Water-resistance ratings are a key component of any smartphone — but is it something that the Google Pixel 5a is equipped with? While a lot of people stress over processors, displays, and cameras when buying a phone, looking at its protection against water is just as important. It doesn’t matter if a phone can play the latest games or has super-fast charge speeds. If it’s not safe to be around a pool, lake, or rainstorm, that can be a deal-breaker for a lot of potential buyers.
Unfortunately, this is something that’s long been an issue for Google’s Pixel-a devices. Marketed as Google’s budget smartphones, the Pixel-a lineup gets a lot right. The phones are built well, have capable chipsets, and take some of the very best pictures in their price range. Despite all of that greatness, Google has never outfitted its budget handsets with water resistance. Whether it was the Pixel 3a, 3a XL, 4a, or 4a 5G, none of the phones were officially protected against water of any kind.
So, is the same true of 2021’s Pixel 5a? Believe it or not — no! While the Pixel 5a isn’t completely ‘waterproof,’ it is the first entry in the Pixel-a series to feature water resistance. It’s annoying that it took Google three generations to get to this point, but it’s still progress nonetheless. As for the specifics of the protection, the Pixel 5a is backed by an IP67 rating.
With that IP67 rating, the Pixel 5a is protected against most situations that would have otherwise been deadly to past Pixels. It can survive being caught in the rain, falling into the sink, or being dropped into a lake. Along with splashes and water droplets, the Pixel 5a can be fully submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
It’s also important to mention that the IP67 rating protects the Pixel 5a against dust. If someone’s using the phone by the beach, in a dusty warehouse, or anywhere else with less than ideal conditions, the phone is designed to exist in those areas without serious harm. Google does note that the Pixel 5a’s water and dust resistance “are not permanent conditions and may be compromised due to normal wear and tear,” but this is a caveat that comes with any IP protection.
In short, the Pixel 5a is considerably more durable than any of its predecessors. It can survive water, dust, and it manages to be $50 cheaper than its Pixel 4a 5G sibling. We’d still recommend keeping the phone dry as often as possible, but in the event it does get wet, there’s no reason to stress over the situation. Dry it off, make sure everything’s running OK, and keep using it like normal.