Is the iPhone XR Waterproof?

For a long time, Apple was playing catch up when it came to waterproof phones.

The first Android phone to include some level of water resistance was the Motorola Defy, released all the way back in 2010. In comparison, the first iPhone with water resistance was the iPhone 7 which launched in 2016. Since then, all Apple products have had some level of water resistance, although the exact levels of water resistance vary from phone to phone.

If you own—or are thinking of buying—an iPhone XR, then understandably you will want to know: is the iPhone XR waterproof? If so, just how waterproof is it?

Ingress Protection: What You Need to Know

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If you buy a waterproof phone, it will have an IP rating. Before we look at the iPhone XR specifically, it's worth getting a better understanding of what these IP ratings actually mean. 

IP stands for Ingress Protection. It's a measure of how good a device is at stopping things from getting inside. It doesn't just apply to water. IP ratings are two-digit numbers, and the first digit is a measure of how resistant the device is to solid foreign objects. The ratings are as follows:

  • •0: offers no protection at all
  • •1: protection against objects of 50 mm diameter or greater
  • •2: protection against objects 12.5 mm diameter or greater
  • •3: protection against objects 2.5 mm diameter or greater
  • •4: protection against objects 1 mm diameter or greater
  • •5: protection against dust
  • •6: completely dustproof

The second digit is the important one when it comes to waterproofing. This is a measure of the level of protection against water ingress. The values are as follows:

  • •0: no protection
  • •1: protection against drops falling vertically
  • •2: protection against vertical drops when the device is tilted up to 15 degrees
  • •3: protection against water spray
  • •4: protection against splashes of water
  • •5: protection against jets of water
  • •6: protection against powerful jets of water
  • •7: protection against temporary immersion
  • •8: protection against continuous immersion
  • •9: protection against high temperature and pressure jets

For example, an IP 68 rated phone would be totally dustproof and offer protection against continuous immersion in water.

The iPhone XR: IP 67

Is the iPhone XR Waterproof

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The first Apple phone to offer water resistance was the iPhone 7, which has an IP 67 rating, and this is the same level of protection that the iPhone XR offers.

In other words, the iPhone XR is completely dust-proof and offers protection against temporary immersion in water. While this may not sound hugely impressive, it is a huge step up from the iPhone 6 and earlier phones. If you dropped these phones in water even for a moment, there was a strong chance that they would sustain water damage.

Apple's own specifications state that the iPhone XR can survive immersion up to a maximum depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes. In other words, if you drop your phone into the bath, or into other shallow water, as long as you can retrieve it in under 30 minutes, it should still be functioning as normal.

Is the iPhone XR Waterproof in Real-Life Testing?

Is the iPhone XR Waterproof

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IP ratings based on lab testing are one thing, but how well does the waterproofing on an iPhone XR hold up in the real world?

Well, the answer may leave you pleasantly surprised. CNET did some experiments which involved submerging an iPhone XR into the Monterey Bay in California. They dropped the iPhone XR to depths of 2, 3, and 5 meters. In the third test, they submerged the iPhone XR at 5 meters for 18 minutes. When they pulled it back up, it was still working perfectly fine.

For their final test, they submerged the iPhone XR to 8 meters, which is 8 times the maximum depth suggested by the IP rating. By filming the phone while underwater, they were able to determine that the phone continued to function normally for 6 minutes and 50 seconds before finally giving up the ghost.

We don't recommend pushing your phone beyond its rated limits, but it's pleasing to know that your iPhone XR is able to go above and beyond its rating and still survive.

What to Do if Your iPhone XR Gets Wet

If you do drop your phone in water, there are some steps you should take to reduce the risk of damage.

Make sure you do the following:

  • •dry off any excess water
  • •power it off
  • remove any charging cables
  • •leave it to dry

Apple recommends leaving your iPhone for at least 5 hours to dry before trying to charge it again. The longer you can leave it, the better.

One thing that isn't recommended is the recurring trick of putting your iPhone in a bowl of rice to dry it out. Small fragments of rice could get into the ports and cause more damage than the water itself.

Keep Your Phone Protected

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As you've read, the short answer is: yes (to an extent). The iPhone XR is certainly not Apple's most waterproof phone, but it can survive a quick dunking such as if you were to drop your phone in water. It's also capable of surviving more extreme situations but we wouldn't advise putting this to the test.

If you're looking to keep your phone protected, a high-quality iPhone case is a great way to do it. The Unicorn Beetle PRO case was the first to win CNET's annual drop test and is perfect for protecting your phone. 

If you're looking to keep your phone safe, then check out this range of iPhone XR cases today.

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