With constantly improving technology, iPhone specifications are amazing. And, with this improvement comes better phone integrity and durability. But, the question remains: can you swim with your iPhone?
From iPhone 7 and newer, these phones are water-resistant with improving limitations as newer models come out. However, Apple doesn’t classify any of its phones as waterproof. And, their warranties don’t cover water damage. Although their technology is improving, post-swim care is essential to prevent costly repairs or replacements.
In this article, you’ll find what to expect with your iPhone (or the one you’re thinking of getting). And the best tips to prevent your phone from sustaining water damage.
Are iPhones Waterproof?
Before all else, it’s important to clarify the different water-resistant terms. The main two are being waterproof and water resistance.
Waterproof is when a device is completely impervious to water.
Water-resistant devices are those not impervious, so water can leak in slowly. However, it’s worth noting that most watches, even those for diving, are still only rated as “water-resistant”. Almost no manufacturer is going to claim their phone or watch is waterproof. It’s a hard thing to guarantee the life of the item.
Apple’s iPhone water rating includes a splash, water, and dust resistance but doesn’t mention any waterproof capabilities. So, what’s Apple’s stance about their phones?
|iPhone 7 & 7 plus||No||Up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone 8 & 8 plus||No||Up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone X||No||Up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone XS & XS Max||No||Up to 6.5 ft (2 m) up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone XR||No||Up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone 11, Pro, Pro Max||No||Up to 13 ft (4 m) up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone SE (2nd Gen)||No||Up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone 12, Mini, Pro, Pro Max||No||Up to 19.5 ft (6 m) up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone 13, Mini, Pro, Pro Max||No||Up to 19.5 ft (6 m) up to 30 minutes||No|
|iPhone SE (3rd Gen)||No||Up to of 3 ft (1 m) up to 30 minutes||No|
Since the 1st generation iPhone in 2007, Apple has released 34 models. However, Apple doesn’t claim that any model older than iPhone 7 is water-resistant.
Is iPhone 7 & 7 Plus Waterproof?
Appearing on the market in September 2016, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the 10th generation of iPhones. Although there are slight differences between the 7 and 7 Plus, they both have the same water resistance.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are both water-resistant to maximum depths of 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes. According to Apple, the 7 and 7 Plus models aren’t waterproof.
Despite saying that, one iPhone 7 Plus owner accidentally dropped their new phone in the ocean. Luckily, a stranger found and returned it to the owner with only a small crack on the screen. The 7 Plus still operated perfectly.
Needing at least iOS 12 or higher, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are good options for short swimming workouts. Though, to prevent any lasting damage, it’s important to wipe it down after being in the pool.
Is iPhone 8 & 8 Plus Waterproof?
The 11th generation of the iPhone came to the market in September 2017. Similar to the 7 and 7 Plus, there are improvements in specifications, except for their water resistance.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are water-resistant to maximum depths of 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes. So, Apple doesn’t consider them to be waterproof.
Is iPhone X Waterproof?
Another 11th generation iPhone, the iPhone X came out in November 2017. The main differences between the 8/8 Plus and X are the larger screen and better cameras. But they have the same water resistance.
iPhone X is resistant to maximum depths of 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes in water. The iPhone X isn’t waterproof, according to Apple.
One iPhone X owner was able to successfully take underwater photos and videos with his X. Though, it’s worth noting that he only had the phone underwater for moments at a time.
Although iPhone X is from the same generation as the 8 and 8 Plus, you’ll only need a minimum of iOS 11 for it to function properly.
Is iPhone XS & XS Max Waterproof?
Being the 12th generation of the iPhone, the XS and XS Max have better specifications like improved cameras and better displays after coming to the market in 2018. And, with these improvements, so is the water resistance.
iPhone XS and XS Max are not waterproof. However, they are resistant to water to maximum depths of 6.5 ft (2 m) for up to 30 minutes.
Anecdotally, a budding videographer successfully used their XS Max to film videos underwater. He states the two videos were 30 seconds long and taken in a 5 ft (1.5 m) pool. He dried it fully and, after charging, found it operational (though the FaceID stopped working).
iPhone XS and XS Max need iOS 12 or better to function well.
Is iPhone XR Waterproof?
Released in October 2018, the iPhone XR is another 12th generation iPhone. This model has a 5% bigger screen and is heavier than the XS/XS Max. However, the water resistance is lower than those models.
iPhone XR is another model that isn’t waterproof. But, it is water-resistant to depths of 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes.
However, one iPhone XR owner went for a swim before realizing their phone was still in their pocket. Although the sound was crackling initially, it was back to normal after drying.
With the higher specs than the XS/XS Max, the XR needs iOS 14 to make sure all the features work properly.
Is iPhone 11, Pro, & Pro Max Waterproof?
These three models are all part of the iPhone’s 13th generation. iPhone 11 is the lightest of the bunch. And, the two Pros have bigger screens and additional specs to the 11. But, these three models, have improved water resistance than previous generations.
iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max are not waterproof. However, the Pro and Pro Max are resistant to water to depths of up to 13 ft (4 m) for up to 30 minutes. And, iPhone 11 has a resistance of 6.5 ft (2 m) for up to 30 minutes.
An interesting amateur underwater drone study measured the integrity of the iPhone 11 against the 11 Pro. Going deeper than either recommended depth, both models only sustained minor damage and sound quality issues.
On release, each of these models needed iOS 13 to function but are all compatible with the later iOS releases.
Is iPhone SE (2nd Gen) Waterproof?
