Do you believe a phone featuring IP68 can actually be waterproofing?

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With the development of smartphones in recent years, "water resistance or waterproofing" becomes a fairy common feature of most smartphone. Sony’s Z series is undoubtedly the most well-known water-resistant smartphone. Sony’s Z5 has the highest possible IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.  But, what exactly does IP68 really means?

To know what IP68 means, we need to know what IP code means first.  The IP code is International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking.  It classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion by dust, accidental contact, and water.  It was published by the International Electro technical Commission (IEC).

Photo courtesy: feedster.com​ Aug,23 2016​ http://www.feedster.com/blog/nmanojlovic/6-ways-to-repair-a-broken-cellphone-at-home/

The following numbers of IP represent the level of dust-resistant and water-resistant.  The first figure indicates the level of the device's dust-resistant ability.  The second figure indicates the level of the device's water-resistant ability. In general, the higher number is the better. 

Photo courtesy: saydigi.com​ Aug,23 2016​ https://www.saydigi.com/2016/08/ingress-protection.html

Regarding the chart, we can know a phone rated at IP68 is dust tight, no ingress of dust, and can be "immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for 30 minutes.  But does IPX8 really guarantee that it can be used in water?

Photo courtesy: Ben_Kerckx​ Aug,23 2016 https://pixabay.com/p-900001/?no_redirect​

The answer is both positive and negative.  The IP rating is conducted with freshwater.  So, if you use an IPX8 phone in freshwater or texting while raining, it should be fine without any problem.  But, if you use it in salt water or in hot spring, it could damage the IPX8 phone.

Photo courtesy: wtfmagazine Aug,23 2016 http://wtfmagazine.com/index.php/2014/cell-phones-laptops-and-water/

The reason why an IPX8 phone can’t be used in salt water and hot water is that salt water is highly corrosive to electronics and the heat in hot water will also damage the electronics.

Now you know the basic of IP code, you can reevaluate your needs when choosing your smartphone.  And, remember even if your phone has the highest rating of water resistance (IPX8), it still has its limits.  Don’t think about using them in salt water, you are asking for troubles.    

Reference: https://www.saydigi.com/2016/08/ingress-protection.html

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