Before the announcement of the Pixel and Pixel XL, we heard a rumor that claimed they would only be IP53 certified. This rumor made a lot of people upset before the phones were even official. The IP ratings measure a device’s ability to resists water and dust. IP53 is not a good rating. You’ve probably never heard of a device with this rating because it’s not even worth mentioning.
So what exactly does IP53 mean? We have an entire article about the IP rating system if you’re interested. The best rating you can get is IP68, which is what you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and most newer Samsung devices. The first number is for “solids protection” and the second number is for “liquids protection.” Here’s a handy chart.
By looking at the chart, you can see that the IP53 rating means the Pixel phones are protected against most dust and water spray. This is all a fancy way of saying the Pixel phones are like every other non-water proof device you’ve owned. A lot of people are disappointed because the Pixel phones are priced like premium devices, but they lack premium features. Most new Samsung phones and even the iPhone 7 can survive the water. It’s a tough sell when you pay over $600 for a device that can be killed by a pool.