Building A Water Resistant Phone

There are two different designations used for indicating how safe a cell phone is when in contact with water or when submerged in water. In the past, a truly water resistant phone was not possible due to the construction of the case, all the various ports and charging slots, as well as the actual design of the phone.

Today, with constantly evolving technology in components and case design, it is possible to offer a water resistant phone. To help consumers understand what is meant by “water resistant” and what is meant when the label “water proof” is used, it is important to understand the difference.

Water Resistant

Cell phones, including smartphones, may have an IP rating. IP stands for Ingress Protection, which means the phone is able to prevent entry of either dry objects (dust) or water to a specific standard. This standard, or the specific tests to get the rating, are set by the International Electrotechnical Commission.

With the IP rating, which for a top phone will be IP68, the first number refers to the ability to keep out dust. The second number, which in this case is 8, refers to the phone’s resistance to water.

The second number, the water resistance rating, goes from a low of 0 to a high of 8. However, even with an 8 this doesn’t mean that the phone is completely waterproof under all conditions.

To give a comparison, a 0 rating would indicate that even a small amount of water spilled on the phone, or even being in the rain, would allow water to enter the case. A 1 would be able to keep out surface water, such as being used in a rainstorm, and everything up to a 4 would include larger amounts of water collecting on the surface.

Once the water resistant phone is rated at above a 5 it means that jets of water at specific pressures and flow rates are aimed at the phone and the phone case did not let water into the phone.

The Best Options

While this is good for most applications, it does not address the fact of the phone being submerged in water. To earn this rating, which is either a 7 or an 8, the phone has to be in water for a specific amount of time at a specific depth.

A 7 means the phone can be in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes without developing a leak. The designation of 8 means the phone can be a designated depth of more than a meter for a specific amount of time without any leaks. The manufacturer will be required to state the test conditions for the 8 rating.

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