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Is your smartphone waterproof? A note on IP67 and IP68 ratings

All smartphones leave the factory with a resistance certification called an IP rating (Ingress Protection), however, all smartphones have different IP ratings. What do these ratings mean and what are the differences between smartphones? Let's take a look.

Let us begin by pointing out that the IP rating is used to specify the type of protection offered by the electronic device and is directly linked to the environments in which the device can be used. These ratings are assigned after multiple tests have been carried out.

Do these ratings have any link to the IP addresses we talk about regarding network connections? Well, no, young Jedi, as IP in this case means ‘Internet Protocol’ and refers to internet connections, which has no connection to water resistance.

motorola moto g 2015 water
Some smartphones are very resistant to water, some don’t resist as well and others don’t resist at all. © ANDROIDPIT

How do I read the IPXX code?

The IP code is made up of two digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solid bodies and the second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids. The higher the digit, the better the protection.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these evaluations are not only based on dust and water protection but also on water pressure protection, among other things. In addition, ratings are rather objective: it’s not the manufacturer that assigns them but the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). You can see below what each of the digits in an IP code mean.

First digit

Meaning

0 No protection (this can also be represented with an X)
1 Protection against solid objects measuring up to 50 mm³
2 Protection against solid bodies measuring up to 12 mm³
3 Protection against solid objects measuring up to 2.5 mm³
4 Protection against solid objects measuring up to 1 mm³
5 Protection against dust, limited ingress of dust (posing no risk to the device)  
6 Complete protection against dust

Second digit

Meaning

0 No protection (this can also be represented with an X)
1 Protection against vertically dripping water (condensation)
2 Protection against water spray when vertically tilted at 15°
3 Protection against water projections at any vertical angle up to 60°
4 Protection against water projections from all directions – minor ingress
5 Protection against jets of water from all directions – minor ingress
6 Protection against slight jets of water, limited ingress (under the casing, for example)
7 Protection against effects from immersion in liquids between 15 cm and 1 m in depth​​​​
8 Protection against long immersion periods and water pressure

Ultimately, it’s important to understand that protection against immersion is directly linked to water pressure. This means that damages will be more significant if the device is exposed to a powerful jet of water than if it falls into a puddle.

That being said, it must be emphasized that even if a smartphone is completely protected against dust, it doesn’t mean that it’s also completely water resistant under all immersion levels or water pressures.

AndroidPIT Wet samsung galaxy S5 5215
If your smartphone isn’t waterproof, make sure that all components are dry. © ANDROIDPIT

Which smartphones are waterproof?

For example, the Galaxy S5 has an IP67 rating. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s better than the Xperia Z2 which has an IP58 rating. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the first device may be completely protected against dust but the second device can be immersed under water for a longer period.

Pay attention to the technical datasheets. Manufacturers rarely equip their devices with well-rounded IPXX protection. Sony is one of the only ones. Samsung, for example, doesn’t provide the Note 4 or the Galaxy S6 with protection against water or dust.

Here’s a partial list of current smartphones that are protected against water or dust. It will be updated:

Model Certification
Sony Xperia Z IP57
Sony Xperia Z1 IP58
Sony Xperia Z2 IP58
Sony Xperia Z3 IP68
Sony Xperia Z3 IP68
Sony Xperia Z5 / Z5 Compact IP68
Sony Xperia  X Performance IP68
Sony Xperia XZ IP68
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active IP67
Samsung Galaxy S5 IP67
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active IP67
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini IP67
Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 edge IP68
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 IP67
Quechua Phone 5 IP54
iPhone 7 / 7 Plus IP67

Is your smartphone protected against water and dust? What rating does it have? Please let us know in the comments below! 

4 comments

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  • Nope and I dont need it to be. No that many mishaps with me and my phone.

  • Mark G. 1 month ago Link to comment

    Water & dust resistant features are fairly easy to achieve, it should be a basic feature on all Smartphones, at the very least the flagship devices. I have the excellent Samsung Galaxy S5, I've dropped it in the sea (on day 1...) spilled Orange juice over it, regularly use it in heavy rain. Granted I haven't been swimming yet but just having the option and the extra protection that IP rating offers will sway the decision for my future devices.

    Peace 🖖

  • My Samsung Galaxy S 7 edge have also IP68

  • my current device an ex "flagship?" Nexus6 is rated as err "water-resistant .?. no IP rating..
    fairly insulting for a premium priced device.
    Current "premium" devices priced over $500 should be rated at least IP 67.

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