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Best waterproof phones 2017

Water resistance is fast becoming a common feature for premium smartphones in 2017. A waterproof mobile can be played with in the bath, take selfies in the shower and survive an accidental tumble into the toilet. So while it’s far from an essential phone feature, waterproofing is definitely a reassuring bonus.

Of course, you’ll have to pay up if you want the benefit of a water resistant handset. It’s not a feature found on affordable or budget phones, and instead usually reserved for flagships - although you can find some mid-range mobiles with waterproofing. We’ve included these in the below list of the best water resistant smartphones you can buy right now.

Sony Xperia XZ

Price: £500
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: Sony Xperia XZ review

Sony was one of the first smartphone manufacturers to embrace waterproofing. Pretty much all of its flagship mobiles and even some of its mid-range handsets were fully water resistant, until 2016 when the feature was slashed from most Sony blowers to cut costs.

The Xperia XZ, Sony's latest flagship phone, boasts the usual slick Sony design, a powerful 23-megapixel camera and premium specs in every department. It's also the first water resistant Sony phone to hit the UK in some time, so you can take it into the bath to check your Facebook feed.

If you're after a decent camera too, the Xperia XZ certainly ticks that box. The laser-guided autofocus and built-in 5-axis image stabilisation combine for detailed, blur-free shots even when your subject is moving at speed.

You can pick up the Xperia XZ in three cool colours, with the forest blue version being our personal favourite.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Price: TBC
Release Date: Spring 2017
Our Review: Sony Xperia XZ Premium hands-on review

Sony first showed off its shiny new Xperia XZ Premium phone at MWC 2017, with the selling point being the first 4K HDR screen packed onto a handset. Sony's latest 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera makes it another strong choice for smartphone snappers, but it's media fans who will get the biggest kick from the Premium.

The Xperia XZ Premium is of course fully water resistant too, so you can enjoy some Netflix action on that massive, gorgeous display while reclining in the bath. 

Samsung Galaxy S8

Price: £679
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

Its look and feel herald the next generation of smartphone design, its feature-set is arguably the richest and most diverse on the market (we didn't even mention Samsung DeX, the new Gear VR and the new Gear 360 it plays nice with) and yet Samsung hasn’t thrown out what made its last flagships so good, only reworking and refining the great camera experience still on offer from the S7 twins.

Of course, at £689 SIM-free the Galaxy S8 is an unsurprisingly expensive way to jump on the waterproof phone bandwagon. There’s something special about the S8 however, enough so that it perhaps justifies its high price tag more readily than Apple or LG's flagship phones (see later for more on the iPhone 7 and LG G6, which are both water resistant too).

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Price: £759
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus hands-on review

If 5.8-inches simply isn't big enough for you, check out Samsung's S8 Plus instead. The Plus model is once again water resistant and sports even stronger specs, not to mention that larger display.

LG G6

Price: £699
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: LG G6 review

The LG G6 was the first essential flagship phone of 2017, until the Galaxy S8 came along. It's another mobile aimed at media lovers, with unique abilities such as the Dolby Vision support for enjoying realistic HDR visuals on the move.

In every other area the LG G6 succeeds just as strongly, offering dependable battery life, solid camera tech and a rather enticing design. And that waterproof finish means that you can enjoy some YouTube cat videos while splashing in the pool on holiday.

iPhone 7

Price: £649
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: iPhone 7 review

Apple's first water resistant phone was 2016's iPhone 7, along with its bigger brother the iPhone 7 Plus of course. However, if you already own last year’s iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, there’s little reason to step up to this model, despite that new waterproof design. Sure there’s a few other improvements thrown into the mix, such as the better-in-low-light camera, but nothing that’s worth that asking price.

That said, if you don't already own an iPhone, the 7 is a great place to jump in. With a solid feature set and great performance, this is an excellent water resistant handset.

iPhone 7 Plus

Price: £749
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: iPhone 7 Plus review

Fans of bigger blowers will likely look to the iPhone 7 Plus, rather than the reasonably compact iPhone 7. At first glance the 5.5-inch Plus model is merely a bigger version of Apple's standard handset, but there’s a lot more to this handset than simple dimensions. In fact, the 7 Plus boasts an exclusive dual-lens camera, making it one of very few smartphone snappers to come packing an optical zoom option.

Like the smaller iPhone 7, the 7 Plus is fully water resistant. So you can snap your gorgeous mug while soaping yourself in the shower.

Samsung Galaxy A3 2017

Price: £300
Release Date: March 2017
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 preview

If your wallet isn't fat with stacks, take a look at Samsung's Galaxy A3 2017 instead. This compact 4.7-inch phone is a great way to enjoy water resistance on a budget, offering a dinky design that's easy to handle. You get a 720p HD display, 13-megapixel rear camera and a smooth enough everyday experience.

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017

Price: £350
Release Date: March 2017
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 review

Sure, the Galaxy A5 2017 isn't a perfect mid-range phone, but it consistently hits all the key notes you’d expect from a device in its class. Happily, you get a distilled version of many of the Galaxy S7 flagship phone's better features, and that includes full water resistance.

If you're after premium design, solid camera tech and a fingerprint sensor on a stricter budget, then the 2017 revision of the A5 certainly delivers.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Price: £300
Release Date: October 2015
Our Review: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review

'Mini' versions of flagship phones are often hampered by watered-down specs and mediocre performance. Thankfully the 4.7-inch Xperia Z5 Compact bucks this trend, as you get the exact same awesome camera, gorgeous HD visuals and the accurate and responsive fingerprint sensor found on the bigger Xperia Z5.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

We also love the colourful, fun design, which is super simple to operate with one hand. And unlike the newer Xperia X Compact from Sony, the Z5 Compact is fully water resistant. Check out our long-term Xperia Z5 Compact re-review for our full thoughts.

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