies in their exceptional photo quality. The trio of models within the range come equipped with a simplified yet versatile camera module, delivering impressive and reliable performance in photography.
Additionally, Samsung’s One UI interface remains delightfully user-friendly, further enhancing the overall appeal of these three excellent smartphones. If you happen to come across a Galaxy S from a previous generation at a favorable price, don’t hesitate to grab it, as waterproofing has been a consistent feature across the entire range since 2014. This, of course, includes the S22 and S21 models.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series
When it comes to waterproof smartphones, Apple makes the process less complicated 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 its phones can withstand submersion at a depth of 5 meters for 30 minutes! This applies to the new iPhone 14s, as well as all iPhone 13s, including the mini variant.
In terms of performance, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce the A16 Bionic chip. While the iPhone 14 retains the A15 chip from the previous generation. This upgrade results in a significant power boost. Furthermore, there are some exciting enhancements in the camera department. Notably, the iPhone Pro and Pro Max make a noteworthy change with the introduction of “Dynamic Island,” a pill-shaped replacement for the notch at the top of the screen. Although the iPhone 14 models themselves are excellent devices, they offer minimal differences compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. Therefore, if you don’t require the latest features and wish to be more budget-conscious, it’s advisable to consider one of the iPhone 13 models instead.
The iPhone SE 2020 remains a viable choice among iPhones. Released in 2020, this edition inherits the chassis of the iPhone 8, which already possessed waterproof capabilities. As a result, you get a compact smartphone with a 4.7-inch screen that is also water resistant. Despite its smaller 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 while being available at a low price. In essence, it serves as a commendable option offering a good balance between quality and affordability.
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Google Pixel 7 smartphone series
Google has maintained its tradition of offering waterproofing features in its high-end Pixel smartphones, and the latest Pixel 7 generation is no exception, boasting IP68 certification. However, these Pixels stand out not only for their water resistance but also for their unique and captivating designs, impeccable craftsmanship, and, most notably, their exceptional cameras, which are among the best in the market.
Google has taken the opportunity to enhance its in-house processor with the introduction of the Tensor G2. While the performance may not match the top-tier Snapdragon chips, the overall user experience remains excellent, especially when coupled with the native Android 13 operating system.
Yet, it is in the field of photography where the Pixel devices truly shine once again. Google has astounded users with its remarkable image rendering capabilities, particularly in low-light conditions, thanks to its impressive algorithmic advancements. The introduction of the “Super Res Zoom” software function has further elevated the photography experience, enabling spectacular zoom capabilities. More details regarding these features and performance can be found in our comprehensive reviews of the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Moreover, it’s worth noting that the Pixel 6 models also excel as waterproof smartphones, offering the same IP68 certification. These devices provide an excellent alternative at a lower price point, making them an appealing choice for prospective buyers.
Asus Zenfone 9
The Zenfone 9 proves to be a compact and user-friendly device, easily maneuverable with one hand and effortlessly fitting into slim-fitting jeans. Despite its small size, this phone boasts impressive power and features IP68 certification, a notification LED, and even a headphone jack—a rarity on compact smartphones.
With its stunning 5.9-inch AMOLED screen operating at a smooth 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, the Zenfone 9 delivers a visually immersive experience. Moreover, the device offers remarkable performance despite its compact form factor. Thanks to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor that drives its animations. Accompanied by 8 GB of RAM, this configuration ensures outstanding gaming capabilities. Surprisingly, this compact smartphone also excels in terms of battery life, providing excellent autonomy.
However, the sole drawback in this otherwise positive assessment lies in the Zenfone 9’s camera performance. Equipped with a dual sensor on the back, the device falls short of achieving remarkable image quality. It’s disappointing considering its price point.
Nevertheless, the Zenfone 9 remains a commendable smartphone overall. Especially for individuals who prefer smaller devices and seek alternatives to Apple’s offerings. It stands as one of the best options available, despite its underwhelming camera performance.
Everything you need to know about waterproof smartphones
Most waterproof smartphones on the market today carry an IP68 certification. This means that they are protected against immersion in water of more than 1 meter for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to one hour. It’s a good level of protection against accidental water exposure.
However, it’s important to note that IP68 certification does not guarantee protection against seawater. Seawater is corrosive due to its salt content and can leave salt deposits on the smartphone even after it has dried. Even though IP68-certified devices are generally robust, they are not specifically designed to withstand exposure to saltwater. If you need a smartphone that can handle saltwater, there are specific models available, such as certain Crosscall products.
If your smartphone accidentally gets submerged in seawater, don’t panic. The best course of action is to rinse it thoroughly with clean water as soon as possible. This can help minimize corrosion and potential damage.
While a waterproof smartphone may be capable of withstanding water exposure, it’s not intended for deliberate underwater use. The sealing is primarily meant to protect against accidents, not to encourage underwater photography or prolonged submersion. So, it’s advisable to avoid taking underwater photos or using the smartphone underwater as if it were dry.
In conclusion, the era of fragile smartphones that succumb to drops and spills is gradually fading away. And this is thanks to the advent of waterproof smartphones. The IP68 certification has become a key feature in determining a device’s ability to resist water. And in our selection for 2023, we have highlighted some of the best waterproof smartphones available. Whether it’s the Samsung Galaxy S23, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 family, the Google Pixel smartphones, or the Asus Zenfone 9, these devices offer not only impressive specifications and features but also good protection against dust and water.