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The best waterproof phones for 2018

TIME : 2019-05-29 HITS : 82

Your guide to the latest and best waterproof phones of 2018. Check out our latest reviews and buyer's guide where we explain what IP ratings mean.

By Chris Martin | 28 Mar 2018

What's the best waterproof phone you can buy in the UK?

Your buying guide for the best waterproof phones in 2018

If you're accident-prone (or simply want to give your phone to a child without worrying they will drop it down the toilet or throw it into a pond) then a waterproof phone is what you need.

We explain what IP rating mean so you can choose the right one.

Most Sony phones are waterproof unless you're buying budget models, and you can also get waterproof Samsung phones and even iPhones. Sadly the Google Pixel phones are only splash-proof so don't make it into this list. 

The problem is that not all waterproof phones are created equal and different devices will offer different levels of protection. Being splash-proof, for example, doesn't mean you can watch TV in the bath or take photos underwater.

Others can be fully submersed in water and continue to work. Because of this, we've explained the IP rating system which is used for electronics that feature dust- and water-protection.

Before you shell out, check out the best phone deals.

Also check out our round-up of the best rugged phones.

What does a waterproof IP rating mean?

IP stands for 'Ingress Protection' and is used to define the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture.

The first number refers to how the device sealed against solid particles like dust; the highest you can get is '6' meaning total protection. The second digit is for water protection and the best you'll see on most is '8', going by the original IEC standard 60529 (6K and 9K are not part of this).

It's worth noting that ratings water ingress are not cumulative beyond 6, so a device with a rating of 7 doesn't have to compliant with the water jet element of 5 and 6.

If an IP rating has an X in it, don't misinterpret this as the device having no protection. It's likely to have good protection for particles if it's IPX6, but the rating has not been formally allocated.

Here's a full listing for particles and water:


·    0 – No protection.

·    1 – >50 mm, any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand.

·    2 – >12.5 mm, fingers or similar objects.

·    3 – >2.5 mm, tools, thick wires, etc.

·    4 – >1 mm, most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.

·    5 – Dust protected, Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented.

·    6 – Dust tight, No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact. A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.


·    0 – No protection.

·    1 – Dripping water shall have no harmful effect.

·    2 – Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect with enclosure is tilted at 15°.

·    3 – Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical.

·    4 – Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction.

·    5 – Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction. 

·    6 – Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) from any direction.

·    6K – Powerful water jets with increased pressure.

·    7 – Immersion, up to 1m depth for up to 30 minutes.

·    8 – Immersion, 1m or more depth (exact details vary).

·    9K – Powerful high temperature water jets.

The next generation of waterproof phones

According to IDC, liquid is the second most common cause of damage in smartphones accounting for 35.1 percent of all devices repaired. However, that might change considerably in 2018 thanks to a new generation of waterproof phones with better protection.

At the moment, phone makers either use physical seals or a nano-coating to keep water out. While the latter is limited to splashes, P2i - a leader in the technology - is working on an improved version of its plasma protection which will be IPX7.

A nano-coating to this level will give partners more freedom with design and could even mean we see more handsets with removable covers and batteries again. We certainly hope so.

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