Can 40 Feet of Cold Water Kill an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro?

How Waterproof Is the iPhone 11 Pro? Credit: CNET
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The iPhone 11 Pro is much more water-resistant than past Apple handsets, at least according to Apple.. Now, one news outlet is putting that claim to the test.

Every iPhone this year carries an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, which means they’re certified to withstand immersion in up to two meters of water for about 30 minutes.

Apple even says the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max can withstand four meters of water for the same amount of time.

But what happens if you take an iPhone 11 down to 39 feet in the chilly waters of a California bay? Teaming up with Sofar Ocean Technologies, CNET endeavored to find out.

The publication mounted a new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro to an underwater drone called Trident. It then sent the drone and attached iPhones deep into the Monterey Bay to see what would happen.

Here are the results, summarized:

How Waterproof Is the iPhone 11?

  1. After 30 minutes at 4 meters: Both devices survived just fine, although the iPhone 11 sounded a bit waterlogged. The iPhone 11 Pro also had some audio distortion.
  2. After 30 minutes at 8 meters: Both devices survived with their screens and cameras intact. CNET only notes that the iPhone 11 “sounded softer” than the iPhone 11 Pro in a subsequent audio test.
  3. After 30 minutes at 11.8 meters: Both devices survived, despite being three and six times deeper than the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 rating allows. Only the speaker performance on both devices were impacted — and after a few days, even this damage was fairly minor. CNET notes that they both “sounded less crisp and slightly softer at maximum volume” compared to two brand-new devices.

The end result, as we’ve seen many times in the past, is that iPhones can routinely outperform their IP ratings and come out relatively unscathed.

For the end user, that should mean that water — or beer — spills should pose no threat to the iPhones. You can even drop them in a pool or sink without any real danger.

If you plan on using it around water frequently and don’t want any minor damage to the speakers, we recommend getting a good waterproof case from our paid affiliate, Amazon.

Do note that you should not use your iPhone around any water when it’s plugged into a charger. This is incredibly dangerous.

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