Updated May 2017: The Galaxy S8 is now the best waterproof phone you can buy, though the introduction of the LG G6 and HTC U11 make for a crowded lineup.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

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Last year's best waterproof phone was the Galaxy S7, so it's no surprise this year's would be its sequel. Samsung made a number of important and meaningful improvements to the Galaxy S8, but it also left alone what matters: the phone's IP68 rating. That means it is safe to be immersed in more than a meter of water for a pretty good length of time and — more importantly — you can take photos and video underwater without worrying about covering it with a bulky case.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 is an all-around great phone that is a no-brainer if you're looking for the ultimate in waterproofing.

One more thing: Both the Galaxy S8 and the larger S8+ have the same waterproofing, but the regular S8 may be the better fit since it's more manageable in one hand.

Why the Galaxy S8 is the best

There's something nice about being caught in the rain.

It's truly reassuring to know that your phone can withstand inclement weather — whatever form that may take. The Galaxy S8 not only withstands wind, rain, snow, and other torrents, but it doesn't have to cover anything to do so; its USB-C port, speaker, and headphone jack are fully exposed and don't need any silly covers.

But water protection is only a bit of the Galaxy S8's story: it comes with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, along with 64GB of memory standard, and has a beautiful 5.8-inch Infinity Display that practically does away with bezels. It also has better battery life than the Galaxy S7, which means it will last longer when you're either walking down the street in your home town or walking the history of Machu Picchu.

Having a waterproof phone also allows for some cool underwater experiences: the Galaxy S8 can take photos and shoot videos below the meniscus, which saves you an expensive case and a bunch of anxiety.

Best for underwater photos

LG G6

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The first LG phone with waterproofing is also its best phone, period. The LG G6 does it all and adds IP68 water ingress protection to its already enviable spec sheet.

What's really cool about the LG G6 is that its dual camera setup is perfect for underwater photography; the main lens has a "regular" 71-degree field of view, but the second lens goes really wide, at 125-degrees, making it perfect for getting the entire vista in a single underwater shot. Add in great performance, an awesome screen, unique design and enjoyable software, and you have the perfect package.

Bottom line: The LG G6 is a great phone on its own, but if waterproofing is what you want, it's a fantastic option for those who don't want to go Samsung.

One more thing: The LG G6 supports Qi wireless charging, but only in North America.

Best for clean software

HTC U11

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Like LG, this year's HTC flagship, the U11, is also the first phone protected against significant water ingress. Unlike the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, though, it's IP67 water-resistant, which limits its splashiness to one meter of water for 30 minutes. That's still plenty of time to get your awesome underwater photos, though you may want to take photos of the HTC U11 instead. This phone is beautiful.

Featuring an amazing reflective glass build and all the spec fixin's, including a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM and an excellent 12MP rear UltraPixel 3 camera, HTC is back and better than ever. It's also got the simplest, cleanest and fastest software of the bunch, which, if you're yearning for a waterproof Pixel, is your best alternative.

Bottom line: The HTC U11 is an amazing phone made even better for its IP67 water resistance rating.

One more thing: It's a Sprint exclusive in the U.S., but if you're on one of the other carriers you can always buy it unlocked.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S line continues to reign supreme when it comes to waterproofing. This is Samsung's third waterproof flagship (after the misstep that was the Galaxy S6) and it shows: there are no port covers or seams anywhere here. But thanks to some innovative design, LG and HTC are nipping at Samsung's proverbial heels, and that's good news for anyone in the market for a waterproof phone.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy

Last year's best waterproof phone was the Galaxy S7, so it's no surprise this year's would be its sequel. Samsung made a number of important and meaningful improvements to the Galaxy S8, but it also left alone what matters: the phone's IP68 rating. That means it is safe to be immersed in more than a meter of water for an pretty good length of time and — more importantly — you can take photos and video underwater without worrying about covering it with a bulky case.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 is an all-around great phone that is a no-brainer if you're looking for the ultimate in waterproofing.

One more thing: Both the Galaxy S8 and the larger S8+ have the same waterproofing, but the regular S8 may be the better fit since it's more manageable in one hand.