OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera 3

Water resistance has become a key feature for almost every premium smartphone in the last few years, serving as a true indicator of a premium device. More and more smartphone manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, though, and while no phone is truly waterproof, most will survive a dunk in a pool. So here are the best devices to consider if you don’t want to worry about the weather.

Best waterproof phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best waterproof phones regularly as new devices launch.

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1. Samsung Galaxy S21 series

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra 1 1

Samsung has offered water-resistant flagships since 2014’s Galaxy S5 — except for 2015’s Galaxy S6 series. The Galaxy S21 series is no different, offering IP68 water and dust resistance. So your phone should theoretically withstand a dunk in the pool just fine.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: Ultra refined

The Galaxy S21 family also stands out thanks to some impressive specs, featuring a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor, up to 16GB of RAM on the S21 Ultra, big batteries, and great screens with 120Hz refresh rates. In plain English, you’re getting a speedy phone with a sharp, smooth display.

Samsung is also upping the ante when it comes to camera capabilities, delivering high-resolution sensors, 8K recording, and neat features like Single Take mode and Night Hyperlapse functionality. Just don’t expect a 3.5mm port, though, so you’ll have to venture back a few years to the S10 family if you really want a headphone jack.


Samsung Galaxy S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra S Pen peeking

Got a ton of cash to spend and want a waterproof/resistant phone with the best specs? Then the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might be for you. Samsung’s phone costs a whopping $1,300, but it certainly delivers a host of features.

You’ve got flagship silicon, a 120Hz OLED screen (QHD+), 128GB to 512GB of expandable storage, and a monster rear camera setup. The latter consists of a 108MP main camera, 12MP 5x periscope lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor.

Is it worth buying?: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — No longer setting the bar

Want a cheaper Note 20? Then the $999 standard model might be for you. It skips out on a 120Hz refresh rate, QHD+ screen, microSD slot, a 108MP main camera, periscope shooter, and glass design. But the two phones share IP68 water/dust resistance, wireless charging, and the same 10MP selfie camera. Still, you might want to look at the standard S20 if the S Pen isn’t important to you.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

3. Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro and Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra angled rear display

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you want to pick up Xiaomi’s latest flagship phone, you’ll have to splurge on the Mi 11 Pro or Mi 11 Ultra for waterproof capabilities. Although you’ll immediately notice the massive camera bump on the Mi 11 Ultra, the two phones are remarkably similar.

Our verdict: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review

Both devices are what you expect from 2021 flagships — Snapdragon 888 processors, hefty 6.81-inch displays, and durable IP68 ratings. You’ll also find up to 12GB of RAM and massive 5,000mAh batteries to keep you going at top speeds. Now, for the camera differences. It’s impossible to ignore the huge bump on the Mi 11 Ultra. It houses a pair of 48MP lenses and a 50MP lens, as well as a tiny display on the back.

Of course, the entire Mi 11 family consists of fingerprint magnets. No matter which one you choose, you’re going to leave your mark. Don’t forget — the standard Mi 11 is not waterproof, so you’ll have to spend a little extra cash.


Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 48
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

4. Apple iPhone 12 series

Apple iPhone 12 Pro waterproof

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

While we’ve managed to stick with almost all Android-powered devices on this list, we would be remiss to skip the iPhone 12 family. The four-device lineup packs a serious iOS punch, and each version is complete with an IP68 rating.

Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini is a perfect example of how far tiny flagships have come. It packs just a 5.4-inch display, yet it keeps up with the rest of the iPhone 12 series thanks to the A14 Bionic chip and powerful camera array. All four devices pack the same chipset, and this year’s iPhone 12 is the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro — a comfortable 6.1 inches.

