Chilly breeze, cool water and warm sunlight - we've all been counting down to the three perfect conditions for hitting the beach or poolside this winter. Sadly, the same cannot be said for our everyday gadgets.
Smartphones will be carefully cradled away from sea spray, and speakers will be safely placed at a distance from the pool's edge. Shielding our vulnerable (and expensive) belongings takes the fun out of a fun outing. Here's where our list of water-resistant electronics can save the day, and they're easily available to procure before your next trip.
Water and metals never go well together. The electric components inside any device are susceptible to damage like corrosion, rust and malfunction. Luckily, most modern tech accessories, from sports earbuds to fitness trackers, boast something called an ingress protection (IP) rating.
Reza Moradi, an audiovisual producer, instructor at Canadian University Dubai, and an Adobe creative educator, explains how these ratings work. "For example, in IPX6, the number six represents how much the device can resist water - the higher the number, the stronger the resistance," he said.
Apple's iPhone 15 is tested for an IP68 rating, meaning the smartphone has the highest level of dust protection (level six) and can be fully submerged in 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes (level eight) without incurring damage. As we move down the line, an IPX7-rated device will withstand submersion in one metre of water only.
Note the type of water your electronics will be around. "IP ratings generally consider fresh water, so exposure to sea water, which contains salt, can have different effects on tech devices. It's crucial to rinse off devices with fresh water after exposure to sea water to prevent corrosion," advised Moradi.
As a general rule, your IP-rated devices should be rinsed after a trip to the beach. Even sand can "scratch screens and get into ports". For extra precaution, Moradi suggests using cases or covers designed to protect against sand and direct sunlight.
For now, browse the water-resistant options you'll want to bring along on your upcoming adventures. Whether you're planning to go swimming with music, read at the beach or take selfies by the pool, these IP-rated accessories below guarantee a worry-free time.
Shop our expert recommendations along with Amazon's best-rated water-resistant devices with Prime to get free, fast delivery.
1. Best Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4
- IPX7 rating - one metre of water submersion for 30 minutes
- 20 hours of battery life
- Simultaneously pairs with two devices
- Reverse charges devices like a power bank
- Doesn't come with a charging cable
If you're looking into portable speakers to add tunes to a poolside, their water resistance can affect "the low frequencies of an audio", according to Moradi. So you can expect a less punchy bass. Still, the JBL Charge 4 is fantastic for reproducing accurate bass, as its full-spectrum soundstage delivers balanced audio to all the listeners. It's IPX7-rated for protection against one metre of submersion in water for up to 30 minutes. You can have two smartphones paired from a safe distance and rave on for 20 hours straight. Reviewers call it one of the best outdoor speakers in the market and frequently use it by the poolside or the patio, surrounded by running water.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.
2. Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite (8GB)
- IPX8 rating - submersion in freshwater for up to 60 minutes and sea water for three minutes
- 8GB ROM for downloading thousands of books
- Adjustable warm light
- Glare-free display
- Doesn't have automatic rotating page orientation
A reading experience like no other - the Kindle Paperwhite (11th Generation) is virtually waterproof with an IPX8 rating. If you were to accidentally drop it into a body of freshwater or let the beach waves wash over the device, you'd be able to retrieve it with zero damage. Only, seawater submersion is limited to 0.25 metres and three minutes. This Kindle has a 6.8-inch glare-free display that reads like real paper, with powerful brightness levels to rival the sun's glare. Switch from white to warm amber light to adjust the screen to the eyes, and enjoy 10 weeks of battery life no matter where you are. Check out more e-reader options here.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
3. Best Water-Resistant Smartphone: Apple iPhone 15 (256 GB)
- IP68 rating - water submersion in six metres for 30 minutes along with dust protection
- USB-C charging port
- 48MP main camera
- Dynamic Island notification bubble
- Up to 20 hours of video playback
- Not too different from iPhone 14 Pro
Stay up to date with the latest flagship phone that offers water resistance. While the iPhone 15 may not be able to film underwater, it's completely safe for capturing unforgettable moments in splash zones. Rated IP86, the phone survives in up to six meters of depth for 30 minutes, and comes carefully engineered to keep out dust. You can trust its signature tough Ceramic Shield front and overall aluminium design for a durable handset. It houses the iconic A16 Bionic chip, which brings Dynamic Island bubble alerts and a 48MP main camera to the iPhone 15. You don't have to string along a separate cable, either; just borrow a friend's USB-C cable to charge at the hangout.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh302.42 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh227, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh380 and a two-year damage protection plus a one-year extended warranty for Dh484.
4. Best Swimming Headphones: Sony NWWS413B Headphones
- IP65/68 rating - submersion in up to two metres of salt water and dust
- Withstands extreme water temperatures
- Ambient Mode for listening to the outside world
- Stores 4GB of music without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Can't load music from streaming apps
Ocean-ready and phone-free, Sony's Sports Walkman lets you dive into open waters with weather-resistant elements. Also our expert's choice, these swimming headphones can load up to 4GB of music on-body, which plays loud and clear at two metres of depth, even in salt water. Its IP65/68 ratings additionally mean that the pair has a sealed design that protects it against sand, dust and grit. Not to mention, it can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -5 to 45 degrees Celsius. They arrive with special swimming earbuds and standard earbuds for out-of-water use. Reviewers say that the headphones don't dislodge from the ears in water, and those who train seriously prefer the MP3 player format that doesn't tie them down to Bluetooth.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh47.
5. Best Underwater Camera: GoPro Hero12 Waterproof Action Camera
- Waterproof in 10 metres of depth
- Hydrophobic lens cover for clear shots underwater
- Shoots in up to 5.3K resolution at 60fps
- Excellent video stabilisation
- Doesn't come with a carrying case
For the ultimate underwater action, trust the GoPro Hero12 to accompany you in deep waters. The action camera is waterproof in up to 10 metres of depth, with a hydrophobic or water-repelling lens cover that keeps your shots crystal clear. Film 5.3K and 4K video in HDR via the 27MP sensor, and you don't have to be a pro to do it - the award-winning HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilisation turns the roughest shots into the smoothest footage. Even if you were to continuously record at 5.3K/60fps, which is the highest resolution, its powerhouse of a battery gives you 70 minutes nonstop. Compared to previous iterations, the Hero12 doesn't overheat as much. Reviewers have taken the camera on snorkelling and kayaking trips, as well as water rides at amusement parks.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh112.42 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh80 and two years for Dh113.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.