Back in the day if you accidentally dropped your smartphone in the bathtub (or worse–the toilet!) you could kiss that baby goodbye. Water and electronics don’t mix, after all.
However, in recent years most smartphones have adopted water-proofing to some degree. This includes the iPhone. Yet not all water-proofing is the same. Here’s how to tell which iPhone has protection against water from drops and spills.
Water Proof Or Water Resistant?
“Waterproof” implies a device is absolutely invincible against water, as if it could go for an hours-long swim and come out just fine. But even the best smartphones can’t do that.
That’s why Apple and others will advertise their phones are “water resistant” instead of “water proof.” Water resistant is accurate as the term implies your device is protected against water to a degree–but that degree is limited by both time and depth.
No phone in the world is water proof. Though many phones are water resistant.
IP67 Vs IP68: What Do The Water Resistance Ratings Mean?
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an industry body that has come up with a water resistance rating system. That rating system applies an IP code to devices that tell consumers how resistant that device is to both water and dust.
Common IP codes you’ll see on smartphones today are IP67 and IP68. Here’s how to dissect that code:
- IP: this just tells you the code is referent to a device’s water and dust resistance.
- First number after the “IP”: The first number after the IP (so the “6” in “IP67”) represents the device’s resistance against solids, like dust. This scale runs from 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest (best). A 6 rating means the device offers “Protection from contact with harmful dust.”
- Second number after the “IP”: The second number after the IP (so the “7” in “IP67”) represents how resistant the device is against liquids. This scale runs from 1 to 8, with 8 being the highest (best). If your phone is rated a 7 it’s “Protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 minutes.” If your phone is rated an 8, it’s “Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter” with the manufacturer specifying the exact depth.
Various iPhones are rated either IP67 or IP68. Remember, the IP68 rating is better than IP67.
Which iPhones Are Water Resistant?
Known that no iPhone early that the iPhone 7 is water resistant. Apple started certifying their iPhones for water resistance with the iPhone 7 and higher.
Here are the iPhones that have an IP68 rating according to Apple:
- iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 4 meters up to 30 minutes).
- iPhone 11 has a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes).
- iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have a rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes).
As you can see, though the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max all have an IP68 rating, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max is able to stay submerged 4 meters for up to 30 minutes without damage, according to Apple, while the iPhone 11, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max can only stay submerged 2 meters for up to 30 minutes without damage.
Here are the iPhones that have an IP67 rating according to Apple:
- iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus have a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes).
That means all these phones can survive in water up to 30 minutes–but only at depth of 1 meter–not the 2 or 4 meters later iPhones can tolerate.
But the short of the matter is this: though your iPhone is water resistant, don’t think you can take it for a swim. If it does fall into water, take it out as soon as possible.