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Which iPhone models are waterproof? We break it down

Key Takeaways

  • iPhone models from iPhone 7 and newer are water-resistant, not waterproof, but offer good protection from everyday water incidents.
  • Different iPhone models have different levels of water resistance, with some having better protection than others due to their IP ratings.
  • Avoid swimming or exposing your iPhone to high-velocity water, and don’t submerge it intentionally or use it in a sauna or steam room, even if it has an IP rating. Upgrade older iPhone models for water protection and continued support.

Since its 2007 launch, the iPhone has gone through 15 flagship models, which is quite a lot, especially when recent years have seen several devices offered with each new drop. Apple has even launched some iPhone models during the normal cycle with the SE devices. Some of those iPhone devices offer robust and durable features, such as a waterproof rating, which is great considering most folks take their handsets everywhere, and some aren’t. And while you shouldn’t purposely drop your iPhone in water to test its abilities, it’s good to know whether your device has that extra layer of protection.



Water and dust IP ratings: What does IP68 actually mean?

Your phones and devices come with a code to tell you how waterproof it is – but what do these codes mean?

Let’s break down all the water-resistant and waterproof models, their protection levels, and everything else you need to know, so you can make a smart decision when buying your next iPhone. After all, it’s an expensive purchase, and you want to make sure that your device is protected if you accidentally spill soda on it or drop it in the toilet.

Which iPhone models are waterproof?

Technically, none of the iPhone models are marketed by Apple as waterproof. Instead, they’re considered water-resistant.

A water-resistant phone means that even with high IP67 and IP68 ratings, the devices can still be damaged if submerged for too long or if pushed under the water too deep.

With newer iPhone models, you’re fairly well protected from everyday incidents involving water and liquid, but you still need to be careful. This is a case of semantics, wherein you can sort of get away with using either word, but water-resistant better encapsulates what the iPhone (and other smartphones) actually offer.


Best waterproof phones: Expert-tested and IP68-rated

From our hands-on experience, these are the top waterproof phones that can withstand more than the occasional splash.

Now, with that out of the way, all iPhone models from the iPhone 7 and newer are water-resistant (or waterproof, depending on how you want to word it). However, they are broken down into several different categories, with some models offering slightly better protection from water than others. This is partly because some use the more formidable IP68 rating, and others use IP67. It’s also because some devices can go deeper underwater than others, even though they have the same IP rating.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of all the water-resistant iPhone models, their IP rating, how far they can be submerged, and for how long they can withstand that depth:

IP68 rating under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes)

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

IP68 rating under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 4 meters for up to 30 minutes)

  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

IP68 rating under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes)

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max

IP67 rating under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes)

  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

Two main things to avoid with waterproof iPhone models

Swimming or dunking your phone: Even if you have one of the above models, you should still be mindful of water and other liquids. For example, you shouldn’t go swimming or bathing with your iPhone. Even if you have one of the newer phones that can handle up to 6 meters of depth for 30 minutes, you don’t want actually to do that just for fun. If you fall into the lake with your phone in your pocket and hop back out, it’ll probably be fine, but if you swim around for 20 minutes, you’re asking for trouble.

High-velocity water: Another thing to avoid is pressurized or high-velocity water. That means having it under the shower and, at the same time, using it while water skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, jet skiing, or any other activity where water will slam into the phone is a bad idea. Again, your phone might survive these activities, but you’re rolling the dice.

Finally, please don’t use your iPhone in a sauna or steam room, and don’t intentionally submerge it in water. Don’t think your phone is indiscernible because it has an IP rating, and you’ll have a phone that lasts a lot longer.

Which iPhone models aren’t waterproof?

After looking at all the water-resistant iPhone models, we are brought to the opposite end of the spectrum – the devices that can’t handle getting wet. Simply put, any iPhone 6S or older models (including the original iPhone SE) cannot tolerate water and will almost certainly be damaged or completely destroyed if they come into contact with liquids of any kind. That included spilling water on and splashing, so it’s not just about submerging them in the water.

Here’s the complete list of iPhone models that aren’t water-resistant:

  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone

If you own one of those phones, congratulations on keeping your phone running that long, as that’s no small feat. However, it’s probably time to think about upgrading. Not only do you get protection from water with newer phones, but you also get continued support for newer versions of iOS and security updates that can protect you from incoming threats.

If you decide to purchase a new iPhone, here’s some helpful content from Pocket-lint that’ll help you make an intelligent buying decision and get the right phone for you:

How do I know which iPhone model I have?

If you’re unsure what model iPhone you have, don’t worry. We have a detailed guide that’ll tell you exactly how to look up your iPhone model so you can know whether it falls into the waterproof/water-resistant category or is too old to be protected.

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