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What Is IP Rating: All You Need to Know About IP Ratings

There has been a meteoric rise in the number of apps created to accompany people in their daily lives. You may use these apps with confidence, even in dusty or wet environments. This is why it is crucial to secure electronic gadgets from similar threats. Here on the datasheet, we find the IP rating section.

Every gadget out there is protected from dust and water to some degree because of its IP classification. Furthermore, just because a device has an IP rating does not mean it is watertight or dustproof. If you want to buy a device because of its resistance to water and dust, you’ll be able to do so with greater knowledge after reading this article.

What Is the Meaning of IP Ratings

A device’s level of protection from various elements can be measured against established criteria. There are two primary norms, MIL-STD (Military Standard) and IP (Internet Protocol) (Ingress Protection). The latter is what most manufacturers care about, and they give their products an IP classification depending on the results of an inspection.

What Is IP Rating and How to Choose the Right IP Rating for a Device

The International Electrotechnical Commission has established a universal standard known as the “IP rating,” which is a measurement of how well a device prevents dust (solid particles) and water from entering it (water). Apple advertises the iPhone 12’s ‘IP68’ rating, which protects it against splashes and spills, as seen in the image above.

There is the meaning behind each individual term in an IP rating, which might span multiple levels. As you continue reading, you’ll get a firm grasp of what each term implies and the degree of security it indicates.

Understanding IP Rating Numbers

What Is IP Rating and How to Choose the Right IP Rating for a Device

A total of three concepts come together to form the IP rating. The first phrase denotes resistance to dust and other solid particles, while the second denotes resistance to water. Finally, an alphabet is provided to represent further details about the rating. This entails further characteristics like grease resistance, weather resistance, etc.

So when you read that the iPhone 12 has an IP68 rating, it means that it offers a Level 6 protection against dust and water and a Level 8 protection against water, and now you might ask – What do they mean? How many tiers does it have, exactly?

Here’s a more in-depth explanation of each phrase, along with the IP rating chart, to answer any questions you may have.

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Term 1 – Dust Resistance

It can be dust-proofed to one of six different degrees. Each of these tiers is defined by the largest solid particle size that it can process or admit.

1Protection against a solid object of size 50mm
2Protection against a solid object > 12.5 mm (ex. finger)
3Protection against a solid object > 2.5 mm (ex. screwdriver)
4Protection against a solid object > 1 mm (ex. wire)
5Dust Protected (presence of dust will not affect operation)
6Dust Tight (no ingress of dust)

The preceding table makes it abundantly clear that a higher value for the first term in the IP rating indicates a higher level of protection against dust ingress.

Term 2 – Liquid Resistance

Electronic devices have nine levels of protection against liquids. A device’s rating is based on how well it can withstand water splashes and drops of varying sizes, velocities, and duration. However, only the first eight levels of water resistance are taken into account by most consumer device manufacturers.

1Protected against water drops, falling vertically at the rate of 1mm/min for 10 minutes.
2Protected against water drops, falling at an angle of 15 deg. at the rate of 3mm/min for 10 minutes.
3Protected against water drops, falling at an angle of 60 deg. for 5 minutes, at the rate of 0.7 lit/min, with a pressure of 80-100kPa.
4Protected against water splashes from all directions for 5 minutes, at 10 lit/min at a pressure of 80-100kPa.
5Protected against a 6.3mm water nozzle, at a distance of 3 meters for 3 minutes at 12.5 lit/min and a pressure of 30kPa.
6Protected against a 12mm water nozzle, at a distance of 3 meters for 3 minutes at 100 lit/min and a pressure of 100kPa.
7Protected against 30 minutes submersion up to a depth of 1 meter.
8Protected for extended periods of submersion up to depths of 3 meters.
9KProtection against high pressure and temperature jets.

The higher the second term in the IP rating, the more protected the device is from liquid infiltration. Nonetheless, producers will need to provide information, such as how long and how deeply the gadget can be submerged in water. The specs sheet should include a note about this.

However, it is possible that some devices will need to be held to a higher standard of providing even greater water resistance than the maximum level indicated by the IP certification.

What if There Is a Need for Even Higher Water Resistance

As an example, think about the Apple Watch Series 7 and its IP6X rating. The IP level of 6 for dust resistance is adequate. The second term, however, is indicated by the letter ‘X. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that it cannot withstand contact with water. This indicates that Apple requires more robust safeguards than even the highest IP rating (number 9) can provide. So, because they preferred an alternative standard, they failed to include an IP rating for water resistance.

They went with the ISO 22810 standard because it allows for more extensive testing of water resistance. So, here’s what you’ll find on the Series 7 Apple Watch’s specs page:

Unlike any IP classification, the ISO 22810 standard allows for water resistance of up to 50 meters (50ATM). While Apple Watch was given, as an illustration, the Galaxy Watch 5 is just one example of a high-end smartwatch that employs a similar multi-standard framework.

