Just a few short years ago, people questioned whether water resistance of any sort was really that important of a feature. After all, people had generally avoided getting their cell phones wet since cell phones were created, at that point. When Samsung decided to make the Galaxy S5, their 2014 flagship, a water resistant beast of a phone with all of the other features you would expect from a flagship and none of the aesthetic or spec compromises normally associated with "rugged" phones, they popularized a trend that Sony had started a year ago with the Xperia Z. Water resistance eventually became so mainstream that even the Apple iPhone adopted it, so why are Google's latest flagship phones, the Pixel family announced earlier today, shipping without such a ubiquitous feature?
The Pixel phones are extremely attractive for a number of reasons. They have the most powerful processors on the market, they can be used with Google's Daydream VR specification, and they have premium, well-designed bodies that are a joy to hold. They are also incredibly hard, if not impossible, to root; whether this is a positive or negative depends on who you ask. They have what is being hailed as the best smartphone camera ever, full stop. They even boast exclusive features in their updated version of Android, coming in at 7.1 (Nougat) when some newer devices are still waiting for their update to Android 7.0 (Nougat). So, with everything else seemingly in place, the exclusion of water resistance is absolutely baffling, and Google has provided zero justification for it. Some may even say that in this day and age, a flagship at such a high price absolutely needs water resistance to justify the price tag.
There is every possibility, of course, that Google may not have stated that water resistance is present. This was the case with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and a similar case could be found in the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium; it is water resistant, but Sony advises that letting it near water is a horrible idea. Since nobody on the show floor at the October 4th event had any right to dump water on the Pixels that were on the floor, we don't have a for-certain yes or no on that for now. Until it's confirmed, it's safest, both literally and figuratively, to assume that it's a no, and wonder what Google was thinking by leaving such a common and easily-implemented feature out of two otherwise near-perfect devices.