Protecting your smartphone from water: what you should keep in mind


One time you didn’t pay attention and it happened. The beloved and, above all, expensive smartphone fell into the water – be it the toilet, sink or bathtub, dangers lurk everywhere. A visit to the washing machine or a refreshing dip in an overturned drink in the beer garden are more common than you might think.

Once the mishap has happened, it is important to keep a cool head, because the wrong reaction at this point can result in a total loss of the smartphone, even if it could have been saved with the right immediate measures. However, it has to be honestly said that this probability is small – electronics and water just don’t go together. Then good advice is expensive, because the manufacturer’s guarantee is generally not liable for water damage.

Nevertheless, a rescue attempt is worthwhile, even if only to transfer important data such as photos to the cloud or to another storage medium at short notice. Because even if the smartphone can still be used, long-term damage is not uncommon. Read what you can try in the worst case, what preventive measures are available and what protection classes mean.

Protection classes

More and more smartphone manufacturers are already providing more or less usable protection against water and moisture. The industry uses the well-known protection class classification, which ranges from IP00 (no protection) to IP69k (maximum protection). IP stands for “International Protection”, with smartphones the bandwidth ranges from IP52 to IP68. The table shows you how this code can be deciphered in detail.

Foreign bodies & touch

The first digit indicates the protection against foreign bodies. Most smartphone models reach class 5 or 6 here, as the housing is completely closed apart from the charging socket, the headphone connection and the speaker openings. The number also indicates the protection against accidental contact. This is completely given with smartphones.

IP protection class: Protection against foreign bodies

Code number Protection against foreign bodies
0 no protection
1 protected against solid foreign bodies with a diameter of ≥ 50 mm
2 protected against solid foreign bodies with a diameter of ≥ 12.5 mm
3 protected against solid foreign bodies with a diameter of ≥ 2.5 mm
4 protected against solid foreign bodies with a diameter of ≥ 1 mm
5 protected against dust in harmful quantities
6 dustproof

Water & moisture

The second digit provides information about protection against water and moisture. This ranges from dripping water such as rain to processing the test item with a high-pressure cleaner. connect only awards points when protection class 5 has been reached.

IP protection class: Protection against water

Code number Protection against water
0 no protection
1 Protection against dripping water falling vertically onto the housing
2 Protection against falling dripping water when the housing is inclined up to 15 degrees
3 Protection against falling spray water up to 60 degrees from the vertical
4 Protection against splashing water on all sides
5 Protection against water jets (nozzle) from any angle – at least 3 minutes
6 Protection against strong water jets – at least 3 minutes
7 Protection against temporary submersion in a depth of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
8 Protection against permanent submersion at a depth of more than 1 meter (details defined by manufacturer)

Additional manufacturer regulations

But be careful, smartphone manufacturers often additionally restrict protection against water and moisture in their general terms and conditions. As is so often the case, the small print counts here. For example, water protection often only applies to immersion in clear fresh water. Dirty, chlorinated and salt water are usually just as excluded as other liquids such as drinks.

In addition, there is a time limit and a maximum permissible depth, because otherwise the water pressure ensures that the water makes its way through the seals. The manufacturers themselves do not always pay attention to their own guarantee provisions. Sony scored a classic own goal. Some time ago, the Japanese advertised diving smartphone users and underwater photos – and promptly received a series of complaints about water damage.


Source: RSS Feed: Connect – Smartphones by www.connect.de.

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