What do IP ratings mean? How to identify the best phone waterproof ratings

317e+W4GePL. SL160
GoPro HERO8 Black E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization
31us0D4Y qL. SL160
GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
31MV0umuWTL. SL160
GoPro HERO9 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization

S77WvUaxZW2GnPLJUAg4tc 1200 80

Spotted an IP rating on your phone’s spec sheet and wondering what it means?

IP rating stands for Ingress Protection. It’s all to do with the water- and dust-resistance level of a given device. 

You’ll find IP followed by two numbers: the first is the degree of dust resistance; the second the degree of water resistance. 

The higher the number’s value, the greater the resistance. If there’s an ‘X’ instead of a number that means no resistance to that particular.

Best phone IP rating: maximum numbers

The degree of dust resistance and water resistance isn’t on the same scale, though.

Maximum protection from dust is rated at 6. This means it’s dust tight.

Maximum resistance to water is rated at 8. This means it’s rated against full submersion at 3 metres ‘for long periods’.

6247600 rd
GoPro - HERO7 Black Sleeve + Lanyard - Blue
6247602 rd
GoPro - HERO7 Black Sleeve + Lanyard - White
6429537 rd
GoPro - Floaty (HERO10 Black/HERO9 Black) - Orange
6398545ld
GoPro - Rollcage for HERO8 - Black
6371585cv11d
Sleeve and Lanyard for GoPro HERO8 Black - Black

Therefore IP68 is the most protected a device can be against both dust and water using this IP rating scale. 

IP ratings: What the numbers mean

For object/dust protection: 

5 = dust protected, limited ingress permitted that will not interfere with device functionality

4 = protected against 1mm objects (i.e. not dust – so even sand could be a problem)

For water resistance: 

7 = protected against water submersion of 1 metre for 30 minutes

6 = protected against powerful jets of water from any direction

5 = protected against jets of water from any direction

4 = protected against splashes

If there’s no IP rating is there no protection?

Not necessarily. Motorola, as one example, has long coated its phone’s interiors with a resistant coating, but didn’t submit to the IP ratings system until more recently. 

Also don’t rely on your IP rating as thinking your device is invincible. Having an IP68 rated device is great reassurance, but not a guarantee that nothing can ever go wrong.

You May Also Like

What Do IP Ratings Mean? How To Identify The Best Phone Waterproof Ratings