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What an IP Rating is and why you should care

Many people have heard that the latest flagship phones from Sony, Samsung, and Apple have water resistance.  Maybe you have read the box and noticed something called an, “IP Rating”.  IP, stands for ingress protection.  Basically, how well does the product stand up to entry of both solid particles like dust, and liquids like water.

The first number is for solid protection and goes from 0, for no protection, to 6, for total protection.  The second number is for liquid protection, 0 for none, to 9k for protection against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.

Almost all phones marketed as, “waterproof,” have a solid protection rating of 6.  This means that if you work in construction or another dusty environment, your phone will handle it just fine.  Most phones have a water protection rating of at least 7, which allows for submersion of 1 meter for a short time, so long as all covers are sealed and nothing is plugged into the device for about two hours.

Keep in mind, your liquid protection does not apply to salt water usually, and trusting a $25 case to protect a $800 phone is a bad idea.  But, if a rain storm should happen to strike while you’re making a call, or you spill your coffee; your phone will be ok as long as the ports are sealed.  To ensure your ports are always sealed, you may want to use wireless headphones, since they don’t need to connect to an uncovered port.

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