IP rating guide: IP66, IPX7? Water-resistance explained

How wet can you get?

Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
Published on November 02, 2021
3 min read
Photograph of an iPhone submerged in water

One of the most important features we look for in the latest smartphones and wearable technology is water resistance. These days most devices that leave your house every day offer some degree of protection, thankfully. But not every device offers the same level of protection. IP ratings tell us just how much dust and water our devices are protected against. Some devices should only be exposed to a bit of sweat while others can be fully submerged up to a point.

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating scale is an internationally recognised coding system that describes the conditions each device has been tested against. It’s also a handy reference guide for consumers who need to know what level of dust and water protection their device offers.

IP rating meaning

When you see a product advertise an IP rating, you’ll see the letters ‘IP’ followed by two numerals. For example, the iPhone 12 has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. The two numbers after IP represent solid and liquid resistance, in that order. In the case of the iPhone 12, the 6 represents solid resistance (e.g. dust) and the 8 represents liquid resistance (e.g. water).

IP(S)(L)

  • S= Solid resistance
  • L = Liquid resistance

Sometimes you will see an X or 0 in an IP rating. A rating of 0 means the device is not protected against any solid or liquid ingress. Whereas a rating of X means the device has simply not been tested for solid or liquid ingress. For example, the Google Pixel Buds A are rated IPX4. That shows that the Pixel Buds A have been tested for water resistance but not solid or dust resistance. The Pixel Buds A can withstand some degree of dust and solid ingress but Google either hasn’t tested dust resistance thoroughly or it hasn’t made an official claim on the matter.

Solid resistance is rated on a scale of 0 - 6 and liquid resistance is rated on a scale from 0 - 8. IP00 or IPXX is the lowest protection on the IP rating scale and IP68 is the highest.

IP rating chart

Now that we know the basics, the IP rating scale is relatively easy to understand. Essentially, the bigger the number, the more protection a device offers against dust and water. With that being said, each number in the IP rating scale represents specific testing conditions against a particular type and volume of solid or liquid. So while a higher IP rating is a good broad indicator of its protection, it’s still good to reference the IP rating chart below to find out exactly what your device is protected against.

IP Rating
Solid protection
Liquid protection
IPXXNot tested for solid protectionNot tested for liquid protection
IP00No protection from solidsNo protection from liquids
IP01No protection from solidsProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP02No protection from solidsProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP03No protection from solidsProtected against spraying water
IP04No protection from solidsProtected against splashing water
IP05No protection from solidsProtected against light water jet
IP06No protection from solidsProtected against powerful water jet
IP07No protection from solidsProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP08No protection from solidsProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP10Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterNo protection from liquids
IP11Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP12Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP13Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against spraying water
IP14Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against splashing water
IP15Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against light water jet
IP16Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against powerful water jet
IP17Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP18Protected against objects and particles larger than 50mm in diameterProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP20Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterNo protection from liquids
IP21Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP22Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP23Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against spraying water
IP24Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against splashing water
IP25Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against light water jet
IP26Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against powerful water jet
IP27Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP28Protected against objects and particles larger than 12.5mm in diameterProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP30Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterNo protection from liquids
IP31Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP32Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP33Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against spraying water
IP34Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against splashing water
IP35Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against light water jet
IP36Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against powerful water jet
IP37Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP38Protected against objects and particles larger than 2.5mm in diameterProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP40Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterNo protection from liquids
IP41Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP42Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP43Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against spraying water
IP44Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against splashing water
IP45Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against light water jet
IP46Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against powerful water jet
IP47Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP48Protected against objects/particles larger than 1mm in diameterProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP50Dust-resistantNo protection from liquids
IP51Dust-resistantProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP52Dust-resistantProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP53Dust-resistantProtected against spraying water
IP54Dust-resistantProtected against splashing water
IP55Dust-resistantProtected against light water jet
IP56Dust-resistantProtected against powerful water jet
IP57Dust-resistantProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP58Dust-resistantProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond
IP60Dust-protectedNo protection from liquids
IP61Dust-protectedProtected against dripping water (vertically)
IP62Dust-protectedProtected against dripping water (at a 15° angle)
IP63Dust-protectedProtected against spraying water
IP64Dust-protectedProtected against splashing water
IP65Dust-protectedProtected against light water jet
IP66Dust-protectedProtected against powerful water jet
IP67Dust-protectedProtected against water submersion up to 1m deep
IP68Dust-protectedProtected against water submersion 1m deep and beyond

Is water damage covered by the manufacturer's warranty?

Even though manufacturers advertise a degree of water and dust resistance, water damage isn’t necessarily covered by your manufacturer’s warranty. For example, Apple’s one-year warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage. Apple can make claims about the water and dust protection of its devices but it actively discourages users from intentionally getting their device wet. In this instance, the IP rating is intended as a guide, not a guarantee.

Thankfully, there’s such a thing as consumer law. In Australia, consumer law protects you for a “reasonable period from the date of delivery until the failure becomes apparent”. That’s a broad classification that shouldn’t be abused. But if you have reason to believe your device hasn’t been exposed to conditions greater than what the device’s IP rating claims are protected, you may be able to explore your options with the manufacturer. The IP rating is a reliable indicator of the conditions your device can take but there’s always the chance you’ve received a faulty unit.

What are some phones with IP68 dust and water resistance?

While water and dust resistance used to be a massively competitive space in smartphones, most flagship handsets these days offer IP68 water and dust resistance. IP68 protection means the device is completely dust resistant and is capable of surviving submersion in water 1-metre deep and beyond. Some IP68-rated handsets can survive for longer in deeper water. For example, the iPhone 13 Pro Max claims it can be submerged in water up to 6 metres deep for 30 minutes at a time whereas the Galaxy S21 Ultra is only protected in depths up to 1.5 metres at 30 minutes at a time. As a rule of thumb, you still don’t want to risk dropping your phone in anything deeper than 1 metre.

Here’s a short list of some popular smartphones that are rated IP68 for dust and water resistance:

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • Google Pixel 5
Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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