OUR SMARTPHONES END up in unexpected places, whether it’s a quick dip in the toilet or a journey behind the couch to where only the dust bunnies roam. Just how rugged is your device? Ingress Protection ratings, developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission and first released in 1976, are intended to highlight a device’s level of dust and water resistance.
IP ratings are a helpful standard for comparing new smartphones’ general resistance to dust and water. Keep in mind, however, that tests for IP ratings are performed in laboratory settings on brand-new devices. So, the protections could be significantly diminished if you throw your phone around and scuff it up or purchase a refurbished device. If you’re reading this article because your smartphone is currently drenched, check out WIRED’s guide to saving wet phones before throwing it in any bag of dry rice.