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Waterproof & Water Resistant Phones FAQ

Waterproof and Water Resistant Mobile Phones FAQ

Are you interested in purchasing a Waterproof or Water Resistant Smartphone? If so then you might have some questions.

We aim to answer a number of common questions in this article. Of course if there's anything we haven't covered then why not drop us an email on or call us on 44 (0) 1202 552 936.

You can also view our full range of Waterproof Smartphones by clicking HERE.

What makes a phone waterproof or water resistant?

It's very important to make sure which of these two terms are being referred to when looking at these phones.

  • A waterproof phone has been designed so that it can be fully immersed in fresh water for an extended time.
  • A water resistant may only be protected from running water, splashes and possibly quick immersion if the phone is quickly removed and dried.

All of these phones will have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This denotes how resistant to solid particles and liquid they are. IP ratings are described in more detail below.

Some of these phones will be specialised for outdoor use and trades workers. These may also be referred to as rugged or tough phones.

Not every one of these phones is tough though. Some of the popular consumer brands such as Samsung and Sony have manufactured their phones to have water resistance as a key selling point.

The operating system won't affect the water resistance, but almost all of the phones Clove sell in this category will be using a version of Android.

Who are they for?

Well anyone really! We could all get caught in the rain or drop our phone in a puddle. With the rise in smartphone use there is also a rise in people dropping their phones in other less sanitary places that have water in them...

Specifically though rugged phones tend to be marketed towards trades people (builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, site workers etc.)

Specifically though, trades people and those who enjoy the outdoors; hiking, cycling, skating and other active pursuits could have a specific use for waterproofed phones.

Plumbers are an obvious category of workers! Also perhaps you happen to find yourself near ponds, rivers and lakes?.

Which manufacturers produce them?

There are various manufacturers producing rugged phones with differing levels of protection and target industries.

Sony - Sony started making their premium line of Xperia Z smartphones water resistant in 2013. They were the first major consumer brand to do so and it took a while for others to follow suit. There have been many Sony Xperia devices with water resistance, although you should make sure to check the exact specifications for each model, as the level of protection varies.

Zebra - (previously Motorola Solutions) - Develop Symbol products, some of the most popular devices with big business and corporations.

Cat - Recognised worldwide, the Cat brand has also become very popular in this category. Most of Cat's phones are better suited to the individual consumer. Cat have a number of phones at different specifications and prices.

Samsung - Better known for traditional consumer phones, Samsung so have the xCover range. Not hugely rugged but still offering some waterproofing and tougher screens than normal, xCover phones tend to be an affordable choice where just a little extra protection is needed.

ToughPhone - A bespoke brand developing the Defender phone.

How does Ingress Protection work?

When looking at details for waterproofing you will need to take note of the IP rating. You can read our blog post about these for a full breakdown.

IP ratings refer how well sealed the product is. Understanding the rating lets you know which conditions the phone can be exposed to.

The first number refers to solid objects and the second deals with water/liquid.

1st number (Solid particle protection)

The first digit recognises the mechanical protection as detailed below:

IP ratings figure 1 table

2nd number (liquid ingress protection)

The second digit illustrates the the level of water ingress protection the device offers, as detailed below:

IP ratings figure 2 table

How are phones made to be water resistant?

Water resitance can be achieved through a number of means.

Many modern devices have a sealed construction and non-removable battery which helps to avoid ingress. Those that do have a removable cover or battery often have internal rubber seals and screws to make sure the cover is firmly in place.

A big concern for liquid ingress are the ports found on smartphones, such as the headphone jack, USB charging port and SIM or memory card slots.

What happens if the waterproofing fails?

Hopefully it never will however not every product can be perfect all of the time. In the event of water getting into the phone, then you would either need to immediately contact the manufacturer directly or Clove Technology and let us know.

The phone would need to be sent to the manufacturer's service centre for an inspection.

Once the manufacturer has inspected the phone, they will inform you or us of their conclusions and wheteher the phone will be repaired, replaced or rejected.

Each manufacturer has their own policies and not all phones have the same level of protection as others. For instance phones which are made waterproof by securely closing rubber seals may not be repaired or replaced, should it be shown that the seal are working correctly, as this would indicate the user has not properly sealed the device.

Each case is treated individually and Clove Technology will always endeavour to assist you in achieving a fair outcome to any warranty claim.

Why choose Clove Technology for a rugged phone?

We are a UK based retailer that has been working in the mobile technology market for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We do not just want to sell you the phone – we want to ensure that it is the right choice for you.

Clove offers excellent after-sales care. In the unlikely event a problem develops with your phone, we ensure the amount of time you are without your phone is kept to a minimum and will deal with the relevant manufacturer on your behalf if required.

Clove maintains a close working relationship with manufacturers giving us excellent product knowledge. So if you are not sure which phone to choose, give us a call, or send an email and we will be happy to discuss your purchase, and answer any pre-sale questions you may have.

Full range of waterproof phones

We offer a full range of CAT, JCB, RugGear, Samsung, Sony and Zebra Symbol products.

Check out the full range, or if you prefer give us a call on 44 (0) 1202 552 936