Water-proof or water-resistant? Can your new Galaxy S5 or Xperia Z2 truly swim, or is secretly afraid of the water?
Of course, user manuals usually specify the exact usage scenarios and conditions you should avoid if you want to keep your phone alive. Alas, this is done only after you purchased a “waterproof” phone that actually might be afraid of the water. And besides, user manuals are anecdotal for going over people's heads for some reason.
Yet, with more and more of today's flagship smartphones gaining attention for their toughness, we fear this misinformation could result in many “drowned" devices. If Archos' CEO himself couldn't figure out how much he can push his company's IP54-certified phone, what chance does the average user have?
Obviously, we can't make marketing people change the way they present information. Their task is to sell, not educate. Also, we are not an authority that can "coin" the difference between "water-proof" and "water-resistant", because that's something the International Electrotechnical Comission, which published the IP standard, should do. For some reason, it still hasn't, and that's growing into a problem.
Likewise, here's a real-life example: last year's Sony Xperia Z, which is rated IP57, is known as "waterproof". But, according to the IP standard guidelines, the “7” in “57” means the Xperia Z is good to survive 30 minutes immersed in up to 1m of water. Anything beyond this doesn't guarantee an outcome in which you won't be better off feeding your dead phone to the fishes.
- IP stands for Ingress Protection
- The first digit indicates the level of dust protection
- The second digit indicates the level of water protection
- If there's an "x" in place of the left digit, this means no dust protection, only water protection
- If there's an "x" in place of the right digit, this means no water protection, only dust protection
Dust protection levels
|Level||Object size protection against||Effective against|
|0||—||No protection against contact and ingress of objects|
|1||>50 mm||Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part|
|2||>12.5 mm||Fingers or similar objects|
|3||>2.5 mm||Tools, thick wires, etc|
|4||>1 mm||Most wires, screws, etc.|
|5||Dust protected||Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact (dust proof)|
|6||Dust tight||No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight)|
Water protection levels
|Level||Protected against||Testing for||Details|
|1||Dripping water||Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.||Test duration: 10 minutes|
Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute
|2||Dripping water when tilted up to 15°||Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.||Test duration: 10 minutes|
Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute
|3||Spraying water||Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.||Test duration: 5 minutes|
Water volume: 0.7 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kPa
|4||Splashing of water||Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.||Test duration: 5 minutes|
Water volume: 10 litres per minute
Pressure: 80–100 kPa
|5||Water jets||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: at least 15 minutes|
Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m
|6||Water jets||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: at least 3 minutes|
Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m
|6K||Powerful water jets with increased pressure||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: at least 3 minutes|
Water volume: 75 litres per minute
Pressure: 1000 kPa at distance of 3 m
|7||Immersion up to 1m||Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).||Test duration: 30 minutes|
Immersion at depth of at least 1 m measured at bottom of device, and at least 15 cm measured at top of device
|8||Immersion beyond 1m||The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. It can also mean that water can enter, but only in non-harmful ways.||Test duration: continuous immersion in water|
Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m
|9K||Powerful high temperature water jets||Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.||—|
1. alterecho (Posts: 1089; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Moto G isn't waterproof, but you still can consider it as water-resistant...sort of.
10. akki20892 (Posts: 3603; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Oh that girl,
do you guys remember in Z article.
11. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3152; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Erica has great videos! But what article, I'm curious :)?
25. akki20892 (Posts: 3603; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
29. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3152; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Oh you mean that one lol! I thought you were talking about Erica Griffin (in the link posted by alterecho)
36. KingDingaLing (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
Great link until I got to pic 8 of 8!
26. akki20892 (Posts: 3603; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Oh that girl.....I mean oh that girl is hottt.
31. williamdroid (Posts: 125; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)
Im glad that even though most of us may disagree on OSes and OEMs and whatnot, we can all agree that the girl is indeed hot
6. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 438; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
Sony might be needing more and stronger adhesives if they want to achieve 9K.
7. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1374; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
9K on a phone? That would be overkilled XD. At that point, you should just find a life proof box and put the phone in.
8. istitch (Posts: 170; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)
that would be impractical
i think making the device unbreakable is better, shockproof, scratchproof..
9. mokhtar (Posts: 264; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)
sony is the only company professionel in term of waterproof and dustproof , and i except this year many people will cry about there s5 because a lot of them don't know the difference between waterproof and water resistance .. so take your s5 and my z1 in pool and make the fun begin :D :)
15. buccob (Posts: 1533; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Well I think IP57 is also very good... I have used my Acro S in a pool many times... and also going a little beyond the 1 meter depth test...
I have used it in the sea, and for over 30 minutes at a time....
What you really need to keep in mind is to wash salt water off with tap water... and every now and then I apply rubber vaseline to the flaps to keep them from drying out and crack...
It has been over a year with my phone and it still takes showers and dunks in a pool very nicely.
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16. mokhtar (Posts: 264; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)
i know i have the z before , THE GSG5 IS IP67 NOT even IP57
30. williamdroid (Posts: 125; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)
Last i heard the Galaxy S5 is IP67-certified. The 6 means it's dust proof, while the 7 means it can be immersed in water (up to 1 meter) for 30 minutes. That said, Sony's design is way better.
12. MrTzr (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)
My first Xperia Z died when I submerged it into water. I did NOT exceed the IP57 limits. Sony didn't give a f*ck, but I was lucky enough to get my faulty Z replaced by my retailer. My second Z still works, after being submerged a hundred times.
13. N-fanboy (Posts: 538; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)
What sort of rating should a phone have in order for it to work after spending an hour or two inside a v@gina?
24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8798; Member since: 14 May 2012)
... Of all the comments in the world, you chose this one? Congrats.
22. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6668; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
We all know the Z1 have the best design and water proof capablities in a phone than the GSV with it's failure design.
23. mianhae445 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)
From most water tests, most phones are pretty much IPx4 ...
27. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3574; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
No one is capable to make beautiful premium phones and simultaneously making it water and dust resistant like sony. The Z series is a True marvel of engineering prowess.
32. williamdroid (Posts: 125; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)
+1 to you sir. I agree with what you said. Also, that amazing Camera
The only reason why i didn't buy Sony i because i really hate onscreen buttons. Also, i love phablets.
So as long as Samsung keeps the buttons off my screen I'll stick to the Note line.
If SS does go to onscreen (which it probably will eventually) I'm going over to Sony.
34. MrTzr (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)
My only complaint about Sony is indeed the on-screen buttons. It is such a waste of screen space, and the bezel is big enough to fit capacitive buttons. I hope Sony will change it some day, as that will make the perfect phone for me.
28. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3574; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Btw i dont think crossing limits of IP (depth of water, duration)wont brick the phone. The moto g, countless nokia phones which without IP rating have survived water dives and what not. And besides the new z2 seems to have aluminium flaps so they are anything but flimsy.
37. galanoth (Posts: 332; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)
So the GS5 is better at keeping dust out of your phone.
While the Z2 can last longer underwater.
38. Dadler22 (Posts: 161; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
Well I usually find myself getting blasted by high powered jets, so I guess I'll just have to keep waiting for 9k certification