What is IP68 certification?
IP stands for “ingress protection” and nowadays see our premium end Smartphones are labeled with IP ratings which are assigned by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as per a devices ability to withstand the ingress of elements such as water, dust and dirt. Any device before provided with a particular rating is subjected to laboratory tests while the device is put on standby mode.
6 – is the international rating for an IP68 device for its dust resistance. Samsung Gear S2, iPhone 7 as well as Samsung Galaxy S7 were labelled with 6 rating in this section.
8 – is the international rating for an IP68 device for its resistance against water. iPhone 7 scored 7 rating in this case while as Samsung Galaxy S7, Gear S2 managed to get 8 rating. IP68 rated Smartphone / Smartwatch can be taken underwater for 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.5m while as in case of IP67, only 1 meter depth can be attained for the same time.
What does this mean practically?
In real life, both these ratings will only keep your Smartphone safe from accidental drops. Suppose you dropped your Smartphone in a toilet or bathtub accidentally, it will not be affected. But you need to be clear that your Smartphone cannot withstand underwater photography in the swimming pool. If you want your Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 to not get killed, you better refrain from such activities.
Last year Apple posted a detailed advisory for its Apple Watch and same set of advice will follow up for iPhone 7 too. Apple stated “ Submerging your Apple Watch isn’t recommended. Water resistance isn’t a permanent condition, and your Apple Watch can’t be rechecked or resealed for water resistance. The following may affect the water resistance of your Apple Watch and should be avoided:
- Dropping your Apple Watch or subjecting it to other impacts.
- Submerging your Apple Watch in water for long periods of time.
- Swimming or bathing with your Apple Watch.
- Exposing your Apple Watch to pressurized water or garden hose, for example showering, water skiing, wake boarding, surfing, jet skiing, and so on.
- Wearing your Apple Watch in a sauna or steam room.”
Similar advice was posted by Sony back in 2015 after releasing IP68 rated devices or handsets which reads “Remember not to use the device underwater,” the firm said. “The IP rating of your device was achieved in laboratory conditions in standby mode, so you should not use the device underwater, such as taking pictures.”
Now it must be pretty clear to you that IP68 rating does not mean that you can go scuba diving while wearing device of such standard. Extreme water-sport activities can be done when your Smart-phone is encased in an out of the certified protective case which guarantees no water damage, it such conditions you are willing to face.