Part of the 13th generation, the 2nd generation SE iPhone came out in early 2020. It is a high-quality, low-cost option for many Apple customers. It is smaller and has fewer features and also has lower water resistance than its generational counterparts.
iPhone SE (2nd Gen) is resistant to water to depths of 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes. Apple doesn’t consider the SE 2nd Gen to be waterproof.
Although each user is different, a 2nd Gen SE owner brought their phone on a waterslide and had no issue with using it afterward. Though, it’s important to clean and dry your phone after being in the water.
Seeing as it’s another 13th generation of the iPhone, it also needs a minimum of iOS 13.
Is iPhone 12, Mini, Pro, and Pro Max Waterproof?
With the 14th generation comes 4 models of iPhone, which came to the market in late 2020. The main differences between these models are screen size, camera options, and additional specs. But, they all have the same water resistance.
The iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max are not waterproof. However, they have improved resistance to maximum depths of 19.5 ft (6 m) for up to 30 minutes.
With this higher water resistance, many users of all the iPhone 12 models have had no issues taking underwater photos and videos. However, all advise letting the phone dry first before charging.
Each model needs iOS 15 to function properly.
Is iPhone 13, Mini, Pro, and Pro Max Waterproof?
The newest generation of iPhone to hit the market in late 2021, these 4 models are similar to their iPhone 12 counterparts. Even though they are of higher specs than the previous generation, they have the same water resistance.
The iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max are water-resistant to depths of 19.5 ft (6 m) for up to 30 minutes. Apple doesn’t consider any of these models to be waterproof.
Even though these models are quite new to the market, they have had great overall success in the water. A handy tip from one owner is to fully charge your iPhone before pool use because the phone must be fully dry before charging.
Seeing as the iPhone 13 and its counterparts are part of the newest generation, they are compatible with the (current) latest iOS 15.
Is iPhone SE (3rd Gen) Waterproof?
The 3rd generation of the iPhone SE is part of the 15th generation and released in early 2022. Improving on the specifications from its previous generation, this model is capable of much more while still being cost-effective. But, it does have the same water resistance as its predecessors.
iPhone SE (3rd Gen) isn’t waterproof. However, it is resistant to water to depths of up to 3 ft (1 m) for up to 30 minutes.
Because of its recent release, there aren’t mentions of how it stands up against the real world. However, the consensus is that Apple’s products are incredibly well-made to resist water.
If you’re curious about how Apple watches fare against water, check out our article ‘Can I Swim with Apple Watch? Will It Damage It?‘
And if you are comparing iPhones and Samsung phones, you may want to know ‘Can I Swim with Samsung Phone? Is it Waterproof?‘
Does Apple’s Warranty Cover Water Damage?
Apple’s one-year warranty, otherwise known as AppleCare, doesn’t cover water damage. Nor does its extended two-year warranty (AppleCare+).
However, AppleCare+ does cover two occasions of accidental damage due to mishandling, including water damage. This entitles a repair or replacement if it happens within those two instances.
Will Pool Chlorine Damage iPhones?
iPhones 7 and newer are capable of going underwater. But, will the pool chlorine damage your iPhone?
With proper post-swim care, it is safe to swim with your iPhone as long as it’s at least an iPhone 7. Pool chlorine water is extremely unlikely to do any lasting damage to your phone with proper care. It’s best to rinse your phone in clean water after.
If you’re concerned about your iPhone’s integrity, there are plenty of waterproof cases and screen protectors available. These will give your phone that extra layer of protection from water.
Will Saltwater Pool Systems Damage iPhones?
Saltwater pools are still chlorine pools. However, they use salt to produce their own chlorine through electrolysis. If you’re curious to find out about the perks of owning a saltwater pool, check our handy guide ‘Saltwater Vs Chlorine Pool | Are Salt Pools Better?‘!
As with typically chlorinated pools, it is safe to swim with your iPhone (7 or newer) so long as you clean it afterward. However, with the addition of salt, there is a chance of corrosion of metallic elements.
The problem with saltwater pools is the composition of the water. If the water dries on the phone, the salt will crystallize and corrode the reinforced glass and metallic case.
So, if you have a saltwater pool, getting extra protection for your iPhone with a waterproof case and cleaning kit is a good idea.
Cleaning an iPhone After Swimming
Aside from protective measures, these tips will help keep your iPhone in pristine condition.
- When cleaning, make sure to wipe/spray down the phone thoroughly.
- If lightly rinsing, ensure it’s freshwater.
- It’s best to use a microfiber cloth to prevent accidental scratches.
- After ensuring that your phone is thoroughly clean (especially after use in a saltwater pool), leave it to fully dry before using/charging.
It’s worth noting that it can take several hours for the phone to dry so fully charge it before use.
What Can I Use To Swim with iPhones?
Apple’s products are great at holding up against water leakages. But, not everyone is willing to put that to the test especially if it’s a brand. So, what can you do to protect your phone?
This waterproof phone pouch has 4.4 stars from 3,612 Amazon ratings. It comes as a 4 pack and holds iPhones from iPhone 7 and onwards. And it’s certified to withstand depths up to 65 ft (20 m). However, some reviewers found it hard to use their phones through the casing while swimming.
This innovative cleaning kit has 4.4 stars from 2,632 Amazon ratings. It includes a multi-tool and earbud putty to ensure that your iPhone is flawlessly clean inside and outside. However, some buyers found that the integrity of the multi-tool didn’t stand up well against their dirty phone ports.
With a growing emphasis on being health conscious, swimming is a great option for people of all fitness levels.
Wanting to keep your phone on you is normal, especially if you use it as a workout tracker.
Apple keeps this in mind with their improving iPhones. But, if you want to take that extra protective step, there are plenty of options such as swimming pouches, waterproof cases, and cleaning kits to choose from.