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11 waterproof phones you'll want right now

The LG G7 and Galaxy S9 are the latest high-end phones to feature water resistance. But there are others that are just as splash-friendly.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
5 min read
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A few years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find an elegant, premium phone that was also waterproof. Aside from Sony's Xperia phones, most waterproof phones were clunky-looking with midtier specs. 

These days though, most high-end flagships come with some level of protection against water. In addition to the LG G7, Samsung, Apple and Google all have waterproof marquee handsets that satisfy the IP67 (or higher) standard.

With so many companies diving into this feature, waterproofing may soon become an industry standard, and gone forever are the days when mere water-resistant coatings and seals were exclusive to bulky, rugged phones. Instead, it may soon come down to how much more protected one device is than another. (Get a deeper dive into IP ratings and what they mean for waterproof gadgets.)

Watch this: 5 best water-resistant phones

If your phone can't take a dip in a pool, companies such as P2i and HzO make coatings that go way beyond the military spec for 30 minutes and 3 feet of water -- in fact, way back at MWC 2014, we saw a treated handset submerged for an hour and a half.  

Until every phone is water-friendly however, we're looking forward to the day we can all go to the beach, pool parties, rafting trips and water parks without fearing for our phones (or triple-wrapping them in plastic baggies). In the meantime, here are 11 (well, technically more like 15) splash-sustaining phones that impressed us recently.

Editors' note: We update this post whenever swim-friendly phones surface. It was originally published Aug. 6, 2013.


In addition to being water-resistant, the G7 flaunts an optional iPhone X-style notch.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LG G7 ThinQ

LG's latest G7 phone features an AI camera that gives your photos an extra boost before you snap them. It's also the first phone to have a dedicated button for Google Assistant (that you unfortunately can't re-program). But what you'll notice first before any of this is the fact that it has an optional notch that sits at the top of its screen. Read the LG G7 review.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Like the iterations before it, the latest Galaxy phones are water resistant.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Coming in a new shade of purple, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 (and its bigger S9 Plus brother) are more expensive than last year's model, and its low-light photo skills aren't as adept at its competitors. However, its super powerful processor, enduring battery life and elegant design make it one of the best Android phones available. Read our reviews of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.


The X is the most advanced and expensive iPhone to date.


Apple iPhone X

As a shakeup to Apple's whole iPhone lineup, the tenth-anniversary iPhone X is a standout in many ways. It has a larger, 5.8-inch OLED display, super-slim bezels and optical image stabilization on both its rear cameras. But all these fancy features come at a high price, and with a starting price of $999 in the US, £999 in the UK and AU$1,579 in Australia, it's the most expensive iPhone yet. Read the iPhone X review.


The Pixel 2 and larger 2 XL (shown above) are both waterproof.

Josh Miller/CNET

Google Pixel 2

The best thing about the Pixel 2 is its superb 12-megapixel camera, which can take great bokeh-like portrait shots using just one lens. However, the 5-inch phone also has a speedy Snapdragon 835 processor, timely Android updates from Google and Google Lens, and a software feature that lets you immediately look up information about the objects around you. The Pixel 2 also has a bigger brother, the Pixel 2 XL. Though we like its larger 6-inch display, concerns have been raised about burn-in with its screen, which Google has addressed. For now, however, it's safe to go with the Pixel 2. Read the Pixel 2 review.


The 8 Sirocco is Nokia's best-looking marquee phone yet.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Nokia 8 Sirocco

Although Nokia hasn't been as strong a mobile contender as in years past, its latest flagship has us intrigued. The 8 Sirocco features a 5.5-inch display that falls right to the edge of the screen. Its two rear-facing cameras include a telephoto lens, and it runs the minimal Android One OS. Read the 8 Sirocco hands-on.

LG V30S ThinQ

The V30S is just like the original V30, but with AI smarts.

Juan Garzon/CNET

LG V30S ThinQ and V30

For the most part, the V30S is a lot like the first V30 that launched in August 2017. It still has a 6-inch screen, a wide-angle camera (along with a standard rear-camera), the Snapdragon 835 chipset and a water-resistant design. But the V30S adds a few AI features similar to the G7, including object recognition in its camera and voice assistance. Read the V30S ThinQ hands-on.


The XZ2 Compact (left) and the larger XZ2 (right).

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact

Made of metal and glass, the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact challenge the Galaxy S9 in terms of features and style. Though the 5.7-inch XZ2 is the bigger of the two phones, the 5-inch Compact shares almost all of the same key specs. With wireless charging, a Snapdragon 845 processor and a 19-megapixel rear camera, these two handsets are worth paying attention to. Read the Xperia XZ2 hands-on.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

The S8 Active can survive a dunk and a hard fall.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

If you want a premium phone that can endure more than just water, consider the S8 Active. A rugged version of last year's S8, this phone is has a metal body, is shock-resistant, and has a higher-capacity 4,000mAh battery (compared with the S8's 3,000mAh one). Unfortunately, it's only available in the US with the carrier AT&T for now, at about $850. Read the Galaxy S8 Active review.


The Moto X4 is one of the more affordable water-resistant phones.

Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto X4

Not every water-resistant phone costs an arm and a leg. In addition to packing two rear cameras, NFC and expandable memory, the Moto X4 only costs $400, £349 or AU$699. Motorola's Moto X4 (as opposed to Google and Amazon's -- both of which offer the phone as well) features lots of useful software tools too, such as multiple digital assistants including Amazon Alexa. Read the Moto X4 review.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are sensible upgrades to last year's iPhones.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

As anticipated updates to 2016's pair of Apple flagships, the iPhone 8 (and larger 8 Plus) have a few upgrades you might want to consider. They have a new, steel-reinforced glass backing, better cameras with a new image signal processor and sensors and wireless charging. Sure, they're not as flashy as the aforementioned iPhone X, but they're cheaper, starting at $699, £699 and AU$1,079 for the iPhone 8 and $799, £799 and AU$1,229 for the iPhone 8 Plus. Read the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus reviews.


With its big screen and stylus pen, the Note 8 is the Android phone to beat.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Though it's pricey, the Galaxy Note 8 features dual cameras like the Galaxy S9 Plus and has a boatload of stylus tricks. It's one of the most feature-rich Android phone you can buy and includes Samsung's digital assistant Bixby, a Snapdragon 835 chipset from Qualcomm and facial unlocking. Read the Galaxy Note 8 review.

This article also appears in Spanish. Read: 8 teléfonos resistentes al agua y las salpicaduras