Glossary

Dust- and water-resistance

What is water resistance?

Water damage is a techie's worst nightmare. Rarely covered by warranties, it is one of the most common causes of damaged equipment. Plenty of us have dropped our phones in the toilet while texting or due to keeping gadgets in our back pockets; it may also be that you were caught off guard by summer rain, or dropped your device in the sink while brushing your teeth and watching Netflix. Long story short, chances of water damage are limitless, but the good news is that the mobile industry is delivering more and more water-resistant products.

Water resistance is a form of protection against humidity and water penetration. A water-resistant device can endure raindrops or water splashes, or even an occasional drop in the sink.

Water-resistance levels, however, do vary. While water-resistant devices are better protected compared to weather-sealed products, they are not waterproof. If you are looking for a phone or camera to take photos underwater, then you definitely need one that is fully waterproof.

Weather-sealed products may withstand dust and rain, but don't take the latter as a solemn pledge – whereas a few drops may not pose a threat to your gadget, more torrential rain could cause irreversible damage. Currently, many consumer electronics are classified by IP ratings, with IP67 and IP68 being the most common at this point.

Water resistance is a marvel, but be warned: it's not the same as "waterproof." Moreover, when it comes to smartphones, water damage may still not be covered by warranties even for IP67 and IP68 products, so you might prefer to use waterproof cases when taking your phone for a swim.

Although water resistance is becoming increasingly popular for mobile devices, don't take it as a given, especially when it comes to mid-range and budget phones.

As for wearables, on any given day, your wearable device has to deal with sweat, and most likely, with water splashes when you're rinsing your hands. Still, we advise you to check out if your wearable is only weather-sealed, or if it is actually water-resistant.

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