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Is Pixel Fold waterproof?

Back in the summer of 2023, Google unveiled its first-ever foldable device, the Pixel Fold. You might be curious about its water resistance – and, as usual, the answer isn’t straightforward.

Many tech companies tout different levels of water resistance, claiming their devices can withstand depths like 6 meters for 30 minutes or 1.5 meters for the same duration. However, these figures can sometimes be overstated. It’s essential to recognize that the Pixel Fold is water-resistant, not waterproof; this distinction has significant implications.

Google has given the Pixel Fold an IPX8 rating, placing it at the forefront of foldable device technology. Samsung’s line of foldable phones also meets this high standard.

To fully grasp what this rating means, understanding the IP rating system is key. The rating consists of two numbers: the first represents protection against solid objects such as dust, and the second indicates the level of liquid protection.

With an IPX8 rating, the Pixel Fold has no designated protection against dust (hence the ‘X’), a notable risk factor for foldable devices. Dust can be particularly harmful in environments like beaches.

Regarding liquid protection, the Pixel Fold is designed to be submerged in fresh water up to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes without sustaining damage. For context, an IPX7 rating would mean protection in water up to 1 meter deep simultaneously, whereas IPX8 offers a higher level of protection against deeper water immersion.

Over time, the water resistance of electronic devices, including the Pixel Fold, can diminish. This is a result of regular wear and tear. Initially, the Pixel Fold offers solid water resistance, which can weaken, potentially exposing the device to water damage.

Is Pixel Fold waterproof in real-life experience?

While I’m not inclined to risk my device with extreme underwater tests, my experience with the Pixel Fold in everyday scenarios has already demonstrated its resilience. Over three months of use, the phone has been repeatedly exposed to rain and even took a tumble into the snow. After this snowy incident, there was a notification to wait for the charging port to dry, and after 20 minutes, I could charge my phone. Throughout all this, there have been no issues related to water ingress.

However, the question remains: can the Pixel Fold withstand an accidental plunge into a full bathtub or a swimming pool? To find an answer, I turned to YouTube. The videos show that the new Pixel comfortably survives a minute’s dunk in a water bowl. There’s even footage of the Pixel being used for underwater filming in a pool. Post-experiment, the device continued to work fine, though there were temporary random screen glitches and an inability to charge the phone for some time after the immersion.

Nonetheless, I must emphasize that I still wouldn’t recommend using the Pixel Fold for underwater photography. The risk of damaging the phone in such conditions remains high, especially if it has been used for a while and its water-resistant properties may have diminished. Besides, considering the hefty price tag of $1,800, it seems imprudent to gamble with such an expensive piece of equipment.

Is there a water-damage warranty for the Pixel Fold?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Pixel Fold, Google makes it clear that water damage falls outside the scope of the user’s responsibility. To quote their policy directly, “Damage from accidents or external causes, such as water damage, is not covered by warranty.” This means that any hope of relying on the warranty in the event of water damage is misplaced – it won’t offer any help.



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