A hand holding a smartphone with the camera open, viewing over the ocean and islands

Accidents happen. No matter how careful you are, one day, you might drop your smartphone in a puddle, spill a drink on it, or get caught in a heavy downpour that soaks it (and you) completely. Years ago, this would have ruined your smartphone. Recently, though, smartphone brands have increasingly made it a priority to include waterproofing technology in their devices. But while most phones these days have some degree of water protection, it probably comes as no surprise that there are different levels of waterproofing in smartphones.

Are smartphones waterproof in the strict sense of the word? It’s important to remember that no phone is 100% waterproof. Exposing any smartphone to water continuously for a long enough time will eventually cause some damage. Other factors play a part too. For example, salt water and chlorine are more destructive to your smartphone’s circuits than fresh water.

Technically, most waterproof smartphones can more accurately be described as “water-resistant”. The different levels of waterproofing in smartphones are ranked by Ingress Protection (IP) ratings. These ratings are official measurements of a phone’s resistance to water and dust.

What about refurbished smartphones? These second-hand smartphones have been tested and repaired if necessary to make sure they’re fully functional before being resold. Can you buy a refurbished smartphone and expect the same high levels of water resistance as a new model?

This article explores the different levels of waterproofing in smartphones, whether refurbished smartphones are waterproof and the best waterproof smartphones that you can buy second-hand. Get your hands on a great waterproof refurbished smartphone, and you’ll have nothing to fear from a simple splash.  


Levels of Waterproofing

How do you know whether or not smartphones are waterproof, and to what degree? It’s all in the I.P. rating, set by the International Electrotechnical Commission. IP ratings are made up of two numbers: the first tells you how many solid particles (dust, dirt etc.) your phone can take and ranges from one to six. The second indicates how much water it can tolerate and ranges from one to nine. The higher the number, the higher the level of protection your smartphone has.

Your chance of coming across a smartphone with an IP00 rating is slim to none because even having an enclosure around the contents protects it to some degree. Most of the smartphones you come across will be IP67 or IP68.

Here is what the different levels of waterproofing in smartphones mean in more detail.

1: Protected from vertical drops of water

2: Protected from drips of water at a 15° angle

3: Protected from sprays of water from any direction

4: Protected from splashes of water from any direction

5: Protected against jets of water from any direction

6: Protected against powerful jets of water spraying from any direction

7: Able to withstand immersion in water at a depth of between 15 cm and one metre for up to 30 minutes.

8: Able to withstand immersion in water under pressure at a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes.

9: Able to withstand high-pressure and high-temperature water jets. It can survive 30 seconds of 14-16 litres of water from multiple angles at an 80-degree Celsius temperature.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy 14 Pro has an IP68 rating, which means it’s protected from both dust and water damage at an extremely high level. If one of the digits has been replaced with an X, it means it hasn’t been tested for that element. For example: a phone with an IPX8 rating hasn’t been evaluated for dust resistance.   

A smartphone being splashed with two streams of water from the top and bottom.

Does Refurbishing Affect a Smartphone Waterproof Level?

Refurbished smartphones are sold by manufacturers or retailers who have put them through a strict testing process and prepared them for resale. This includes erasing all the previous owner’s data and making sure every part, from the screen to the speaker, still works.


You may have heard that once a phone has been refurbished, it’s no longer water-resistant. But is that true? How does the refurbishing process impact the different levels of waterproofing in smartphones?


Here’s some good news: while the answer to that question depends a lot on the seller you buy from, you can generally expect refurbished phones to come with their original IP ratings.


OzMobiles’ refurbishing process doesn’t alter the IP rating. All of the devices we sell have their original parts, and you can expect them to be as water-resistant as store-bought ones.


Like all refurbished devices, OzMobiles’ smartphones are sold in grades according to what kind of condition they’re in. Each phone we sell comes with the details listed on our website, so you always know exactly what you’re getting, right down to the IP rating.


To save some money, you may choose a particularly affordable model or buy a phone with a few more chips and cracks. What you never have to do is guess at what you’ll receive. All of our information, including the different levels of waterproofing in smartphones, is right there on our site.


Best Waterproof Refurbished Smartphones

If you’re looking for the best waterproof smartphone you can find, you have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prefer iPhone or Android, these are some of the best refurbished waterproof smartphones available on the market:

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Boasting an IP68 rating, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is able to survive being submerged in about 20 feet of water for as long as 30 minutes. On top of being at the upper end of the different levels of waterproofing in smartphones, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a quality phone in many other departments. It’s a high-performance phone with a generous battery life and top-notch cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

One of the best waterproof Android phones that money can buy, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an IP68 rating and lasts for up to 30 minutes underwater at a depth of five feet. The built-in S Pen stylus is great for sketching or taking notes on the go, while the adaptive refresh rate automatically adjusts to make the task you’re on run smoother.

Google Pixel 7

Powered by the Google Tensor G2 chip, this slick Google smartphone has an IP68 rating that makes it capable of withstanding immersion in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The Google Pixel 7 also comes with a first-rate camera setup and excellent editing features.  

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is one of the more affordable examples of the best waterproof smartphones out there. Despite its lower price, it’s still a fast-performing phone with terrific photo quality and an IP67 water resistance rating.


Keep in mind there are waterproof smartphones available that didn’t quite make this short list but are still excellent. 


Buy Refurbished Smartphones at OzMobiles

A women dipping her toes into a pool holding a smartphone and wearing a straw hat.

OzMobiles has a massive range of great iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones and other Android phones. All of our phones are 100% fully functional and sold with 12-month warranties and 30-day money-back guarantees, and many of our smartphones are waterproof.


When you buy refurbished phones from OzMobiles, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars and get an amazing deal. Plus, your new smartphone is well-equipped to handle a spill or two.


To find out more and to ask us any questions, contact the OzMobiles team

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