While there is undoubtedly a lot of science that goes into making your Pixel water resistant, the ratings we currently see on our devices are not an exact science. Depending on what rating you see and what you’re told, it can get a little confusing. So is your Google Pixel waterproof or water-resistant? Here’s what you need to know.
What does your IP rating mean?
For every device, a dust and water resistance rating is released with it. It can range anywhere from IP00 to IP69K, with IP00 being unable to resist any dust or water in any capacity at all and the latter being completely water and dust-proof, even under pressure.
When it comes to smartphones, you’ll likely never see an IP00 rating simply because having an enclosure around the internals dictates at least some amount of water and dust resistance. More often than not, you’re looking at ratings around IP67 and IP68. So what does that mean?
Dust and solid object resistance
Well, the IP rating is split into two numbers – the first and second digit. The second number the first number after “IP” is the amount of resistance to dust and hazardous objects, with 6 being the highest. An IP6X rating means that your device is completely resistant to “dust ingress,” which basically means you don’t have to worry about dropping it in dirt and having any particle enter the enclosure of your Pixel. Most of Google’s Pixels have an IP6X rating, so this isn’t so much of a worry.
The second number after “IP” is the rating against liquid. Most devices now rate somewhere between a 6 and 8. If your IP rating is IPX6, your device is able to resist something equivalent to a harsh 12.5mm wide stream of water from any direction; where the line starts to get blurred is at IPX7 and IPX8. A lot of devices fall into one of these categories.
At IPX7, you’re looking for two qualifying resistance factors. The phone is able to withstand being submerged up to 1 meter for less than 30 minutes. At IPX8, your device can withstand more than 1 meter. Unfortunately, this could mean anywhere from 1 centimeter over a meter to 2 meters, with the exact rating being left up to the manufacturer.
Remember, these ratings are intended to represent water resistance, meaning the Google Pixel is not waterproof, only resistant up to a certain degree depending on the rating.
Rule of thumb
Since the latter rating is somewhat left up to the manufacturer to decide, here’s the general rule of thumb we recommend you exercise: if your Google Pixel has an IPX8 water resistant rating, avoid submerging over 1 meter anyways. Since this could mean that your device is protected at 3’1/8″, it’s much better to play it safe and pretend like you only have an IPX7 rating.
Does the IP rating stay the same throughout the Pixel’s life?
No. No, it does not.
Your Pixel’s IP rating, whether that’s IP67 or IP68, will not remain the same the whole time you have the phone – the rating is meant to represent what state the device is in when it left the factory. In fact, there are a few ways that the IP rating could take a dip. Anything from dropping the device to having the Pixel repaired could cause that IP rating to come down a bit.
The bits and pieces that makeup water and dust resistance also happen to be materials that are shock absorbing. This includes silicones and types of glue inside your Pixel. If your device does fall and take a hit, some of that glue could come loose, developing a weak spot in your Pixel’s water resistance rating.
What waterproofing rating is your Pixel?
As mentioned, Google’s line of Pixels usually falls in either the IP67 or IP68 rating, with newer phones being IP68. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t release an IP rating for some “a” series devices, such as the Pixel 4a or 3a. For these devices, it’s better to avoid water and dust altogether. Here’s the rating for your Google Pixel’s waterproofing:
- Pixel 6 Pro – IP68
- Pixel 6 – IP68
- Pixel 5a – IP67
- Pixel 5 – IP68
- Pixel 4a – N/A
- Pixel 4 – IP68
- Pixel 4 XL – IP68
- Pixel 3a – N/A
- Pixel 3a XL – N/A
- Pixel 3 – IP68
- Pixel 3 XL – IP68
- Pixel 2 – IP67
- Pixel 2 XL – IP67
- Pixel – IP53
- Pixel XL – IP53
In all, it’s important to know what your Pixel can handle in terms of water and dust. To be on the side safe, even if your Google Pixel has an IP68 water resistant rating, don’t submerge your phone past 1 meter underwater if you can help it. Also, note that these ratings don’t stand true the whole lifespan of the device and can absolutely degrade over time.