IP68 and IP67 are terms that you often see coming back on the more expensive smartphones, but what does that actually mean? It all has to do with the dust and water resistance of your device. Can it stand in the rain? Can I shower with it? Can I swim with it? Does it fall under warranty? We explain it here.
IP68 and IP67: what is IP and what are the figures?
More and more smartphones and smartwatches are getting an IP rating, but for many, it is not entirely clear what this is. In this case, the abbreviation IP stands for International Protection and it is the international standard that indicates the dust and water resistance of a device.
IP is always followed by two digits: the first digit indicates the degree of protection against the penetration of objects such as dust. This scale runs from 0 to 6. The second digit says something more about the degree of protection against moisture and that scale runs from 0 to 8.
It can also happen that you come across an IP rating with an X as the first or second number. That is, it has not been tested for dust or water resistance. So it may be that it is dust or water resistant, but because it has not been tested (for example, because the manufacturer does not want to spend money on it) you have no certainty about the rating.
The first figure IP(Dust)(Water), therefore, stands for the degree of protection against the intrusion of objects, with a scale from 0 to 6. Up to and including 4 are less important to us, smartphones and smartwatches are mainly tested for dust:
0 – No protection
1 – Large objects (protected against the penetration of solid objects larger than 50 mm)
2 – Medium objects (protected against the penetration of solid objects larger than 12.5 mm)
3 – Small objects (protected against the penetration of solid objects greater than 50 mm) than 2.5 mm)
4 – Pointed objects (protected against the penetration of solid objects larger than 1 mm)
And then the most important for us:
Dust-proof ( not complete protection against dust, but sufficient to not hinder proper operation) 6 – Dust-free (complete protection against dust)
So when a device gets a rating of IP68 or IP57, you now know that your device can withstand a little (5) dust or very well (6) with dust.
As stated earlier, the second digit stands for the degree of protection against moisture, with a scale of 0 to 8:
0 – No protection
1 – Drops of type 1 (no damage if subject to falling drops)
2 – Drops of type 2 (no damage if subject to falling drops on a 15 ° tilted device)
3 – Splash water (no damage if sprayed (10 l / min) at an angle -60 ° to 60 °)
4 – splash water (no damage if sprayed (10 l / min) at any angle)
5 – spray water (no damage if sprayed (12.5 l / min) under any angle) angle)
6 – Water resistant (no water penetration when sprayed (100 l / min) at any angle)
7 – Immersion proof (no water penetration when submerged (30 min at 1 m))
8 – Waterproof (remains usable under water under specified conditions)
When a device has been given an IP68 rating, it means that it is watertight for a longer time than 30 minutes and/or deeper than 1 meter. Because up to a maximum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1-meter depth is IP67.
What can you do with it?
Now that we know what it stands for, you also want to know what you can do with it. Well … no flute! Regardless of the IP rating, there is no manufacturer that covers dust or water damage under the standard warranty. You cannot prove that you have kept the device underwater for longer than the maximum number of minutes or less than the maximum permitted depth.
Devices are also tested in fresh water, in standby mode. It is therefore about fresh water, which does not contain any dirt or chemicals. So you cannot swim with it in the pool, because it has not been tested for resistance to water with chlorine. Do not go swimming with it in the sea, because salt water is very bad for your phone. For this reason, Sony also withdrew several of their official press photos in 2015, including the photo above, because the device could not be used in the swimming pool.
Can’t you really do anything with it? No, that was a bit of an exaggeration. Such an IP certificate shows that the manufacturer has really taken the trouble to avoid dust and water damage because the device has been tested for this by an official and independent body.
It, therefore, gives you a certainty that it is ‘something or what’ that is resistant to dust and moisture. As a result, you may assume that your device will not fail if you use your phone in the rain for a moment, accidentally drop it in your toilet, or knock your glass over on your smartphone.
Unfortunately, the emphasis here is on ‘something or what’, because as I said, there is not a single manufacturer that covers dust or water damage under the standard warranty.
Do you find an IP rating on your phone important? Let us know in the comments under this article.