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Is the Nothing Phone 1 waterproof? What its IP53 rating really means

The Nothing Phone 1 has a strong specification sheet, particularly for its price, but does that include waterproofing or water resistance? After all, durability is very important, and many of Nothing’s competitor phones have IP ratings, making them safe to use in the rain or even if you drop the phone in water.

The good news is the Nothing Phone 1 does have water resistance and an IP rating, but it’s an IP53 rating, which is different from the IP68 rating you may be more familiar with. Before we go into what this means, it’s important to point out that no smartphone is 100% waterproof, not even if they have an IP68 rating. They’re all water resistant to varying degrees, though.

Nothing Phone 1 held in hand showing the Glyph Interface.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What does the IP53 rating for the Nothing Phone 1 mean? The answer is in the numbers. The number five relates to the level of protection provided against particles and dust, which here means the phone’s operation won’t be affected by any dust or particles that enter. It’s not fully protected against dust entering, but if it does, then it shouldn’t stop the phone from working.

The Nothing Phone 1 has limited water resistance

Moving on to the second number, this refers to how much it’s protected against liquids. The number three shows it’s resistant to sprayed water, crucially not under pressure, and at an angle, in tests lasting for five minutes. This means the Nothing Phone 1 should be fine for use in the rain, if it gets wet from your hands or ear, and mostly if water is accidentally spilled on it. But it does not have sufficient levels of waterproofing/water resistance to withstand being held under a tap or dropped into a bath.

An IP53 rating does provide some peace of mind, in that — under normal circumstances — the Phone 1 will not stop working at the first hint of dust or water. However, it does not make it impervious to either, and therefore care should still be taken. What if you want a higher degree of protection? We recommend taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy A53, which costs around the same as the Nothing Phone 1 but has an IP67 rating.

According to Samsung, this means the Galaxy A53 is fine to be immersed in, “up to one meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.” Samsung adds the caveat this does not protect against salt or soapy water and is for low water pressure water jets only. It doesn’t specifically mention the dust protection, but the number six is the highest rating possible and means the phone should not let any dust inside at all.

On paper, the Galaxy A53 has a higher level of protection, but it’s still not fully waterproof, and care is required to keep it safe. The Nothing Phone 1 will need just a little more care, but under normal circumstances, its IP53 rating should be adequate to keep the phone operational if it gets slightly dusty or wet.

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