Google was largely criticized last year when its first ever “Made by Google” Pixel phone didn’t come with a suitable IP dust and waterproof rating. Although still not the highest possible, the Pixel 2 this year does considerably better with an IP67 score. It seems, however, that Google has done one small extra step in that direction, which was revealed when JerryRigEveryhing’s Zack Nelson took the already battered Pixel 2 apart. Fortunately it ends on a somewhat good note this time.
Waterproofing on smartphones basically means plugging up any possible entry point for liquid, be it water or moisture. That in itself is a rather difficult feat considering the number of holes in a smartphone. While some, now including Google, have resorted to removing the headphone jack for that reason, that still leaves the charging port open.
Of course, that is solvable, otherwise we wouldn’t have waterproof phones. Google, however, has gone the extra mile and added something you might have never heard of, at least not in a smartphone. Nelson discovered the presence of dielectric grease around the rubber ring of the USC-C port. This icky insulating material is often used to waterproof the electronics of off-road vehicles.
Almost ironically, despite the Pixel 2’s higher waterproof rating, it isn’t as difficult to pry apart. The adhesive, while strong, isn’t particularly clingy and doesn’t require that much heat to loosen up. With proper care and experience, it’s not that difficult to take the Pixel 2 apart and put it back in working condition.
That said, no matter the intention or result, a teardown will always result in rendering that waterproofing moot. That goes the same for any smartphone, so better think twice before fixating on having a clear back smartphone just for kicks.