- The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were Apple’s first smartphones designed to be water-resistant, and all subsequent models are as well, to varying degrees.
- Despite an IP67 water-resistance rating (or IP68 for iPhone XS models), any iPhone 7 or later model of the phone can still be damaged by water exposure in certain conditions.
- Apple’s iPhone warranty does not cover hardware damaged by water, so the best bet is still to keep the phone dry.
The difference between waterproof and water-resistant is the difference between a piece of hardware that almost surely won’t break even with extended exposure to water and one that almost surely will.
Here’s how to tell how water-resistant your iPhone is.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were the first water-resistant iPhones
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the first iPhones rated as IP67, which means the phones are resistant to splashes and can in fact be submerged in just over three feet of water for up to 30 minutes without damage. (For the record, the International Protection Marking, or IP code, was created by the International Electrotechnical Commission and is assigned to everything from phones to watches to toys to tools.)
The iPhone XS and XS Max are slightly more water-resistant than previous models
In case you were wondering, the latest iPhone models, the XS and XS Max, took things a step farther and are IP68 rated, meaning they can withstand a 30 minute exposure in a little more than six feet of water. (I’d still recommend using your smartphone primarily on dry land, though. Or at least on a boat.)
Now, you might think that if your phone can be underwater for a half hour, you don’t have much to worry about from a bit of rain or a spilled glass of water. And you probably don’t, in fact, but it’s better to play it safe. Apple’s warranty does not cover issues caused by water, so if your phone is damaged by water in spite of that water resistance, you’re left holding the bag, so to speak.
And over time, the water-resistant capabilities of your phone wear down. The rubber gaskets that seal out liquid at the lightning cable port, the SIM card slot, and around the buttons slowly degrades, losing water-blocking ability.
Also note that when we talk about water resistance, we’re talking about clean freshwater, as far as Apple is concerned. They make no claims about the phone’s resistance to damage caused by salt water or any other liquids, like coffee, motor oil, or Red Bull, to name a few of the fluids out there other than pure dihydrogen monoxide.
Prevent damage after your phone gets wet
And one note you need to make sure to remember: after your iPhone gets wet, whether from rain, a spilled beverage, or a total toilet submersion, don’t plug anything into it until you are certain it’s dry again. Connecting a charger or headphones via a wet port may well cause serious damage. Apple recommends waiting at least five hours before plugging anything in.
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