The reason there was some concern with Google’s Pixel handset was because while many other smartphones are rated at IP68 or similar, the Pixel was only officially rated at IP53, which means it is almost impervious to dust, but that it is only really protected from water spray.
In reality though it seems like Pixel is much better at protecting its internal hardware than that. In a test conducted by YouTuber Harris Craycraft (via Ubergizmo) we can see that the phone works fine in partial submersion, when sprayed with a hose and ultimately still worked just fine after being fully submerged for 30 minutes.
To the original rating’s defense, the submersion was only in a couple of inches of water. To achieve the IPX7 rating for submersion, it needs to be able to handle being up to a meter below the surface for 30 minutes. It also needs to be able to withstand direct, high-pressure spray too.
Even if this test doesn’t suggest that the Pixel should be rated as high as that, though, it does tell us that it is better at dealing with water than the rating suggests. If you own a Pixel or plan to in the future, you can rest assured that it should be fine if you spray it with the shower, or drop it in a puddle.
It is probably still worth being careful should something like that happen — switching off the device and putting it in a bag full of absorbent material — but regardless, the Pixel is better at handling water than most people expected.