Mobility Arena’s IP Rating Guide explains the different levels of dust and water resistant grades. Knowing this will help you not destroy or damage your smartphone and other gadgets in error.

Water and dust resistant devices – A Complete IP Rating Guide

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Perhaps you own a smartphone that has been marketed to you as water and dust resistant. Or perhaps you are considering buying one. You might be excited about the prospects of going swimming with your smartphone or subjecting it to some other use in which it is exposed to harsh conditions. Before you do that, you need to know that there are different levels of dust and water protection on different devices, so you don’t destroy your smartphone in error.

If you look at the device’s specifications, you will come across a water and dust resistant rating like IP67 or IP68, if it has water and dust resistance. These ratings specify the level of protection available for your smartphone. So, let’s get to understand them.

IP Rating Guide: Dust and Water Resistance Glossary

IP – This is an abbreviation for “Ingress Protection”, an international standard. We will use the “IP67” rating to explain how these ratings work.

The first digit after the “IP” part indicates dust resistance. As such, a smartphone with an IP6X rating is dust tight. As long as its protection is intact, dust will not get in.

The second digit after the “IP” part indicates the device’s level of water resistance. As such, an IPX7 rating means the smartphone can be immersed in up to 1 metre depth of water for 30 minutes. An IPX8 rating means that it can be submerged for up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes.

There is a wide range of water water and dust resistance ratings available. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • IP54: limited protection from dust and low pressure water sprays and sweat.
  • IP55: the device is protected from limited dust ingress and against low pressure water jets from any direction, splashing water, and sweat.
  • IP65: the device is protected against dust and against water projected from a low-pressure nozzle for 3 minutes, splashing water, and sweat..
  • IP66: the device is protected against dust and against high-pressure water jet spray for 3 minutes
  • IP67: the device is protected against dust and against immersion of up to 1 metre depth for 30 minutes
  • IP68: the device is protected against dust and against against complete submersion in water for up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes

Water and dust resistant smartphone

Things To Avoid Doing With Your Water and Dust Resistant Smartphone

Avoid salt water or liquids that contain strong chemicals. Avoid hot water too. All these can break down the protective layer on the device and expose it to damage.

As much as possible, avoid going swimming with your device. If it has an IP68 rating, chances are that it will survive swimming though, but why push your luck? It will certainly survive a drop in a shallow swimming pool.

Things To Not Worry About

Feel free to use your IP67 and IP68 certified smartphone in the rain or with wet hands. A trip to the beach should pose no problems either. You should not be worried either should your water and dust resistant phone drop in a bucket of water or gets a splashing. Just get it out of the water, give it a good wipe and carry on.


As a matter of fact, devices and gadgets with IP54 to IP65 ratings can be used in the rain or in sweaty situations.

What Brands Make Water and Dust Resistant Smartphones?

Meanwhile, if you are looking to buy a water resistant smartphone, we have a list of brands that make them. The list is a bit dated now, but still very valid. Want a water proof smartphone? Have a look here.

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