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OnePlus 6 teardown reveals it may be more water-resistant than we thought

The iFixit OnePlus 6 teardown reveals a device that's hard to open, but easily repaired once you get past the glass back. Also, lots of waterproofing.

Published onMay 23, 2018

An image of the OnePlus 6 held out in a person's left hand with the screen on.
  • The OnePlus 6 teardown from iFixit reveals a lot of waterproofing is inside the device.
  • While the phone has no IP rating and shouldn’t go in the water, it’s nice to know it would likely survive OK if it gets wet.
  • The overall iFixit repairability score seems a bit harsh for the device.

Venerable repair site iFixit just published its OnePlus 6 teardown. Despite giving it a mediocre repairability score of 5 out of 10 (more on that in a minute), the teardown did reveal that OnePlus took multiple steps to make the OnePlus 6 pretty water-resistant.

As many OnePlus fans noticed after the OnePlus 6 officially launched, the company does not give an IP rating to the device. It looks like the lack of an IP rating is not because OnePlus didn’t take water-resistance into consideration when designing the device, but likely because it didn’t want to give any guarantees to the device’s waterproofing – which can create lots of warranty issues and product returns.

OnePlus 6 review: the spiritual successor to the Nexus

Now, to be clear, the iFixit OnePlus 6 teardown doesn’t show that the OnePlus 6 is ready for a safe trip into the ocean. However, it does appear that the OnePlus 6 could handle some quick immersion and still survive OK (like being dropped into a puddle and then quickly picked up, for example).

What kinds of waterproofing did iFixit find? The first thing it found is that the dual-SIM card tray has an integrated rubber gasket, sealing the opening from water when it’s locked in place.

A closeup of the SIM card tray seen during a OnePlus 6 teardown.

Second, the teardown revealed black silicone seals surrounding most of the sockets on the motherboard. This is not new, as iFixit found the same socket sealing on the OnePlus 5. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the sockets are relatively safe from water intrusion.

Finally, iFixit also found sealing gaskets around the speaker grille, USB Type-C port, and headphone jack.

A closeup of the motherboard sockets seen during a OnePlus 6 teardown.

If you add this all up, you have a pretty water-resistant phone. We liked the way iFixit put it: “We probably wouldn’t jump into the pool with it, but it’s nice to have a little protection that doesn’t impede repair.”

Definitely take your phone out of your pocket before going for a swim. But even if you forget, it could very well survive.

Now, about the overall repairability score of 5 out of 10. iFixit concedes that the battery is easily removed from the OnePlus 6 and that many components are completely modular. This makes the device easy to fix if only one part goes bad. The company also enjoyed that all the threaded fasteners are standard Phillips style threads, minimizing the number of tools you need to take it all apart.

The major ding the device received is the glass back, which is hard to remove and easily breakable. However, it appears that once you get the glass back off, the insides are incredibly straightforward and well-placed for repair, so it seems kind of strange to knock off so many points for the glass back.

The other ding the OnePlus 6 received was due to the inherent difficulty of replacing the display. This is one of the most common repairs so it’s not great that OnePlus didn’t make it easier.

That all being said, it seems that the iFixit score is a little harsh. The iPhone X got a 6 out of 10, and iFixit compares that device to the OnePlus 6 in unfavorable terms numerous times throughout the teardown. It seems that the overall score is a bit biased, but you should read the whole thing for yourself and be your own judge.

NEXT: OnePlus 6: What’s great, what’s missing