Xiaomi CEO explains why they are not making waterproof smartphones

Posted:  June 20, 2016   By:    19 comments   

Having a waterproof smartphone not only gives you peace of mind, but you can finally take it to more places like a bathtub or a swimming pool. With more manufacturers jumping onto the water resistant bandwagon, Xiaomi has refrained from doing so. In an interview, he gave two reasons why Xiaomi is holding back from waterproofing their devices.

The first reason is maintaing water resistance in the long run. According to Lei Jun, a smartphone’s capability to keep water out from its vital components will deteriorate even if there is a slight damage. That’s probably one of the reasons why Sony had backtracked from its waterproofing claims after years of promoting the Xperia Z series as waterproof smartphone. The latest Xperia X series was launched without any water resistance.

Keeping cost low is always important for a company like Xiaomi. According to Lei Jun, offering waterproofing would increase the cost by 20-30%. He doesn’t rule out that one day Xiaomi will eventually release a waterproof smartphone but that’s only when customers are ready to pay slightly more.

Would you pay more for a waterproof phone? Or can you live without it to keep the price low? Let us know in the comments down below.


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19 Comments for Xiaomi CEO explains why they are not making waterproof smartphones


I have done well without a waterproof phone and never owned one. I think I can definitely live without one.


yala, waterproof is really subjective. what if the user purposely dispose the usb port to water? what if the phone drop onto the ground and dispose the internal component to water? to come out with a phone with factory waterproof doesn't mean it will be always waterproof for daily usage~


    expose not dispose


I have gone through 4 waterproof phones and they are a wonder to me… having a waterproof phone while sea fishing and cycling is great


    you're right to say so. I guess it's just matter work or hobby exposure. For person who like outdoor and frequent water contacts, waterproof is definitely a good choice. For a person whose always sitting in front of desk with very minimal water exposure, some savings on the price will be a welcome sight.


Xiaomi phones is getting more expensive even without waterproofing, so i couldn’t imagine how much xiaomi phone will cost if water proofing is feature


Just make two version, one basic and another premium where premium is waterproof. That’s it.


    If they engage a manufacturer for waterproofing a certain model of the phone, most of the cost is already associated with that particular model. To not water proof that model would maybe save them 1 or 2 bucks per device but they have to down-sell it by 20% or more, which does not make any business sense.

    Therefore it is not possible to make 2 version of the same device considering cost and profit. To make 2 models in different price tier would again defeat the purpose of creating a cheaper device. In the end, its still not possible within their scope.

    Unless they have investors =) thus in the near future =D


rather than waterproof. Shock proof would actually more important. People tend to drop phone on ground more than in water

Derek Law

Smartphone with good battery life- >99% of buyers will want this

Smartphone with good camera- >90% of buyers will want this

Smartphone with fast processor > 60% of buyers will want this

Smartphone with water proof features < 5% of buyers will want this


    "Smartphone with good battery life- >99% of buyers will want this"

    From what I can see, most customers actually doesn't even care about their phone's battery life. Look at those razor thin phones. People are actually buying them even though they have pathetically small batteries because in their eyes, thinner phones look very elegant and high-tech.


      and one can always carry a powerbank for emergency charge 😀


    True. Having a phone that lasts the whole bloody day without having to carry a power bank like my colleagues is a blessing.


    Disagree for Malaysia in general:
    1. Price
    2. Camera
    3. Size
    4. Storage
    5. Processor/ Ram


My gf has an Xperia Z3 which she needed to send for repair a few times due to the phone dying after exposure to water; Sea water the first time, and bath tub water the second. It’s irresponsible for Sony not to provide waterproofing warranty and yet shows people taking photos with Z3 underwater in their advertisements.
I don’t think waterproofing is necessary for smartphones, but water resistance on the other hand would be useful for occasional splashes and exposure to rain.
Xiaomi definitely could consider making water resistant devices (like Mi4i and Moto G) and also add in stereo speakers for their flagships.


    They specifically said water proof isn’t for sea water. Ask your gf to properly read the instruction before dipping it in water!


With the negative reaction to international specs and pricing of the Mi5 recently, I think they have much bigger problems than waterproofing their phones!


After My Mi4 fell into the toilet bowl & fried the motherboard, I think waterwaterproof phones are vital.


I like this phone,,