What we thought: Apple iPhone 12 Mini review

If you’re not drawn in by the power of a pint-sized phone, you may want to consider the iPhone 12 Pro max instead. It’s the largest of the bunch at 6.5-inches, and it packs the same triple-camera setup as the iPhone 12 Pro. Both iPhone 12 Pro models offer up to 512GB of storage as well, while the non-pro options top out at 256GB.


iPhone 12 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.4-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 2,227mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.2

iPhone 12 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.2

iPhone 12 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • Chipset: A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.2

iPhone 12 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 3,687mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.2

5. Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo Find X3 Pro camera profile

2018’s Oppo Find X showed off a unique sliding design that turned heads upon its release, but it wasn’t water-resistant. Now, the Oppo Find X3 Pro has found a way to blend those futuristic looks into one of the best waterproof phones on the market.

The new phone packs plenty of 2021 flagship features otherwise, including a Snapdragon 888 processor, a QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 4,500mAh battery with blazing-fast 65W charging.

Our thoughts: Oppo Find X3 Pro review — Form and function, but not quite flawless

Half of the Find X2 Pro’s camera credentials are impressive, too, delivering a pair of 50MP cameras along with a telephoto and microlens for more niche shots. Unfortunately, we’re still looking at 4K video as the limit on the Find X3 Pro.


Oppo Find X3 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 50, 3, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Sony Xperia 1 II and 5 II

Waterproof Xperia 1 II

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Sony is the original big brand to offer water-resistant Android phones, and it’s keeping this tradition alive with the Xperia 1 II. The new flagship brings IP68 water/dust resistance while also being one of the few devices to offer a 3.5mm port. You can also go for a slightly more affordable approach with the Xperia 5 II.

Read: Sony Xperia 1 II review — A Sony phone I’d love to keep in my pocket

Both of Sony’s phones pack Snapdragon 865 chipsets, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery (with wireless charging). The firm is also touting a triple rear camera setup, featuring three 12MP sensors (main, 2x telephoto, ultra-wide) and a 3D ToF sensor.

It isn’t all perfect here, though, as the phones lack mmWave 5G support. But then again, sub-6Ghz is the dominant standard around the world. Furthermore, the Xperia 1 II retails for around $1,200, making it one of the more expensive flagships of 2020. The Xperia 5 II is a little easier to stomach at around $950.

Sony has finally announced its Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III if you’re waiting for a little bit more power. They bring the flagship into 2021 with a Snapdragon 888 processor and 12GB of RAM, as well as durable water resistance. Did we mention there’s a headphone jack? There’s not much more you can ask for in a flagship phone, but Sony’s latest are not widely available just yet. We’ll update this section once we know more.


Sony Xperia 1 II specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 4K
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Sony Xperia 5 II specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

7. OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro rear profile

OnePlus has carried over its waterproofing strategy into 2021, and the new OnePlus 9 Pro indeed packs an IP68 rating. Technically, the OnePlus 9 is a waterproof phone, too, though only on carrier models. This is presumably due to carriers footing the bill for certification.

What we thought: OnePlus 9 Pro review

OnePlus’ latest flagship packs the Snapdragon 888 chipset with 5G support, a relatively large battery, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The Pro also offers a corner-mounted camera complete with four total Hasselblad lenses. The OnePlus 8 Pro is among the largest in the company’s arsenal with its 6.7-inch display.


OnePlus 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 8MP, and 2MP depth
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Google Pixel 5

Waterproof Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5 series pales compared to most other phones on the list when it comes to pure specs. It opts for the Snapdragon 765G processor, just two camera lenses, and a physical rear-mounted fingerprint reader instead of an ultrasonic reader.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 5 review

Nevertheless, those on the hunt for a pure Android phone that’s water-resistant too can do much worse than the IP68-toting Pixel 5 family. You’ve got a speedy software experience, a 90Hz display that’s plenty smooth, and a form factor that’s a refreshing departure from today’s gargantuan phones.

Google’s phones are still top performers when it comes to photography as well, touting innovative features like Dual Exposure Control, astrophotography mode, and Live HDR. 


Google Pixel 5 specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP + ToF
  • Battery: 4,080mAh
  • Software: Android 11

These are our picks for the best waterproof phones on the market, but loads more devices fit the bill out there and coming soon. We’ll be sure to update our list as new phones are released.