Every time we look at the char­ac­ter­is­tics of smart­phones and oth­er mobile devices, we come across codes of let­ters and num­bers that indi­cate the degree of pro­tec­tion: IP67, IP68. They are called, respec­tive­ly, the IP pro­tec­tion class.

It’s not uncom­mon for man­u­fac­tur­ers to claim that a par­tic­u­lar device is water resis­tant, but what’s less com­mon­ly talked about is how much and what that very class real­ly means. There­fore, today we under­stand the degrees of pro­tec­tion of smart­phones.

The IP rat­ing is an inter­na­tion­al stan­dard that deter­mines how well a device is pro­tect­ed from liq­uid, dust, and drops.

Look­ing at the most com­mon devices today: iPhone X, iPhone 8, Sam­sung Galaxy S8, Sony Xpe­ria XZ1, and even watch­es like the Apple Watch 3, they are all con­sid­ered water-repel­lent. How­ev­er, it must be tak­en into account that even they dif­fer in the noto­ri­ous IP pro­tec­tion class.

The iPhone X and 8 are both IP67 rat­ed, while the rest of the smart­phones on the list are IP68.

What is IP?

IP is an abbre­vi­a­tion that means “ingress pro­tec­tion”, in oth­er words, pro­tec­tion from ele­ments that can some­how get inside the device and dam­age its mech­a­nism. So IP is just a clas­si­fi­ca­tion, but we are real­ly inter­est­ed in the num­bers that change after it. They are respon­si­ble for how secure the device is.

So the first num­ber refers to pro­tec­tion against sol­id mate­ri­als, i.e. against dust, sand, etc. For exam­ple, not every smart­phone can sur­vive a fall into the sand, so this should be tak­en very seri­ous­ly.

Most often, the val­ue of the first dig­it will vary from 5 to 6.

The fifth degree pro­vides incom­plete pro­tec­tion against dust, that is, dust can enter the device, but not so much as to affect the oper­a­tion process or dam­age the insides.

The sixth degree, respec­tive­ly, is high­er and means com­plete secu­ri­ty, so 6 and high­er are the val­ues ​​\u200b\u200bthat are prefer­able to choose.

There are cas­es, as with the Kin­dle Oasis, when the degree of pro­tec­tion is defined as IPX8 and the first val­ue is replaced by X, how­ev­er, the com­pa­ny has not yet spec­i­fied what exact­ly this replace­ment means.

The sec­ond num­ber refers to the water resis­tance of the device. Here it is worth delv­ing into the details, since there are many mean­ings and each should be giv­en atten­tion.

Almost all mobile devices (both smart­phones and watch­es, etc.) have a min­i­mum val­ue of 3 or 4, which pro­vides pro­tec­tion against splash­es and drops. Of course, this is nec­es­sary so that the device is at least able to sur­vive the rain. But such pro­tec­tion is not enough for com­fort­able oper­a­tion and safe­ty of the device, so we are inter­est­ed in val­ues ​​that start with 5.

The fifth degree of pro­tec­tion pro­tects the device from small jets of water from a dis­tance of 6.3mm from any direc­tion. The sixth degree pro­tects against stronger jets from a dis­tance of 12.5mm again, regard­less of direc­tion.

But real water resis­tance begins, per­haps, with the sev­enth degree of pro­tec­tion, which means that at mod­er­ate pres­sure, the device can eas­i­ly with­stand immer­sion in water to a depth of 1 meter. The eighth allows div­ing to great depths, usu­al­ly up to 3 meters. But even this, of course, does not mean that the device should be dipped into water at every oppor­tu­ni­ty. It is worth remem­ber­ing that no degree of pro­tec­tion has yet reached full water resis­tance.

There is also a ninth degree of pro­tec­tion, which implies that the device can eas­i­ly with­stand div­ing to a depth of more than 3 meters, but fur­ther con­di­tions are described sep­a­rate­ly and at the dis­cre­tion of the man­u­fac­tur­er. This, as a rule, means that the device is her­met­i­cal­ly sealed and very well pro­tect­ed from water. It is nec­es­sary to make an allowance for the fact that in some cas­es water can still pen­e­trate inside, but this will not dam­age the mech­a­nism. This clas­si­fi­ca­tion does not imply more speci­fici­ty.

The degree of IP protection of the most popular smartphones

So, we found out that no smart­phone is com­plete­ly pro­tect­ed from water, espe­cial­ly if you plan to immerse it in depth and leave it there for a while. How­ev­er, mod­ern devices still strive for max­i­mum water resis­tance.

So, the most secure devices are Doogee S60, Ule­fone Armor 2 and AGM X2. All of them are designed to take into account the var­i­ous pos­si­ble dam­age and reduce their like­li­hood. That is why they are also pro­tect­ed from shak­ing, dust, shock, etc. It should be not­ed that their appear­ance may repel fans of ele­gant fash­ion­able smart­phones.

It is for such cas­es that there are smart­phones with a degree of IP68 and IP67. Again, indi­vid­ual require­ments and oper­at­ing rec­om­men­da­tions must be viewed on the man­u­fac­tur­er’s web­sites in the detailed spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the smart­phone.

iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 7, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Google Pix­el 2 and XL 2, and HTC U11 are all IP67 rat­ed.

Smart­phones such as Sam­sung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, LG V30 and G6, Sony Xpe­ria XZ1 and XZ Pre­mi­um, as well as Sam­sung Galaxy S7 are pro­tect­ed by IP68 pro­to­col are more pro­tect­ed from water, that is, they are now the most water-resis­tant of the pop­u­lar mod­ern smart­phones.

Other devices

As for all oth­er types of devices — tablets, e‑readers, smart­watch­es and fit­ness track­ers — all the same pro­tec­tion stan­dards apply to them. In this case, it will be enough for you to care­ful­ly study the char­ac­ter­is­tics to under­stand how secure the device is. In any rat­ing there is an amend­ment, that is, there is a mar­gin, so even if you dip the device a lit­tle deep­er than indi­cat­ed, it is not a fact that it will be dam­aged. How­ev­er, the rec­om­men­da­tions should still be fol­lowed.

The Apple Watch 3, for exam­ple, is sub­mersible up to 50 meters in water, just like Fit­bit’s wrist­bands. This includes both salt and fresh water. Android Wear is IP67 pro­tect­ed, while the Sony Smart Watch 3 is IP68. Either way, every­day wear devices are made with pool swim­ming, show­er­ing and, of course, rainy weath­er in mind. Since it is sim­ply impos­si­ble to pro­tect them from nat­ur­al con­di­tions in anoth­er way.

A sim­pler sit­u­a­tion con­cerns e‑books and tablets, they are much less used out­doors, but still they require some pro­tec­tion from unfore­seen sit­u­a­tions. IP66 for such devices is quite nor­mal pro­tec­tion, although you can pick up books with IP67 or IP68.


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