Water resistant VS water repellent VS waterproof: the differences

Mobile Phones

Written by:


Water resistant, water repellent and waterproof: the definition

Among the three terms, water resistant is the least powerful. Water resistant devices are able to stand the “attack” of water at some levels, not completely. Normally such devices are covered with a light coat of substance that enhances their ability to stay safe from the average penetration of water. For example, water-resistant devices can survive light rains, hand-washing, and sweats. However, this feature can wear off after long time use. You can find such feature in recent Sony smartphones like X Performance, XA, XA Ultra,…

Water-repellent is a higher level of water-resistant. Water repellent devices are able to repel water from them, or you can call them hydrophobic devices. The ones called water-repellent devices are usually covered by a very thin coat of nanotechnology. Water cannot stay on the surface of that coat, which can be located on the inside, on the outside or even both. Devices with that technology are more likely to survive water penetration than common ones


Last but not least, we have water-proof. If your smartphone is labeled “waterproof”, it is able to stay untouched after heavy “attack” of water, or in other words, it is impervious to water. Such devices can be placed in the water for hours without encountering any problem. Users can put these devices in their pockets while they are swimming or even scuba-diving.

Water resistant, water repellent and waterproof: How about smartphones?

There are many smartphones that come with water protection feature. Some of them are labeled “waterproof”. Some are labeled “water resistant”. However, if we consider the definitions above, none of smartphones nowadays are waterproof, except the rugged ones for military purposes like Sonim XP7, Samsung Galaxy S7 active,… So if you are having a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 or you want to buy an iPhone 7 in the future, don’t try to test its water resisting ability by extreme methods because that function may wear off after long time use.

Comments are closed.