The Google Pixel is one of the more impressive devices we’ve seen this year, both on the spec sheet and in person. However, one of the big things that it lacks is water resistance. While Google confirmed the device is water/dust resistant with an IP53 rating, that doesn’t really mean much.

So first of all, what does an IP53 rating actually mean? The first digit, 5, is resistance against dust. IP5X brings resistance to most dust particles, but it won’t keep everything out. The second digit, 3, is resistance against water. IPX3 is a low rating for water resistance, and only offers protection against “spraying water.” That basically means the device can handle small spills, a bit of rain, or being kept in very damp environments (such as a wet pocket) without suffering any damage.

As many of our readers have said, IP53 doesn’t really mean much and doesn’t at all compare to what we’ve seen on devices such as the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 7. However, it seems the Pixel might be able to hold up to a bit more than its rating claims.

YouTube user Harris Craycraft recently posted a video where he, rather daringly, tested the Pixel against water in various scenarios, and the device held up quite well.

The first test kept the phone face up in a shallow puddle. This didn’t involve full submersion, and is honestly the sort of test we would expect the Pixel to hold up in. The next was also relatively simple, spraying water on the phone. Again, this is what the Pixel should be able to hold up to, and it does.


However, the last test is where things are a bit more impressive. Here the Pixel is completely submerged in water for a full 30 minutes and it survives. Harris reports that the speaker still works as does the charging port.

While we don’t recommend trying this yourself, it’s good to know that the device may be able to handle water if it really needs to.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.