Anyone who has dropped their phone into water at least once has thought about buying a waterproof gadget. Fortunately, today this is not a problem. A couple of years ago, water protection was a rare feature that appeared only on specialized “armored” smartphones. However, today it is becoming the standard and almost all the latest flagship models are protected from moisture to one degree or another. The only problem is that these degrees are different and it is not easy to understand them.
If you are considering purchasing a secure device, consider the following.
The easiest way to find out how much water a particular gadget can withstand is to check its degree of protection according to the international IP (Ingress Protection) scale. Look for the IPXX format marking on the gadget packaging, where XX is two digits.
The first digit indicates the degree of protection of the gadget from the penetration of foreign objects into its body. The scale has a range from 1 to 6, where 1 is the almost complete lack of protection (5 cm stones can freely enter the case), and 6 is complete impermeability even for the smallest dust particles. As a rule, companies do not specifically advertise the degree of protection of the device against solid objects if it is less than 5 or 6. Almost all modern smartphones have IP5X or IP6X protection by default.
By the way, pay attention, even the highest protection against solid objects does not mean that you can drive nails with a gadget. If you’re looking for a smartphone that can survive a fall off a cliff, look for specialized shockproof devices. Such gadgets, most likely, will also have protection according to the IP68 standard, but the degree of protection against shocks and falls will be discussed separately.
Finally, let’s move on to protection from water. The degree of protection against moisture ingress is indicated by the second digit of the IPXX marking. And here everything is somewhat more complicated. If the first number is determined by the diameter of the blocked particles (the smaller they are, the larger the number), then the second describes the type of water impact. For example, IPX3 stands for protection against vertical splashes and raindrops, while IPX4 stands for protection against splashes from all directions. But splashes should not be confused with jets of water (number 5) or sea waves (number 6).
The most interesting protection standards are IPX7 and IPX8. As a rule, this is what they are talking about when an electronics manufacturer mentions water protection. A smartphone protected by the IPX7 standard can withstand immersion to a depth of up to a meter for a period of 30 minutes.
But with the IPX8 standard, again, everything is ambiguous. According to the international classification, IPX8 means that the gadget can dive to a depth of more than a meter and for more than 30 minutes. In fact, this means that both a smartphone that cannot be submerged to a depth of more than two meters and a watch for divers have the same marking. Formally, both devices are protected according to the IPX8 standard, but their real “endurance” is completely incomparable.
This means that if you need a narrow-profile device for a specific task, for example, a scuba diving watch, be guided not by the IPXX marking, but by the specific specifications from the manufacturer.
What to do if there is no IP marking?
In an ideal world, all gadgets are tested and marked with a degree of protection. Alas, our world is not perfect.
Often you may encounter a situation where neither on the gadget, nor on its packaging, nor in the description is the degree of protection of the device indicated. But at the same time, advertising claims that the device is “waterproof” (“waterproof”) or “water resistant” (“water resistant”). And one can only guess what the real degree of protection lies under this definition. By the way, sometimes you can find other formulations – “splash-proof” (“splash-proof”) or “weatherproof” (“weatherproof”).
All this can completely confuse the user and mislead him. Nevertheless, as practice shows, under the proud word “waterproof”, as a rule, the protection class is no more than IPX7. That is, a “waterproof” smartphone can survive a fall into a puddle, but diving to the bottom of a pool will kill it.
“Water resistant”, “splash resistant”, and “weather resistant” refers to IPX6 and below. That is, such devices may not survive even a short-term immersion. The best advice is to treat them like ordinary unprotected devices and try not to get wet again.
Well, if your defenseless gadget still took a dip, do not panic and read the article about what to do with the “drowned”.