Facts About Phones And Water Resistance

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When a phone manufacturer claims that a phone is water-resistant, this does not mean that the phone is waterproof. Before you make a new purchase, know how to find out how rugged a device really is.

  • The first thing you need to look for is a device's IP rating. Rating codes consist of the letters IP followed by two digits. The first number in the rating code represents the degree of protection provided against the entry of foreign solid objects, such as fingers or dust. The protection level ranges from 0 to 6. The second number represents the degree of protection against the entry of moisture, with the protection level ranging from 0 to 8.
  • An IP code with an "X" in place of the first or second number means that a device hasn't been tested to see if it is protected against the entry of solid objects (the first number) or moisture (the second number). For example, a device with the rating IPX7 is protected from moisture, but it has not been tested against the entry of dust.

When a device has been tested to see how well it is protected against the entry of solid objects:

  • “0” means no protection.
  • “1” means protection from contact with any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part, such as a finger.
  • “2” means protection from fingers or similar objects.
  • “3” means protection from tools, thick wires, or similar objects.
  • “4” means protection from most wires, screws, or similar objects.
  • “5” means partial protection from contact with harmful dust.
  • “6” means full protection from contact with harmful dust.

When a device has been tested to see how well it is protected against the entry of moisture:

  • “0” means no protection.
  • “1” means protection against vertically dripping water (10 minutes of light rain is fine).
  • “2” means protection against vertically dripping water when device is tilted at an angle up to 15 degrees               (10 minutes of light rain).
  • “3” means protection against direct sprays of water when device is tilted at an angle up to 60 degrees (5 minutes of rain and spraying).
  • “4” means protection from sprays and splashing of water in all directions (5 minutes of rain, spraying and splashing).
  • “5” means protection from low-pressure water projected from a nozzle with a 6.3 millimeter diameter opening in any direction (3 minutes of rain, splashing and direct contact with most kitchen/bathroom faucets).
  • “6” means protection from water projected in powerful jets from a nozzle with a 12.5 millimeter diameter opening in any direction (3 minutes of rain, splashing, direct contact with kitchen/bathroom faucets, outdoor use in rough sea conditions).
  • “7” means protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 mins.
  • “8” means protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter (manufacturer must specify exact depth).

Unfortunately, devices aren't required to pass every test leading up to the highest rating they achieve, although many companies do test them at various levels. In some cases, however, a phone rated with IP67 may not have been tested against dust protection levels 1-5, or water protection levels 1-6. Most importantly, before buying a device, check whether the manufacturer has stated that liquid damage is covered under the standard warranty. Always refer to the manufacturer's website before taking a phone in the shower or the pool.

Also, note that most resistance testing is performed in fresh water. Devices aren't guaranteed to hold up to salt water, unless specifically stated. And, unless otherwise specified, most tests are carried out at temperatures between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius (60 to 95 Fahrenheit). Higher temperatures in places like saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs could damage the device. When a device gets wet, make sure it is completely dry before charging it.

Source: cnet.com
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com

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