Apple rates the iPhone 12 as able to withstand up to 6 meters of water for 30 minutes, and a new video from CNET puts that claim to the test with a pair of experiments. One tests Apple’s claim of 19.6 feet of water for 30 minutes and another to see if the iPhone 12 could beat that claim at 65 feet of water.
From the shore of Lake Tahoe, we positioned the iPhone on a mount facing the drone’s camera with the screen set to stay on, so we could see if anything happened to the iPhone while it was underwater.
After 30 minutes submerged in 19.6 feet of water at 52 degrees Fahrenheit, the iPhone 12 worked as normal, but the speaker sounded “a little muffled” in comparison to how it sounded before the test. Most importantly, things like the touchscreen, cameras, and buttons still worked properly.
The second test saw the iPhone 12 submerged in 65 feet of water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes:
Surprisingly, everything worked as normal. The screen was responsive, the volume and power buttons worked, and the two cameras were in working order as well. The speaker still sounded muffled when playing back the voice memo, but it was still audible.
After drying out for 72 hours, however, the iPhone 12 did develop fogging underneath the rear-facing and front-facing cameras. Eventually, it also displayed a Diagnostics prompt on the screen, and there was no way to circumvent this.
Our highly unscientific test would suggest that the iPhone 12 can withstand very deep water and clearly meets the IP68 claim. But, like all electronics, it does have a limit to how much water it can take and you should never intentionally submerge the phone in water (lake or otherwise).
You can check out the full water test video from CNET below. Have you had any water adventures with your iPhone 12 so far? Let us know down in the comments!