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The very best waterproof cellphone is the Apple iPhone 11 Professional. It combines an superior display screen, versatile digital camera, and all-day battery life in a water-proof, IP68-rated package deal that may survive a dunk in water as much as four meters in depth for as much as 30 minutes with out sustaining any injury. Should you want an Android cellphone or need one thing extra rugged, we now have alternate options for you beneath.

We now have examined lots of of various telephones at Digital Developments, so we will confidently suggest the perfect for you. These telephones have sustained spills, rain, and dunks with out displaying any indicators of mistreatment, although it’s necessary to notice that water resistance applies to contemporary water, and it’s by no means a good suggestion to intentionally submerge your cellphone.

Finest waterproof telephones at a look

The very best: iPhone 11 Professional

Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Corey Gaskin/Digital Developments

Why must you purchase this: Apple’s newest iPhone is solely the perfect all-round cellphone that cash should purchase.

Who’s it for: Anybody who needs the perfect all-around cellphone accessible that additionally occurs to be the perfect waterproof cellphone.

Why we picked the iPhone 11 Pro:

Apple jumped on board a bezel-free smartphone future when it released the iPhone X. The iPhone 11 Pro features the same gorgeous design, but with a little more power under the hood than its predecessors and an even better IP68 water-resistance rating, which means it can survive submersion in water up to 4 meters in depth for up to 30 minutes without damage.

The OLED screen’s deep inky blacks and vibrant colors make it hard to pull your eyes away from it, and Apple’s True Tone tech changes the color warmth of the screen to account for the ambient lighting around you. But it’s not all about the 5.8-inch screen.

Apple’s outstanding record on smartphone photography is extended further with its latest model. The iPhone 11 Pro boasts three 12-megapixel lenses, with Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto cameras, respectively. The addition of an extra lens over last year’s XS means that the 11 Pro provides the best camera system out right now, with the capability to take beautiful daytime snaps. Photos are improved further by Deep Fusion, Apple’s new advanced image processing system that uses machine learning algorithms to enhance the light, texture, color, and detail of each shot. And as with its recent predecessors, you also get Apple’s Portrait Mode, which selectively blurs the background around your subject, giving your images a DSLR-style “bokeh” effect that lends your photography a professional look.

Apple’s newest A13 Bionic chip is fast and efficient, beating out all the competition, and though Touch ID is not coming back, Face ID has been improved, so it’s around 30% faster. There’s no headphone jack, but the iPhone 11 Pro is rocking Bluetooth 5.0 for a strong and stable connection to your Bluetooth headphones, while its Wi-Fi and LTE specs have also been improved.

Put simply, it’s the best smartphone out right now in addition to being the best waterproof smartphone.

While it might lack the two extra camera lenses and the OLED display, last year’s iPhone XR still has plenty of processing power, as well as the same super-smart iOS and an IP68 rating. If you can’t justify the $999 price tag for the iPhone 11 Pro, then the iPhone XR is also a great choice.

Read our full iPhone 11 Pro review

The best Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com

Why should you buy this: It’s a sleek beauty with plenty of power and an unbeatable display.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a high-powered flagship Android phone that’s waterproof.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus:

If you’re looking for a fully waterproof Android flagship, then it’s hard to pass up the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. It’s the middle child of the Galaxy S20 range, but the S20 Plus is anything but awkward. The perfect compromise between the smaller Galaxy S20 and the massive S20 Ultra, the S20 Plus combines everything we love about Samsung’s flagship range — the top-tier power, multi-lens camera array, and the sleek good looks — and crams it into an IP68 waterproof shell.

Yes, it’s not as large as the monolithic Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it’s still not a small phone. The display measures an enormous 6.7 inches, and although the slim bezels and punch-hole selfie camera help to keep the size down, it’s still fair to class this as a two-handed phone for most people. Still, it’s slim and sleek regardless, measuring just 0.3 inches thin and weighing only 6.5 ounces. The slippery glass and wide frame do mean it’s liable to slip out of your hand though, so we recommend picking up a good protective case for it as well.

You’ll want to protect the display too. Samsung’s new AMOLED panel is utterly gorgeous and outputs a 3,200 x 1,440-pixel resolution with a 120Hz rate and support for HDR10+. It’s one of the best-looking displays on the market at the moment, with deep, inky blacks and crisp, vivid colors, and the 120Hz refresh rate gives it a slick smoothness you have to see to believe.

As you’d expect for a Samsung flagship device, the Galaxy S20 Plus contains the latest and fastest hardware. The powerful Snapdragon 865 takes center stage, and it’s backed up by 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also space for a microSD card.

The camera is similarly powerful and consists of a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor, and another 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor. There’s a time-of-flight sensor for additional depth data, support for 8K video, and a pretty good night mode for when the lights go down. All right, it had some issues when it launched, but Samsung has been ironing those out, and the new Single Take feature — which pulls a series of stills, GIFs, and short videos — from a single video is one of the S20 Plus’ best new innovations.

Of course, all of this doesn’t come cheap, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus starts from $1,200 — and that’s the model with just 128GB of storage. Still, for that price you get a fully waterproof phone that should last you a good few years before needing replacing. Still, if you’d rather save a couple hundred bucks, consider the Galaxy S20 instead. It has the same IP68 rating, but with a small display and — crucially — a smaller $1,000 price.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review

The best rugged waterproof phone: Caterpillar Cat S61

CAT S61 front full
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: It’s the most rugged phone you can buy, with solid drop protection and water resistance.

