Understanding IPX

Understanding IPX 

One time during a trip to Langkawi, I foolishly brought my Sony Ericsson along as I snorkelled. I’d seen a commercial where a guy on a canoe dips his phone into the lake to snap a picture of a fish. Like the protagonist of the commercial, I jumped at the opportunity to capture any sea life that was to cross my path as I waded the waters.  

As I showed off pictures of a parrotfish I had captured, my screen went blank. And that was the last time I ever went snorkelling with my phone.   

While many gadgets now boast water-resistance and waterproof, it doesn’t mean that you can be making underwater video calls anytime soon, not without watery consequences. The best place to start looking is the IPX rating of your device, which generally indicates how resistant your device is to water. Let’s take a closer look to avoid having to Ziplock your device in rice ever again. 

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What does IP mean? 

No, it doesn’t mean “Idiot-proof”, IP stands for Ingress Protection. “Ingress” basically means going-in, and “protection” means protection. Most reputable brands will usually have the IPX rating along with common terms such as splash-proof, water-resistant, waterproof, weather resistant, etc. Less reputable brands often sport such terms without the IPX rating, which should raise doubt as it could lead to warranties being void. 

What about IPXX? 

You’ll sometimes notice that some gadgets sport two digits. In such instances IP still means the same thing the first X usually covers solids such as dust or sand, followed by liquids. For solids, the rating goes from 0 to 6. For liquids, the rating goes from 0 to 8. 


IP0X – No protection 

IP1X – Protects against solids greater than 50mm 

IP2X – Protects against solids greater than 12.5mm 

IP3X – Protects against solids greater than 2.5mm  

IP4X – Protects against solids greater than 1mm  

IP5X – Resistant from solids 

IP6X – No dust shall pass!! 


IPX0 – No protection 

IPX1 – Protects against dripping water 

IPX2 – Protects against dripping water from a greater angle 

IPX3 – Protects against spraying water  

IPX4 – Protects against splashes and sprays from all angles 

IPX5 – Protects against low pressure water from all angles 

IPX6 – Protects against high pressure water from all angles 

IPX7 – Protects against water immersion for up to 3 feet 

IPX8 – Protects against water immersion beyond 3 feet 

Saltwater SOS 

While your device may claim to be fully protected against water immersion. You need to be a little bit more cautious when it comes to saltwater. This is because saltwater is corrosive and may eat away at your device. Saltwater can also get trapped around the earpiece and speakers, creating a muffling effect as the saltwater dries out. After contact with saltwater, it is best to rinse your device with freshwater. 


Now that you are better informed about the IPX rating system, you can now comfortably go for a lap in the pool with your water-resistant device. If you still have doubts about the level of liquid resistance of your device, you could always get InstaCover for a wider range of care options, so that you don’t have to worry as much. Find out more about it here: instacover.compasia.com


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