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Google Pixel and Pixel XL somewhat splash- and dust-resistant

Google's new handsets have an IP53 rating, meaning they're immune to the elements up to a point.


A talk in the rain? Sure. Talk in the surf? Probably not.

James Martin/CNET

If you aren't the most careful of phone users, Google wants you to know its new handsets are somewhat forgiving when it comes to exposure to the elements.

The Pixel and Pixel XL, which Google unveiled Tuesday, offer protection against some exposure to moisture and dust, thanks to an IP53 certification. A device's International Protection Rating, more commonly referred to as an IP rating, is a standard set forth by the International Electrotechnical Commission as a "system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by the enclosures of electrical equipment."

The numeral 5 in the code indicates that the device has "partial protection from contact with harmful dust," while the second numeral represents protection against liquids seeping into the device. In this case, "water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical shall have no harmful effect" on Google's phones.

What this essentially means is that you're safe to use one of these handsets in the rain, but it's probably best to leave it with your towel when you go swimming or take a shower.

The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL will arrive in stores and online on October 20. For more on the phones, check out CNET's preview.