Waterproof, Water Resistant, Shockproof and IP Ratings Explained

Waterproof phones
Waterproof phones

Most of the Gadgets these days are either Waterproof or Water Resistant and bear an IP Rating. You may have also seen the ratings like IP X4, IP65 or IP68 in several devices. These things give an assurance that your device is safe. But do you really know the difference between these things? Do you understand the IP rating and number associated with it? Most of the people don’t. So let’s break things down as we explain what they all indicate.

Also see: Phone Finder

Shockproof

Shockproof refers to the amount of impact a device can absorb when dropped or bumped into. The Shockproof label is mostly seen on Mobile cases and covers, as they need to absorb the landing impact and protect the device. The shockproof protection has nothing to do with protection from electric or static damage, it is understandable why it can be easily confused with.

Water-Resistant

Water Resistant is often confused with Waterproof; However, they are not the same. When a device is labeled as Water Resistant, it means that the device is able to withstand water up to a certain extent and can resist the effect of rain. It is important to note that it is not completely immune to the effects of water and hence must NOT be submerged.

Note that there are varying levels of water resistance. Not all devices have the same level of water resistance, we’ll talk about the water protection levels and rating in a moment.

Water Resistant and Splashproof are the same things.

Waterproof

Waterproof means that the device can be completely submerged in water. However, it can be submerged only for a limited time, after which the device may no longer be immune to water damage. How long a device can be submerged will again depend on the level and water protection rating of the device.

Also see: Best waterproof phones

IP Ratings

The IP Rating is also called as International Protection Rating or Ingress Protection rating. They usually consist of two letters – ‘IP’, followed by two numbers. The first number indicates the device’s protection level against the entry of solids such as dust, while the second number indicates the device’s protection against entry of moisture and water.

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For example, Galaxy S9 comes with an IP68 rating. It means, the 6 is for solid and 8 is for moisture. So,

IP68 = Dust right, no ingress of dust / Watertight against the effects of immersion in water under pressure for long periods.

If the letter ‘X’ is denoted instead of a number, it means that the device has no protection against either solids or liquids, depending on where the ‘X’ is. You may have seen IPX4, IPX7 like ratings on smartphones and other gadgets. Here is the table explaining those.

NameCan Survive
IPX0Not water-resistant at all
IPX1Some waterdrops that are falling vertically
IPX2Some waterdrops when the device is tilted up to and including 15°
IPX3Some waterdrops when device is tilted up to and including 60°
IPX4Splashing water
IPX5Water jets in any direction
IPX6Powerful water jets
IPX7Water up to 3 feet
IPX8Water over 3 feet

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