How Waterproof is the Galaxy Note 7's IP68 Rating?

Earlier today, the Galaxy Note 7 was announced complete with a whole new raft of tweaks and improvements to last year's Galaxy Note 5. Under-the-hood, we have new and improved processors as well as the return of the microSD card slot, which can support up to 256GB of storage, augmenting the included 64GB of storage for oodles of room on your smartphone. Which leads us to the question of how durable the new Galaxy Note 7 is. Just like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy Note 7 is built using a glass and metal structure, but it's certified with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, but just how waterproof does that make the new Galaxy Note?

That rating of IP68 stands for "Ingress Protection", with the first number regarding dust and the second number regarding water. That dust rating of 6 is fairly high, and while this might not be a big deal, the classic scenario of being at the beach with an IP6x rating for dust protection means that your USB port won't fail and you won't be left with sand in your earpiece or headphone socket for months afterwards. It's also great for those that work in dusty environments such as construction and so on. The second rating of 8 is again, fairly high, and according to the industry standards agency that came up with the IP certification, this means the Galaxy Note 7 is good for a dunking up to 30 meters for no longer than 5 minutes. Of course, these ratings will have been certified in laboratory environments, so that dunking underwater is probably with fresh water, and the saltier the sea, the more likely it is to do damage to your device. Remember, ingress protection is just that, it prevents the bad stuff from getting in, but if you push it too long and the water does get in, there's no telling what sort of corrosion and headaches you'll end up coming across.

Of course, the big deal here is the waterproof S Pen, which will now work on the Galaxy Note 7 when the display is wet. This is a pretty big deal, as even though this doesn't mean that the Galaxy Note 7's S Pen will work submerged underwater, it at least makes the phone useable when there's water on the touchscreen. As always, this IP68 rating is more of a safety net than it is anything else, the Galaxy Note 7 - nor the Galaxy S7 line - are not designed to be the sort of devices that can handle a beating, and while it's nice that these features exist, they're not cast iron guarantees.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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