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Is the iPhone 15 waterproof? Read this before getting it wet

Back of the yellow iPhone 15.
Apple

The iPhone 15 is one of the top phones out right now, and it has pretty solid built quality and resistance to typical use. Like many modern phones, it’s designed with a water resistance rating — but that doesn’t mean it can survive being full submerged in your pool. An Ingress Protection (IP) code will tell you about a phone’s  water and particle resistance, making it easier to compare different models. So, what does this all mean for the iPhone 15 series?

Are the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus waterproof?

iPhone 15 colors
Apple

Like their predecessors, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have an IP rating of IP68. The digits in this rating indicate the device’s resistance to solid particles and liquids. The first number represents the phone’s solid particle resistance on a scale of zero to six. The second number rates its liquid resistance from zero to nine. These ratings show that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are highly resistant to solids and liquids.

The IP68 rating means these phones are resistant to small solid particles like dust or sand and can be immersed in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of six meters (about 19 feet). In other words, these models are airtight and can withstand submersion without getting damaged.

Are the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max waterproof?

Color options for iPhone 15 series.
Apple

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, like the other models in the new iPhone lineup, come with an IP68 rating. Leading smartphone manufacturers have recently followed this standard for their flagship devices. The IP68 rating signifies that the phones can handle being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at depths of up to 19 feet and can also resist dust and other small particles.

Apple handsets have earned an IP68 rating since the release of the iPhone 11 in 2019. This rating ensures the phones can withstand various weather conditions and environments, making them durable and reliable for everyday use.

With the IP68 rating, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max offer users an added layer of protection, giving them peace of mind knowing that their devices can survive accidental spills, drops, and exposure to dust.

It’s important to note that these ratings assume the iPhone is undamaged. If there is a broken or cracked screen, there is a higher risk of exposure to harmful elements.

Is the iPhone 15 waterproof against salt water?

iPhone 15 in pink
Apple

You should understand that the IP68 rating certifying an iPhone’s water resistance only applies to fresh water, not salt water. This means that exposing your iPhone 15 to salt water pools or oceans is not recommended at all. Salt water can cause severe damage to the device over time, leading to costly repairs or the need for a new device altogether.

However, you do not need to panic if you accidentally drop your iPhone into salt water. If you retrieve it quickly, it should be OK. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the longer the device remains submerged in saltwater, the higher the chances of the salt corroding its internal components. For added protection, consider investing in the best protective iPhone cases.

What to do if you drop your iPhone 15 in water

While you know that you shouldn’t fully submerge or drop your iPhone 15 in water, accidents do happen and most of us have been clumsy with our phones at the wrong moment at least once or twice. But if you’ve dropped your iPhone 15 in water, you don’t need to panic. There are some steps you can take to minimize the damage.

First, and most obviously, get it out of the water as fast as possible. It’s much more likely to survive a quick dunk than a lengthy soak. Once you’ve retrieved it, if it’s still turned on then turn it off immediately. The device can short circuit if it tries to perform an operation while there is water in the components, so your best bet to prevent this is to turn if off completely.

Then, if you use a case, take the case off. The case will only hold water in the gaps between it and the phone and increase the likelihood of damage. You can also carefully wipe off any water which is visible on the surface. It can also be a good idea to pop out the SIM tray and wipe down both the SIM and the tray it sits in, then put these parts aside for now.

Next, your job is to encourage the drying of any water that is inside the phone. A popular option for this is to bury the phone in rice, as rice is supposed to help absorb moisture, but we don’t recommend this. You should rather leave it out in the open somewhere with good airflow to let it dry.

Alternatively, if you have any silica gel around — those little packets designed to keep things dry in shipping that usually say “do not eat” on them — this is perfect for the job. Seal the iPhone in a sandwich box with a bunch of these small packets and wait for them to do their job.

Now you need to wait for your phone to dry. This is important — don’t be impatient! If you turn your phone back on before the water inside has dried, you could ruin it. So wait for at least 24 hours before trying to turn the phone on. If it boots up, be sure to check all the functions still work, as there could be damage to the speakers, microphone, Lightning port, or SIM slot.

If your phone isn’t booting, you could put it back where it was for another day and hope that it dries out more thoroughly. But you might have to call it quits and take it to the Apple Store if it doesn’t work after that. You will have to fess up to dropping your phone in water as the technicians are likely to notice.

Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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