How water-resistant is my phone? 



As smartphones get more and more high-tech and brands start using the phrase “water-resistant,” those of you that own a more recent Galaxy, iPhone® or Google phone might be curious about what kind of water-resistant technology their phone uses. Wondering if your phone is really waterproof? 


Spoiler alert: The short answer is, no. 


Don’t get us wrong; if you spill a few drops on your iPhone XR, or decide to use your Galaxy S8 in the rain, you’re probably okay. The newest phones are designed to survive short liquid exposure without shorting out. But if you’re thinking of taking up competitive swimming and want to live-stream from the pool, don’t plan on using your phone. 


While tech giants have strived to keep your expensive tech protected from small spills, ultimately, it’s still an electronic device filled with sensitive circuitry. By providing seals and gaskets to prevent moisture from seeping in, manufacturers are slowly perfecting new ways to keep phones from frying after a little liquid exposure. 


There’s a specific set of criteria that your phone’s water-resistance and other protections are measured up against. These tests and criteria are also why companies tout their phones as water-resistant, and not water-proof.


You might have noticed something called an “IP rating” being mentioned before when talking about your phone. Every device is assigned an Ingress Protection rating. Based upon standard 60529 set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), these ratings provide consumers with a better idea of their phone’s durability. 


These ratings are made up of 2 numbers. The first ranges between 0 to 6, and rates the protection of the phone against solid foreign objects entering (like dirt, lint, or dust). The second number, which falls between 0 and 8, measures the phone’s resistance against liquids. 


The iPhone XR, for example, is rated IP67. So it has the highest possible rating against dust, at 6, and with a liquid rating of 7, can be submerged to a maximum depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S20 is rated IP68, meaning it’s suited for a maximum depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes and has top-ranks for protection against solid materials as well. 


Keep in mind, however, that over time protective materials coating your phone to keep it protected can wear off, so these ratings are not guaranteed to last the entire lifetime of your device. 


Check out the full IP protection rating list below.


IP Rating First Digit: Ingress of Solid Objects
0 No protection.
1 Protected against solid objects that are over 50mm (ex: hands, large tools).
2 Protected against solid objects that are over 12.5mm (ex: hands, large tools).
3 Protected against solid objects that are over 2.5mm (ex: wires, small tools).
4 Protected against solid objects that are over 2.5mm (ex: wires).
5 Limited protection against dust ingress; no harmful deposit.
6 Total protection from dust ingress.


IP Rating Second Digit: Ingress of Liquids
0 No protection.
1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water or condensation.
2 Protected against falling drops of water, if the case is disposed up to 15° from vertical.
3 Protected against sprays of water from any direction, even if the case is disposed up to 60° from vertical.
4 Protected against splash water from any direction.
5 Protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
6 Protected against high-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
7 Protected against short periods of immersion in water.
8 Protected against long, durable periods of immersion in water. 
9 Protected against close-range high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs.

Image Data Source


Our tips to keep your electronics safe from damage? If you ever have your phone near water, make sure all your cover ports are closed, or try using a waterproof cell phone dry-bag to keep your tech protected. Don’t bring it into chlorinated pools, or, if you do, wipe it off afterward with fresh water. Don’t use it in saltwater, if you can avoid it, and try to keep it away from the sauna, shower, and other high heat, high-humidity areas.


Hopefully, understanding how these devices are rated and the level of protection you can expect helps you keep your devices safe. 


And if you’re already dealing with electronic issues because someone spilled their drink on your laptop screen, or you dropped your iPhone in the toilet, you’re always welcome to visit your local uBreakiFix for a free diagnostic and estimate. Our repair experts are always happy to help!


line art drawing of a phone submerged in water, for is my phone really water resistant blog

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