What Does It Really Mean To Have a Waterproof Phone

As mobile technology is upgraded on almost a day-to-day basis, it also experiences an increased delicacy. The modern generation smartphones come with RAM higher than those available in desktops, graphics surpassing those of gaming PCs, camera lenses as good as professional ones, memory ranging in hundreds of gigabytes, and all of that in a small and sleek design. But to do that, the mobile phone manufacturers and designers need to increase complexity of the hardware settings, which in turn, make your phone more delicate and easily susceptible to accidental risks. One such risk is water or liquid damage.

waterproof smartphones
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Imagine you just got stuck in heavy rain, or dropped your phone in some bucket, or just damaged it while clicking pictures on a beach. What happens? Your phones’ circuits are probably fired or short-circuited, damaging its CPU and thus, corrupting its display, memory, and sensors. In short, your phone’s dead. To avoid such cases, companies have gone further in research and developed tools to protect your phone from liquid damage through waterproofing techniques. But, what does that mean and how to know your phone is safe from water? Does this technology really work? Does that take the load off your shoulders? Let’s find out.

Waterproofing vs Water Resistance

Waterproofing vs Water Resistance
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We all have heard companies claiming “Waterproofing Technology” or “Protect from Liquid Damage” in the feature ads of their phones. However, the real deal is what they describe in the “Know More” section, or in some cases, doesn’t explain at all. Firstly, waterproofing and water resistance are two entirely different concepts. Waterproof means that your device has complete protection from all sorts of water spill damages, regardless of the intensity at which the particular device was subjected to a liquid body. Water Resistance offers a simple resistance from damage by water up to a certain extent, thus, not promising a complete protection. Technically, there are no phones available as of yet with complete waterproofing. It’s always water-resistant and no company claims that you can just pour water over your phone to brag about its waterproof ability. So, now you know that you just can’t go taking pictures of yourself while diving in a swimming pool.

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What is IP Rating?

What is IP Rating
Image: Digital Trends

How can you know the extent of water resistance abilities of your phone? That’s where an IP rating helps you out. IP stands for Ingress Protection. IP is an industrial marking, recognized by all sorts of industries globally, which represents protection from dust, liquid damage, corrosion, accidental damages. IP ratings are generally (in case of smartphones) are written and displayed in formats of IPXX, where the first digit represents extent of protection from dust, while the second digit represents extent of protection from water damage. The IP rating for dust resistance ranges between 0 and 6, whereas the for water resistance, the range is between 0 and 9. Here, 0 means that a single drop inside any of the ports of your phone would make it go off, forever; on the other hand, a 9 rating means that even a high-pressure water strike won’t do any damage to internal circuits of your phone.

Remember, Sony Xperia Z3, a phone which everyone literally tested under direct tap water? That was because of its IP68 rating, offering high extent of water resistance. Even after that, Sony never marketed the product as “Waterproof”, but only featured “Water Resistance”.

So, No IP Rating Means No Protection, Right?

So No IP Rating Means No Protection Right
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NO! You’re wrong. A non-rated mobile phone does not mean that it’s not water-resistant. Water resistance or Waterproofing is a technology. IP rating is just a standardization, and like every standardization marking, organizations need to apply for the concerned certification from a proper authoritative government body. Now days, people need all facilities in a budget phone, and such certifications of standardizations cost these mobile phone companies a good amount. So, if they do that, that’ll extend the product’s market price, and may also exceed consumers’ pocket range. That is why companies usually choose not to opt for certification. However, they do provide water resistant feature. One Plus is the most common example of such a case. One Plus have always claimed its phones to be water resistant, however has no IP rating available for any of the phone models. Same is the case with a number of mobile phone manufacturers. So, in case you can’t find an IP Rating for your phone, you need not worry. You’re probably safer than you think.

How Mobile Phone Companies are Ensuring Water Resistance?

How Mobile Phone Companies are Ensuring Water Resistance
Image Source: Engadget

Water resistance is now a common feature and is available in all mid-range to premium smartphones in the world. But how do companies make sure that the water spills don’t bother their consumers and save them their service center visits? Well, initially, companies added rubber casings over different ports to ensure that the water do not get transported through them into the inner circuits of the phone.

However, now companies have sought to internal layering of these ports, thus offering a similar sealing and protection without gasket covers. For example, almost all phones now have wire meshes over earpiece, providing extra water resistance. Then there is irremovable batteries. To provide for a more compact casing of mobile CPU, modern smartphones come with sealed back bodies and irremovable batteries to protect the internal hardware settings.

These casings cannot be opened by consumers and are only opened for repairs by service specialists. And above all that, various companies have opted for removal of ports from phones. A lot of companies have recently removed audio jacks to ensure more cover and protection from water and dust.

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So, How to Protect Your Phone from Water Damage

Now you know that you just can’t flaunt your phone in open beach while enjoying small tides with your loved ones. Hence, you need to take precautions to protect your phone from complete damage. Here are a few points you can consider;

  • If subjected to water, keep the phone for dry-up in sunlight. Do not use a dryer. It would not affect the water that have entered inner circuits of your phone.
  • NEVER charge your phone right after you’ve dropped it in water. That would surely act as a Kill Switch.
  • DO NOT turn it on before proper drying. The smallest amount of water in the circuits would fry them.
  • And at last, just use plastic bags and casings nearby water bodies for your phones. It’s a simple precautionary measure to prevent water from entering in.

So, there is no such thing as complete waterproofing for smartphones. Protect it all the times and avoid taking phones near water. No companies cover water damage in mobile warranty, and an insurance plan for the same would still not make up for the data losses you’ll have to bear. Phones are now major access device for banking, shopping, and various other services. It’s an important part of your routine in many ways and it’s up to you to keep it safe.

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