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Term 3: Supplementary Letter

The third and final code phrase follows. Some equipment is made to withstand more than just dirt and water; it can also withstand oil. The third definition denotes this supplementary safety.

As a result, the supplemental letter is used by manufacturers to indicate that their product is suitable for usage in more demanding environments. Consumer electronics such as smartphones and wearables may or may not provide these features.

FOil resistant.
HResistant to high voltage.
MProtection while the device is stationary underwater.
SProtection while the device is stationary underwater.
WProtection against harsh weather conditions.

The aforementioned tables were quite helpful in deciphering the nuances of each phrase and its associated definitions. But how do consumers currently evaluate the most popular electronics? Which uses would they shield, exactly? Your questions will be answered and a more realistic perspective on IP ratings will be provided in the next section.

IP Ratings of Best Selling Devices

A high IP rating is becoming more of a need than a selling point. Smartphones generally have good security ratings. With their increased susceptibility to sweat, water, and dust, devices like fully wireless earphones and smartwatches are anticipated to have a sufficient rating. You may find the current standard for evaluating mobile devices including smartphones, headphones, and smartwatches below.


Curious as to the level of water and dust resistance offered by today’s most popular and widely purchased smartphones? What is it?

iPhone 13 Series, iPhone 12 SeriesIP68
iPhone 11 SeriesIP68 (water resistance of 4 meters up to 30 mins)
Google Pixel 6AIP67
Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraIP68 (water resistance of 1.5 meters up to 30 mins)
Samsung Galaxy A53 5GIP67
OnePlus Nord 2No IP rating

The IP68 rating is present in most high-end smartphones, including the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. This is the pinnacle of achievement. Handsets in the mid-range and budget categories typically feature an IP67 rating, but higher-end devices, such as the OnePlus Nord 2, do not.

Your smartphone may be completely dustproof with an IP68 classification, but it won’t be waterproof. Device makers will tell you to keep your phone out of the pool, the shower, and any other activity where it might get submerged in water accidentally.

An IP classification for your smartphone, thus, provides protection against, at most, light splashing and accidental spills. Devices can be immersed up to a depth of 1-3 meters for up to 30 minutes without damage, according to the ratings, but you should still try to avoid doing so on purpose.

Wireless Earphones

What Is IP Rating and How to Choose the Right IP Rating for a Device

In response to Apple’s revolutionary AirPods, nearly every major earphone manufacturer has released their own set of truly wireless headphones. In spite of the plethora of choices accessible today, not all are created equal in terms of their IP classification. The ideal set of headphones would have a water-resistance certification for both the headphones themselves and their carrying case.

Airpods ProIPX4, Case not rated
Pixel Buds ProIPX4, Case rated at IPX2
OnePlus Buds Z2IP55, Case rated at IPX4
Samsung Galaxy Buds ProIPX7, Case not rated

In light of the fact that most people use wireless earbuds while running, playing sports, or engaging in other forms of physical activity, it is not surprising that all of these products boast some sort of water resistance rating. Yet, it appears that the vast majority of manufacturers neither test nor give information about the device’s resistance to dust. That’s why there’s a ‘X’ there.

However, this does not imply that they are not dust-proof. The problem is that there is currently no way to measure the level of opposition. However, there are exceptions, like as the OnePlus Buds Z.

Your headphones and charging case should have a water resistance grade of 4 or 5 to withstand perspiration, water drips, and other liquid interactions as you work out or play sports. Like smartphones, it’s best to avoid swimming while deliberately submerging or wearing your headphones underwater.

As such, gadgets with a higher rating, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, can increase the wearer’s chances of survival in the event of an accident involving water or other liquids.

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As was noted earlier in the essay, smartwatches typically contain water-resistant ratings based on a separate standard. Most premium smartwatches adhere to the ISO 22810 standard for increased water resistance of 50ATM and the IP dust protection level of 6. These timepieces can withstand depths of up to 50 meters for extended periods of time.

Apple Watch Series 7IP6X with 50ATM water resistance
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5IP68, plus 50ATM water resistance
Mi Band 5IP68
Fitbit Versa50ATM water resistance

This means you can wear one of these watches while swimming or taking a shower. However, high-velocity sports like skiing and deep-water sports like scuba diving are not suggested. Furthermore, most models feature the highest possible dust resistance rating of 6, so you can rest assured that they are completely dustproof.

However, an ISO rating of 50ATM is not typically found on low-cost fitness bands. They are not water-resistant, therefore you can’t wear them when swimming or doing other sports. If they have an IP rating, you can assume they provide some degree of protection.

A more grounded understanding of IP ratings, we trust, has been presented here. Your understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various security measures has been greatly enhanced.

All You Need to Know About IP Ratings

In the end, this was the best resource we found for determining IP ratings. This is meant to supplement the information provided in product descriptions and marketing materials on dust and water resistance. As we tend to take our smartphones and tablets with us wherever we go, the IP rating might be a deciding factor. We created this resource in the hopes that it will assist you in making the best decision possible.

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