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.
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.