Who’s it for: Climbers, hikers, construction workers, and clumsy people who love the outdoors.

Why we picked the Caterpillar Cat S61 :

If all you care about is a phone that will still work after it gets dropped, bashed about a bit, or dropped in quite a lot of water, then the Cat S61 is definitely the phone for you. It’s extremely chunky, but the IP68 rating is good for 60 minutes in water down to a depth of 5 meters (16 feet), plus the MIL-STD-810G rating keeps it safe from dust, radiation, and shocks. The tough body will treat a fall from 6 feet onto concrete like it was nothing.

By chance, if during all this abuse the need for thermal imaging arises, the S61 will step up to this task as well. In a partnership with sensor company Flir, the S61 has an unusual thermal camera alongside its standard 16-megapixel shooter. It works with a special app to show heat palettes, temperature, and hot spots, which can come in handy for all sorts of professions, from vets to car mechanics.

The rest of the phone isn’t quite so high spec as the others on our list. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor and 4GB of RAM provide the power, while the 5.2-inch screen has a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. However, no one will be buying the S61 for top specs or outstanding style. It’s all about survival, and the S61 is built to withstand almost anything.

Read our full Caterpillar Cat S61 review

lifeproof_bestof waterproof phones

Why should you buy this: Cheaper than getting a new phone, it’s a fast and convenient way to add protection.

Who is it for: Anyone who doesn’t want to switch out their phone, but wants to protect it from the elements.

Instead of hunting around for a cheap phone that provides water resistance, why not just buy the phone you want, and put it in a waterproof case? There are various options out there, but we like the following three choices.

The Lifeproof Fre guarantees to guard in opposition to water, filth, snow, and sharp impacts. It covers the entire of your cellphone, together with the display screen and all of the ports, so be ready for a rise in general measurement and weight. It’s a small worth to pay for such a excessive stage of safety. LifeProof Fre instances can be found for many of Samsung’s Galaxy vary, together with all iPhone fashions from the iPhone 5 on, plus the Google Pixel telephones and some different fashions.

Catalyst instances are an ideal different to LifeProof, and are available variations appropriate for all iPhone fashions because the iPhone four. There are even instances for the Apple Watch and the iPad vary. Examined to IP68 ranges and a depth of 10 meters (33 ft), the instances defend in opposition to water, snow, mud, and filth. Catalyst has paid consideration to the little issues, like making certain Contact ID nonetheless works as you need it to, and the digital camera lens cowl is of excessive sufficient high quality to not destroy any footage.

If a customized waterproof case isn’t accessible in your cellphone, otherwise you desire a actually low-cost, dependable system, then get a common “dry bag” kind case, which seals your cellphone inside a pouch and retains all the weather out. There are many decisions on the market, in varied colours, resembling this one from Joto. It has an IPX8 score and matches telephones with screens smaller than 6 inches.

IP What? What these IP scores really imply

After we discuss waterproof hardware, we frequently check with an IP score. This stands for Ingress Safety, and is often adopted by a quantity, which refers to its potential to face up to water and dirt. The primary digit pertains to stable particle safety and the second digit to liquid.

All of the telephones on our record meet IP67 or IP68 requirements. IP numbers that begin with a six imply the machine options full safety from mud, and can keep at bay particles to the extent the place none can discover its means in. It’s the very best score presently accessible, and is taken into account “mud tight.”

To satisfy the IPx8 normal, the machine should proceed to operate usually after being left in water “constantly,” though the precise particulars are often right down to the producer. For instance, Samsung says the Galaxy S10 “will be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for as much as 30 minutes.” Drop that right down to an IP67 score, and the depth modifications to a meter, and safety is just for a short while.

Right here’s a complete breakdown of what all of the IP codes imply, if you wish to take a look at different scores. It’s price stating that whereas we name these telephones waterproof, they continue to be so for a restricted period of time at finest, and are technically water-proof. In different phrases, we don’t advise you to intentionally submerge any of them, particularly not for very lengthy, however it’s nonetheless good to not have to fret if an accident occurs.

How we check

Keys, pockets, smartphone. That’s how the mantra goes when most of us go away the home, making certain nothing important has been left behind. As a result of our telephones are actually such an necessary a part of our on a regular basis life, choosing the proper one requires the identical diploma of analysis as a brand new automotive, or a brand new pc. We all know this, which is why every cellphone we evaluate turns into a part of our on a regular basis life. We need to let you know what it’s prefer to reside with, earlier than you place down your cash.

We test our emails, play video games, take images (plenty of images), browse social media, watch video, and far more to see how the cellphone performs within the conditions you’ll most frequently encounter. On the technical facet, we’ll test the benchmark outcomes and dive extra deeply into the software program, however it’s common use that tells us what we need to know.

From this, and comparable expertise with different units available on the market, we will advise you on which mannequin to purchase. If it’s not price it, we’ll say, and allow you to know the rationale. You’ll know if we adore it too, as a result of we’ll sing its praises repeatedly. We use our telephones on a regular basis, and type fairly an attachment to them, so the choice on which one to purchase isn’t to be taken evenly. It is sensible for us to not deal with reviewing them evenly both.

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