Standards of protection of smartphones against dust and water

When choosing a smartphone users first of all pay attention to the size of the diagonal, the amount of memory, battery capacity or the presence of specialized sensors. Of course, there are many parameters, and everyone’s requests are individual. In this case, not always the future owners of the gadget think about the conditions of operation of the device and the possible risks. And after “bathing” your smartphone almost always means that the device fails and automatically removes it from the warranty. Even a good protective case will not save your smartphone in water, at most – will protect it from splashing or rain. But avoiding trouble will help you choose a waterproof or water-resistant phone. What to do if the phone is switched off and does not turn on, the main points are disassembled in the article with cooperation of Gadgetpickup.

What is the standard of IP protection

International Protection, Ingress Protection or IP is a standard made by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC, from International Electrotechnical Commission). It defines and regulates the level of protection of various types of equipment against dust and water.Such a marking is found not only on smartphones, but also in other electrical devices, wiring boxes, sockets, vehicles.

The characteristic is indicated in the form of a notation IPXX, where X are numbers corresponding to the standard of the device. The first of these, from 0 to 6, indicates protection against dust. The second, from 0 to 8, refers to the interaction with moisture and water. The higher the number, the better the protection.

It is not the manufacturer, but a group of independent experts who are responsible for assigning the standard to this or that model of equipment. They test the device with special cameras filled with small particles of talcum powder, pour water and immerse the gadgets in full tanks. Data, such as water pressure and the diameter of the particulate matter, are strictly recorded. After testing is completed, a verdict is given – the model is assigned a certain standard of protection.

The numbers in practice

Most phones meet the IP54 standard. But since there is little practical benefit from such protection, marketers do not draw users’ attention to this characteristic. It’s quite another matter when it comes to IP67 and even more so IP68 models. Let’s analyze the features of such smartphones in more detail.

Smartphone protection standard IP67

IP67 phones are usually called waterproof. This means that a model with this level of protection can be washed under the tap or immersed in water. 

However, there are a few important limitations:

  • the depth must not exceed 1 meter, otherwise the protection will not withstand the pressure;
  • immersion time – up to half an hour;
  • the water must be fresh.

Smartphones with IP67 protection class can be used in the pouring rain, to take with you to the beach (although they are contraindicated to bathe in the salty sea) or in the shower. When used in combination with a waterproof cap, this gadget won’t get wet, as long as you don’t forget to plug it in the power connector, for example.

The standard of cell phone protection is IP68

The description of the standard IP68 many authoritative sources are limited to the words “absolute water resistance, complete protection against water and dust. But while this is the highest possible protection class for smartphones, it is not without its limitations.

Military standard MIL-STD-810

If you do not have enough protection only against water and dust, you can choose a smartphone with an even broader level of protection.

Among the most complete protection should be noted standard mil-std-810 (Military Standard), developed in the 60s of last century for U.S. military equipment. Since its inception, the Military Standard has undergone several modifications, and in 2008 the latest version to date, MIL-STD 810G, was created. This is the most serious and detailed modification of the standard, in tests aimed at shock and vibration resistance. A smartphone with MIL-STD 810G protection:

  • Can fall from heights up to 1.2 meters without consequences;
  • Is impervious to dust and fine sand;
  • Works correctly in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C;
  • Impermeable to moisture and water.

To summarize

If you lead an active life, are often out in nature or your work is connected with long stay among dust and dirt, for example, at the construction site, as a means of communication, we recommend you choose a waterproof or waterproof smartphone. They are able to withstand without consequences falling into water, and in the case of severe contamination the screen and the body of such gadgets can be washed under the tap.

However, it is worth remembering that the moisture protection even of the IP68 standard is not absolute. Protection is unlikely to work in salt water. Also the liquid can damage the electronics, if there is a strong excitement in the water or the dive was a deliberate throw – in such cases the pressure exceeds the allowable pressure. In addition, the degree of protection decreases over time. Nevertheless, protected smartphones last much longer in non-standard conditions, when other devices quickly fail without the possibility of recovery.