If youve been working in an outdoor trade, or an outdoor sports enthusiast, youre probably used to accepting the fragility of your phone and taking extraordinary care of it. Youve probably invested in a waterproof casing, but have discovered that doesnt make the phone very practical or functional. Youre probably starting to hear of a new generation of Tough Phones that claim they are waterproof. Is there really such a thing as a waterproof phone?
Tough Phones have developed enormously in the last few years. They are no longer the impractical, highly expensive bricks they once were. Now you can get an affordable rugged durable phone that looks good, and yes, it can be waterproof too.
The key measure that is displayed on Waterproof Phones is the IP Rating. This is an indicator of Ingress Protection: how well the phone stands up to dust and moisture making its way in to the sensitive inner workings of the phone. These ratings are expressed as IP followed by two single digits under 10. This rating system has been developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The two digits are the indicators against solid ingress (i.e. being dustproof) and resistance against water intrusion, spray or immersion.
The first digit, e.g. the 6 in IP68, refers to the level of dust-resistance. The second digit, e.g. the 8 in IP68, indicates the degree of water-resistance. Dust-resistance is classified on a scale from 0-6, and water on a scale from 0-8. These figures are extremely important when it comes to ascertaining just how waterproof your phone is.
The various levels within the rating scores are specified by the IEC, but in short, the higher the numbers of the IP rating (with a maximum of IP68), the tougher the phone is. A phone with a rating of IP68 is a tough as you can get, highly durable and hard-wearing.
In terms of waterproofing, you therefore want to be looking at an IP Rating where the second digit is 6, 7 or 8. 6 means no damage will occur from stream jets of water, 7 can tolerate against temporary or shallow immersion, and 8 can tolerate prolonged water immersion with a greater degree of depth and water pressure.
However, no phone can claim to be completely waterproof, after all they are fundamentally a fragile small piece of electronic equipment. A score of 8 means that the phone can resist damage when immersed in depths of up to 1 metre for a maximum of 30 minutes. Nonetheless, this is likely to be adequate for the majority of users looking for a waterproof phone. If the parameters of this are going to be greater then unfortunately you will need to resort back to dry bags or boxes.
It is possible to consider a phone waterproof though for the vast majority of requirements. These phones are the toughest on the market. Many have additional inbuilt functionality such as an excellent camera, making them ideal for photos of sports, or landscapes when out on a bike or climbing.
The added benefit of all tough phones, in addition to their water-proofing, is that they have been designed to withstand greater shocks and bumps than a standard phone. For most people looking for a degree of water-resistance, they also need to protect against these bumps that arent kind to a standard smartphone. A tough phone with a high IP rating will also come with a tough exterior, padded corners, and shatterproof screens. You will find all you need in the new generation of Tough Waterproof Phones.