Is the Pixel 6a water resistant?

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a
(Image credit: Google)

Is the Pixel 6a water resistant?

Best answer: Yes, but there are limitations. The Pixel 6a boasts an IP67 protection rating, which means it is water resistant and can withstand splashes, or even immersion in freshwater sources, but only up to a certain depth and for a short period of time.

What is an IP67 rating?

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Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are devised to confirm the electrical enclosure rating of an electronic device, like a smartphone, portable speaker, or smartwatch, that advises if it's protected from water and dust. Each IP rating indicated the specifics for what a device has been tested for, ranging from light rain to strong sprays of water and complete immersion, as well as for how deep and how long.

The Pixel 6a water resistance comes from its IP67 rating, which means it is rated to be water resistant but not waterproof.  That's an important distinction. It does mean that the device is protected against dust and airborne particles, as well as water and other liquids. It can it withstand being in a rain downfall, for example, the shower, or even falling into the snow (or toilet). It can also safely be immersed in up to one meter of water for as long as 30 minutes. 

However, the phone isn't completely sealed and waterproof such that you can go for a swim and dive underwater while snapping photos for hours. But if it drops in the pool or you want to grab it to check your messages or take a quick selfie while going for a swim, it should be just fine.

Limitations with the IP67 rating and Pixel 6a

Keep in mind, however, that there are a few things to consider beyond that. It's not advisable to place the phone in the direct line-of-sight of a powerful spray of water from a hose as the pressure, not necessarily the water, could damage it. 

IP ratings relate to freshwater sources, so you need to proceed with caution when it comes to heavily chlorinated pools and saltwater sources. Both could potentially damage any electronic device (yes, even fully waterproof ones). 

It's also important to note that the more times a phone like the Pixel 6a is exposed to moisture, the less water-resistant it gets. Google confirms this fact in its fine print, stating that "water resistance is not a permanent condition, and diminishes or is lost over time due to normal wear and tear, device repair, disassembly or damage." The company also notes that dropping the phone can also result in loss of water resistance.

To be completely safe and assured when it comes to the Pixel 6a water resistance, consider getting a waterproof case for the Pixel 6a, or even just a good rugged case, to add another layer of protection. We have rounded up some great cases for the Pixel 6a

If you need full waterproof protection, it might be better to splurge and opt for the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro instead, which boast a higher IP68 waterproof protection rating. But note that the same diminished water resistance applies to these phones as well over time.

Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.