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To be sure, allow us to state what should be obvious by now: There is no such thing as a device that is completely waterproof.

That said, manufacturers have been trying their darndest best to give us gadgets that have some power over water.

Take the iPhone 7 and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 for instance. They’re arguably the most waterproof gadgets there are to date, as their IP ratings suggest: IP67 and IP68 respectively.

But what do these ratings even mean?

Our gadgets always come with an industry rating system for its waterproofness called the IP Code aka International Protection Rating or sometimes referred to as Ingress Protection.

“It refers to how the gadget in question is able to prevent foreign bodies like hair, dirt, and water from entering the chassis of your device,” writes Charles Paw on Manila Bulletin.

When you check your gadget’s packaging, look for the letters “IP.” The numbers that come after them are the actual ratings, operative word: “ratings.” Plural. Those two numbers mean two different things.

“The first digit ranges from 0 to 6 and refers to the level of protection the device has against small foreign objects, like dust,” continues Paw. The thing to remember: the higher this first number is, the better. A device with a rating of IP6 means that it’s solid tight—dust particles are shut out.

So back to the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy: gadgets have an IP rating that starts with a 6—a very good place to start.

But it’s the second digit we all have to look at as it refers to the level of protection the device has against liquid substances. “The max level of protection is 8 so if a gadget manages to get that rating, it means that it has the best possible protection against water.”

An IP rating of IP68 is the highest rating a gadget can get. IP68 means it’s dustproof and waterproof.

Oh, but a caveat: “The water protection rating has a lot of technicality…a 7 rating means that the gadget can withstand a powerful stream of water. It can even be submerged in water of up to 1 meter. It’s the same with an 8 except, the gadget can go beyond 1 meter.”

That said, remember there is no such thing as completely waterproof. “The IP rating system is just appoint of reference,” clarifies Paw.

[h/t Manila Bulletin]

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