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What is IP55 water and dust resistance?

Picking up a new gadget and spotted the term IP55 water resistance on its specs sheet but confused what this actually means?

In a nutshell it’s a certification designed to guarantee a certain level of dust and water resistance. If you want to learn more keep reading as in this guide we’ll detail everything you need to know about IP55 certification.

What is IP55 rating?

IP55 stands for ‘Ingress Protection55’, and it indicates that a phone has been tested against dust and water for up to 55 minutes at a pressure of one atmosphere (or about 10 centimeters of air).

To put this in simpler terms: That means that for most phones with an IP55 rating, no problem should occur even after being left exposed to water from any angle – including from above if you happen to have your phone out of sight at ground level.

IP ratings are an international standard, dating back to 1959. They’re meant to identify the resistance of a device to dust and water. As a rule of thumb the higher the left or right number, the higher the protection it has against dust or water.

Is IP55 waterproof?

The short answer: No, IP55 is not waterproof. That’s not to say that IP55 is not a good water-resistant rating. It is, but the most important factor that makes a phone waterproof is the O-ring seal, which is typically found around the camera and on the back of some devices, such as the iPhone X.

The seal is what keeps water out without also letting dust in. IP55, on the other hand, is not designed to keep water out but only to keep it at a certain level for a certain amount of time. So, yes, it will survive a rainstorm or an accidental dip in the pool. But it won’t stop a hosepipe or a garden sprinkler.

IP55 Water and Dust Resistance testing method

The test protocol for IP55 is very similar to the one used for IP68. First, the device is submerged in water and then dried off with a clean cloth. Water pressure is applied for a set amount of time. The IP rating scale is as follows:

  • IP54: Protection against dust for up to 5 minutes under water pressure of one bar
  • IP55: Protection against dust for up to 55 minutes under water pressure of one bar
  • IP56: Protection against dust for up to 5 minutes under pressure of two bar
  • IP58: Protection against dust for up to 30 minutes under pressure of two bar

Which devices are IP55 certified?

The IP55 certification used to be a common sight on many devices. Older iPhones including the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 carried it as did the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9.

However, as you’ll see in our best phones guide, most modern flagships have since evolved to use the more water resistant IP67 standard. You’re more likely to find the certification in use on mid-level fitness trackers from the likes of Garmin in today’s market.

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