25.05.2016|Articles & Video

Standards of Smartphone Protection against Dust and Moisture

Coming to the store or choosing a smartphone on the web, a potential buyer usually pays attention to standard features only. However, the sellers do not indicate many other criteria, even though these criteria have a direct effect on the device price.

If you are planning to buy a smartphone in the near future, pay attention to its IP ** rating. Sellers do not often indicate it when describing the features of smartphones available on the shelves or at product pages of online stores. In fact, withholding this information allows sellers to cash in on phone prices.

Forewarned is forearmed! Thus, we will tell you about this feature, describe what it represents, and explain why it is so important.

What is Smartphone Protection?

Ingress Protection

Each smartphone has a certain level of protection, which is indicated by two large Latin letters IP.
IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) is an international standard for measuring a device’s resistance to dust and water. The level of protection is usually shown in the following format - IP-XX. The first digit (IP-X *) indicates the level of protection against dust and micro-particles; the second digit (IP- * X) is the degree of resistance to water and other liquids. The code is assigned not by the manufacturing company, but by certified experts who conduct independent testing.

To check the degree of resistance and assign one of IP ratings, specialists use dust chambers with talcum powder, as well as sprays and water tanks.

There are seven levels of resistance to dust and nine levels of resistance to water.
Use the tables below to learn more about the levels of smartphone resistance.

Table of device’s resistance to dust and micro-particles

Level of protection Description
0 No special protection.
1 Protected against solid objects >50 mm in diameter.
2 Protected against solid objects >50 12 mm in diameter.
3 Protected against solid objects >50 2.5 mm in diameter.
4 Protected against solid objects >50 1 mm in diameter.
5 Protected against dust. Limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
6 Absolute protection. Dust tight.

Table of device’s resistance to water

Level of protection Description
0 No special protection
1 Protected against dripping water (vertically falling drops).
2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees from normal position.
3 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 60 degrees from normal position.
4 Protected against dripping and splashing water from any direction.
5 Protected against low-pressure water jet spray for at least 3 minutes.
6 Protected against heavy jet spray for at least 3 minutes.
7 Protected against the effects of immersion in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
8 Protected against the effects of continued immersion in water at depths greater than 1 meter.

Virtually all modern smart phones have a minimum protection level of IP54. This is sufficient to make your smart phone pretty much protected against dust and water splashes. Moreover, even when getting into the phone, they will cause no harm to the device.

Many devices qualify for the IP 56 level of protection. Digit 5 indicates that the phone is not fully water and dust-proof, thus, a small amount of dust can get inside the phone, but it will not adversely affect its functioning. The second digit - 6 - is the level of resistance to water, meaning that you can use this smartphone even when it rains and you are outside without an umbrella. Sometimes when experts assign the IP 56 protection level to the phone, the manufacturers unwilling to specify the digits write simply "waterproof". If you see this phrase in the device manual, there is possibly no reason to immerse it into water or sand. The device will definitely fail to survive such trials.

The next common protection level is IP57. As we have already mentioned, digit 5 indicates that dust can penetrate into the phone, but will not harm it. The seventh level of resistance to water allows you to immerse the phone into water for several minutes. However, if you hold your smartphone in the water for a longer period, or immerse it deeper than 1 meter, water will have time to penetrate and damage the device.

IP67 indicates that your device has a high-level protection. Digit 6 implies that your smartphone is water and dust proof. Dust just cannot get into it. However, you have to be more careful with exposure to water. You must not keep the device under water for more than 30 minutes.

Such well-known smartphones as Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 qualify for IP67 certification class.

Finally, the class of IP68 qualifies for maximum protection. Smartphones with this code can be immersed in water for several hours at depths greater than 1 meter. Such devices often get the limit values within IP standards assigned by manufacturers themselves.

However, even if your device qualifies for the IP68 level of protection, it does not mean that the smartphone can run for days at the ocean bottom.

In fact, many flagship models qualify for the IP68 level of protection against dust and water, for example, Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge or Sony Xperia Z5. Such "armored phones" are perfect for extreme sports fans. They will be able to withstand the exposure to sand, dust, and water; however, it surely doesn’t pay to drop them.

International IP classification is applied not just to mobile phones, but also to other technical devices, such as various electrical devices, outlets, and light fixtures.

If your device fell into the water or got damaged by micro-particles such as sand, do not get rid of it straight away. In All Spares online store you will find all necessary spare parts and equipment to repair the smartphone.

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