The iPhone 8 is rumored to have an IP68 rating, this is a big improvement from iPhone 7’s IP67 rating . This means the iPhone8 will have the highest possible level of water and dust resistance. This feature is not exclusive to iPhones alone, Samsung Galaxy S7 already has this feature and it is expected in the Galaxy S8 too.

But what do these ratings really mean?

What does  IP68 and IP67 really mean?

The IP code which is also known as the Ingress protection rating or the International Protection Rating is a standard drawn up by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

It rates the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects , dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures.

The IP code consists of  the letters IP , two digits and an optional letter. The first digit in the IP code represents the level of  resistance to the ingress of solid foreign object  with protection level  ranging  from 0 to 6 while the second digit indicates the level of resistance to the ingress of  water with protection level ranging  from 0 t0 8.

An IP rating with its first digit as 0 means that the device offers no protection against contact or entry of solid objects while a device with an IP rating of 6 as its first digit offers maximum protection hence, do not allow the  entry of dust.

On the other hand a device that has an IP rating with its second digit as 0 offers no protection against  any quantity of water while one with its second digit as 8 offers maximum protection against water and  can be continuously  immersed in water beyond 1m (about 3.3feet ) following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The explainers below show how waterproof your mobile device really is.

First digit: Solid

Level 0

Devices with a 0 rating are not protected against contact and forced entry of foreign objects.

Level 1

This rating suggests that the  devices is protected against objects greater than 50mm. Such as the back of the hand or any blunt impact. But it does not protect against deliberate impact.

Level 2

Devices with this rating are protected from objects greater than 12.5mm such as fingers and similar objects

Level 3

Level 3 rated devices  are protected from objects greater than 2.5mm e.g . Tools and thick wires

Level 4

Level 4 devices offer protection against entry of objects greater than 1mm such as a variety of wires and screws.

Level 5

Level 5 devices are dust protected and offers complete protection against contact.  These devices do not prevent the complete entrance of dust, however  dust cannot enter in sufficient quantities that affects the satisfactory performance of the equipment

Level 6

Devices with a level 6 rating are dust tight. They completely prevent the entrance of dust and offer complete protection against contact.

 

Second Digit: Liquid

Level 0

Level o rated devices are not protected from water

Level 1

Devices with a rating of 1 are only protected from dripping water (vertically falling drops)

Level 2

Level 2 rated devices are protected from vertically dripping water when the enclosure is tilted at angle up to 15 degrees from its normal position

Level 3

Devices with  a rating of 3 are protected from spraying water falling at any angle up to 60 degree from the vertical

Level 4

A device with a level 4 rating is protected from splashing water reaching the enclosure at all angles

Level 5

Devices with a rating of 5 are protected from water jets projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against the enclosure from any directions

Level 6

A level 6 rated device is protected from powerful water jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction

Level 7

Devices in this category do not allow entrance of water in harmful quantities when immersed in up to one metre(3.3 feet) of water under defined conditions of pressure and time

Level 8

Level 8 rated devies can be continuosly immersed in water under conditions specified by the manufacturers at depths beyond one metre without any harmful effects.

Significance of  IP ratings

You will often find many gadgets including phones, watches, fitness trackers,  labelled or advertised as water- resistant, this vague term is often misleading. Can you swim with these gadgets, use them in the shower or in the rain? IP rating helps you understand just how much water a specific device can handle.

For example the iphone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are both water resistant phones, While the Galaxy S7  with an IP68 rating can withstand being submerged in 1.5meter (about 5feet) of static water for thirty minutes ,the iphone7 with an IP67 rating can only withstand being submerged in about 3.3 feet  static water in the same time