Who says electronics and water don’t mix? Smartphones that can handle the rain, a dunk in the bath, or a tumble into a puddle aren’t the rarity they once were, and we’re not only talking about underpowered, basic phones covered in chunky rubber either. Today, some of the very best smartphones you can buy aren’t afraid of the wet stuff.
Maybe you work outdoors; are tired of being afraid of having something spilt on your precious phone; or you just want to Tweet while you shower in the morning. Whatever the reason, a water-resistant smartphone is at the top of your shopping list. The question is, which one is the best for you?
Here are our top four phone picks, plus some cases if you don’t want to change your existing device, to make your search much easier.
Why should you buy this: It’s the same brilliant phone in three different styles, so there’s something for everyone.
Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a high-powered flagship phone that’s waterproof
How much will it cost: $650-$750
You want a gorgeous smartphone with the latest tech inside, plus a super curvy screen? Then pick up the Galaxy S7 Edge. You’d prefer a tougher body that’s not only water resistant, but also capable of surviving knocks and drops? Then the Galaxy S7 Active is for you. Don’t care about any of these things and just want a brilliant phone that will survive a dunking? The regular Galaxy S7 fits the bill.
That’s why Samsung’s Galaxy S7 lineup tops our list. The same phone is available in three different styles, all with essentially the same technology inside. The S7, S7 Edge, and the S7 Active all use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, have 4GB of RAM, and the same excellent 12-megapixel camera on the rear and 5-megapixel camera on the front. On the software side, all three have Android 6.0 Marshmallow installed from the factory, with Samsung’s own TouchWiz user interface over the top. making it look a little different to Android on other phones.
The differences in specification come with the screen and the battery. The S7 and S7 Active have a 5.1-inch display with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, while the S7 Edge increases the size to 5.5-inches. The battery changes between all three. A 3,000mAh cell is inside the Galaxy S7, while the S7 Edge gets a 3,600mAh cell, and finally the S7 Active has a larger 4,000mAh battery for more usage time.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge aren’t very rugged, but share the same IP68 water resistance rating, making them capable of surviving in up to 1.5 meters of water for around 30 minutes. Because the bodies are made from glass, they won’t handle a fall onto a hard surface, though. That’s where the S7 Active comes in, It has a rugged body that meets MIL-STD-810G standards, and the IP68 certification.
Samsung’s decision to spin-off the S7 into three distinct models is a good one, it gives a versatility that’s impossible to find elsewhere, and the fact the same technology is found in all three makes it hard to recommend any other water resistant smartphone in the same way. Whichever you pick, you’ll be happy.