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Is the Pixel 7 series durable? We explain how likely it is you'll break it

Here's how much punishment this flagship phone can handle.
By
October 20, 2022
Google Pixel 7 standing lock screen center
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Pixel 7 is flashy and exciting, but a phone must also be tough enough to stand up to daily use. The durability of the Pixel 7 involves some numbers and buzzwords, so it might be tricky to figure out how much it can withstand. We’ll break down just how durable it is and how the Pixel 7 stacks up against the competition.

How durable is the Pixel 7 series?

Screen

A top down view of a Pixel 7 Pro with its display on.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

We can measure a phone’s durability in a few ways, and one of these that Google trumpeted was its use of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. Smartphone makers have been using Gorilla Glass and other forms of toughened glass for a while now, so that’s not new but it’s still pretty impressive. Corning claims a Victus-covered screen can withstand a drop of up to two meters. However, real-world drop tests often show that phone screens still crack after a drop, no matter how tough the glass. Still, the stronger the glass the more likely it is the phone will survive.

While Gorilla Glass Victus claims robust drop resistance, it's still best to avoid letting your phone fall to the floor.

Another perk of Gorilla Glass Victus, according to Corning, is greater scratch resistance. Historically, Corning has had to make a tradeoff between drop and scratch resistance, but they say Victus solves this problem. As a result, you can feel a bit more confident tossing your phone into a pocket or bag. Still, we suggest you get a phone case for your Pixel 7 or 7 Pro anyway.

Back

Around the rear of the Pixel 7, you’ll find the same Gorilla Glass Victus as the front, so there’s not much difference here. Note that, like on most other smartphones, the camera lenses live here, too. You should keep these free from scratches and dirt to ensure you get the best possible picture quality. Also, remember that camera lenses use specialized sapphire glass, which doesn’t share the same durability rating as Gorilla Glass.

Waterproofing

The other big feature of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro‘s durability is their IP rating. These phones have an IP68 rating, which means they can withstand immersion in water around 1.5 meters deep for about 30 minutes. Note that this doesn’t technically make them waterproof, but it does mean moisture should be less of a concern. At least initially. Like all phones, the water resistance of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will degrade over time.

How tough are the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro compared to other flagships?

Now that we know how the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stack up in terms of durability, we can compare them to other flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S22

A Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra showing its home screen. It restson a wood surface outdoors.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 also boasts a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, which means it’s theoretically able to withstand similar drops and scratches as the Pixel 7. It has an IP68 rating as well, just like the Pixel 7.

iPhone 14

An Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max resting on a carpeted surface showing its always on display.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

It gets tougher to compare Apple’s phones head-to-head to the Pixel 7 due to the fact that Apple uses a “custom ceramic shield” glass on its flagship phone. However, Corning still makes it. Around the back, the iPhone 14 lineup uses a “dual-ion” glass cover. Because of these reasons, it is difficult to say how it stacks up to the Pixel 7 regarding screen durability.

It is easier to compare the two phone’s IP ratings, as both are IP68-rated. But there is a little more to the story. The iPhone claims it can survive immersion up to a maximum depth of up to six meters for 30 minutes. The Pixel 7, in contrast, only specifies around 1.5 meters of survivable depth.

Sony Xperia 1 IV

A Sony Xperia 1 IV showing its homescreen resting next to a pair of headphones and a plant.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Sony Xperia 1 IV uses a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, so we can compare those aspects with the Pixel 7 pretty well. Things get a little more complicated regarding water and dust resistance.

The Sony Xperia 1 IV rates its water resistance to IP65 but its dust resistance to IP68. That means it is rated to withstand water jets but not total immersion, unlike the Pixel 7. It will keep as much dust as the Pixel 7, though.

Asus ROG Phone 6

An Asus Rog Phone 6 Pro X Mode being held by a hand showing its homescreen.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Gaming phones aren’t always known for durability, but the Asus ROG Phone 6 boasts a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, just like the Pixel 7. However, its back is made from Gorilla Glass 3, making it less durable in that arena.

However, the ROG Phone 6 has a far lower IPX4 rating. That means it can withstand light splashes and drips but nothing more. In contrast, the Pixel 7, with its IP68 rating, is much more durable.

Asus Zenfone 9

An Asus Zenfone 9 showing its homescreen sitting on a wooden desk.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Unlike its gaming causing, the Asus Zenfone 9 stacks up head-to-head with the Pixel 7. This phone also has a Gorilla Glass Victus screen and an IP68 rating, putting it on par with Google’s flagship.

Nothing Phone 1

A Nothing Phone 1 resting on a knitted, patterened blanket showing its homescreen.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 1 is a bit less durable overall than the Pixel 7. It has an IP53 rating, so splashes aren’t a big deal, but you should avoid anything more than that. Likewise, the Nothing Phone 1 has a Gorilla Glass 5 screen, which is not as drop or scratch resistant as the Victus screen on the Pixel 7.

Xiaomi 12T

A Xiaomi 12T Pro being held by a hand showing its homescreen in front of a blurry green tree in the background.
Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12T and 12T Pro lineup have no IP rating, already knocking them down in durability versus the Pixel 7. Furthermore, their screens use Gorilla Glass 5, so they also fall short of the Pixel 7.

OnePlus Pro 10

A OnePlus 10 Pro seen in a top down view on a table with its home screen shown on its display.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The headlining phone of the OnePlus lineup, the OnePlus Pro 10, uses a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, so it’s the same as the Pixel 7. On the other hand, the back of the OnePlus Pro 10 is Gorilla Glass 5, making it less durable than the Pixel 7 in that regard.

But this phone is downright odd when it comes to IP ratings. The only IP68-rated variant of this phone is from T-Mobile. Everyone else doesn’t officially get that. According to OnePlus, every variant goes through the same testing, but still, that’s nothing like the Pixel 7, which always has an IP68 rating no matter where you buy it.

Frequently asked questions about the durability of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Not technically. The Pixel 7 is IP68-rated, like many other smartphones. That means it can withstand a dunk into water around 1.5 meters deep for about 30 minutes. It cannot withstand extended immersion or very deep water, however.

It is probably best to snag a phone case as insurance against bumps and drops. After all, you probably take your phone everywhere, which introduces the chance for all sorts of accidents.