One common complaint about Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL is that they’re not water resistant, a feature that’s becoming increasingly common among flagship smartphones. Now we know why Google made that decision.
In a recent podcast, Wired’s David Pierce says that he asked Google about why the Pixel and Pixel XL aren’t waterproof. The company’s response is that they just ran out of time.
According to Pierce, Google had had a plan for its phones, but blew those plans up at the end of 2015 and started from scratch. That means that they created these Pixels in less than a year, and in the rush to redo them and get them to market, some features (like waterproofing) were left out.
To listen to the explanation yourself, you can check out Wired’s podcast right here. There’s a lot of Google Pixel talk, but the part about waterproofing begins at around the 33 minute mark.
While not all current flagship smartphones are water resistant, many are, including devices like the Sony Xperia XZ, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s a nice feature to have because with it, you don’t need to freak out if your device accidentally gets dropped in a toilet or if you jump into a pool with it in your pocket.
Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are IP53 rated, meaning that they withstand “water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical,” so they might be able to survive some quick exposure to rain or something similar. That’s better than nothing, but it’s not quite the same as something like the Galaxy S7, which is IP68-rated and can withstand immersion in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
The good news is that despite not being as water resistant as some other flagships, the Pixel and Pixel XL are still solid devices that are worth a look if you’re in the market for a new smartphone. Just try to keep them away from water.