Worried about taking your phone out and about as the weather gets wetter? These handsets will survive rain, drops in the sink, and even dunks in the pool...
As we head into winter, there’s only one guarantee when it comes to the weather: it’s gonna rain. A lot. Thankfully though, gone are the days when sliding a phone out of your pocket or bag during a storm was fraught with danger; most of today’s flagship phones are waterproof enough to take a dunk for extended periods of time.
But which are the hardiest handsets around? If you’re on the lookout for a new phone to see you through the gnarly weather and beyond, here are a handful of 2018’s most rain (and bath, and sink, and toilet) resistant flagship phones…
IP67 and IP68: Understanding waterproofing
Before we get onto the phones, it’s worth digging into what manufacturers mean when they say a phone is ‘waterproof’. Handily, there’s a standardised scale for this (known as the IP scale), and – though it’s a wide-ranging spectrum – most consumer devices you’ll be able to buy are likely to boast one of two ratings: IP67 or IP68.
So what do they mean? Well, the first thing to remember is that both ratings mean a device is water-resistant, rather than fully waterproof – even though the terminology sometimes seems interchangeable. And, generally, the difference between those two qualifiers is all about time; a waterproof object can stay submerged forever without taking damage, whereas a water-resistant one can only fend water off for a certain length of time.
“It’s worth digging into what manufacturers mean when they say a phone is ‘waterproof’”
In any case, that IP rating works like this: the first digit is a rating for protection against solids, and the second is for water. So, the ‘6’ in this case means “protection from contact with harmful dust,” while the 7 or 8 appended to it means one of the following:
7: Protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to one metre (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
8: Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than one metre (but the manufacturer must specify exact depth) for up to 30 minutes.
Simple! As it stands, IP68 is the highest water-and-dust-resistance rating a consumer device can garner, which will put the following phones in good stead this winter…
2018’s best waterproof phones
Samsung Galaxy Note9
The Note9 is a powerhouse of a phone, boasting a hugely capable Exynos 9810 Octa-core processor, up to 512GB of storage and up to 8GB of RAM. But what sets it apart is the S-Pen, which lets you handwrite notes, annotate documents, capture specific parts of a webpage, and loads more besides. And an IP68-rating, despite the fact that the S-Pen needs to slot into the bottom of the phone, only makes the Note9 even more impressive.
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
Waterproofing: IP68, IP67
Whichever new iPhone you pick up, you’re guaranteed a phone that’ll take a slip into the kitchen sink without worry; iPhone XR is imbued with an IP67 rating, meaning it’ll handle up to a metre for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone XS range, meanwhile, is actually able to withstand up to two metres of water… Which is probably deeper than you want to be swimming anyway. Click here to learn more about Apple’s 2018 flagships.
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Google’s latest home-grown devices offer the very best Android has to offer, alongside one of the best camera setups you’ll find in anywhere in a smartphone. Out of the box you’ll get clean, pure Android 9 (Pie) – with the promise of timely software updates for years to come – and a speedy, fluid experience powered by the industry-leading Snapdragon 845 processor. All that’s wrapped up in toughened glass and an IP68 rating, good for up to 1.5 metres and up to 30 minutes spent in the drink.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Huawei’s thrown absolutely everything at the Mate 20 Pro, making it one of the year’s most impressive, all-encompassing flagships. There are no fewer than three cameras round back (20, 40 and 8-Megapixels for various scenarios), a huge 6.39-inch display, 3D face unlock, and a seriously big 4,200mAh battery that’ll likely last you two days with normal usage. On top of which there’s an IP68 rating which, as with the iPhone XS, Huawei says is good for up to two metres.
Land Rover Explore
If you’re looking for this year’s most rugged, durable and long-lasting phone, you’ve found it. The Land Rover Explore is built for the great outdoors, which is why it’s got a huge 4,000mAh battery, a bevy of built-in navigational extras, a reinforced screen you can use with gloves on, and an IP68 rating. But the Explore goes way beyond just the usual water and dust resistance; it’s also designed to withstand extreme temperatures, thermal shock, humidity, and drops of up to 1.8 metres. It’s a true warrior.
See all our latest phones… Still weighing up options? Head over to Vodafone UK to see our full range of amazing new smartphones.