The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are the Korean company’s flagship handset for 2018. They pack in iterative upgrades over their predecessor, though Samsung has paid some serious attention to the camera this time around. Like previous flagship Galaxy devices, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ also feature an IP68 certification which makes them dust and water-resistant.
But before you go around dunking the Galaxy S9 into water or any kind of liquid thinking its IP68 certification makes it waterproof, there are a few things you need to know. Just because the Galaxy S9 features an IP68 certification, it does not mean that Samsung will honor any kind of liquid damage to the device.
What does the IP68 certification of Galaxy S9 stand for?
The ‘IP’ in the ‘IP68’ certification of the S9 means Ingress Protection, with the 68 denoting the level of protection. The ‘6’ in the ‘IP68’ denotes that the Galaxy S9 is fully protected against any kind of dust ingress. As for the ‘8’, it denotes the handset is resistant to water ingress for 30 mins for up to 1.5m depth but only in fresh water. This is the highest level of IP certification available for consumer devices. This is higher than that of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 but in line with other Android flagships that are also water-resistant. Almost every major flagship handset launched in the last year or two has featured a certain degree of water and dust-resistance.
The Fine Print
The important thing to note, however, is that the IP rating of the device does not make it resistant to all and any kind of liquid. Pressurised water can easily breach the water resistance seal of the handset and seep inside it thereby damaging the internals. Similarly, salt/sea water is a strict no-no. Do NOT take your Galaxy S9 with you to the beach for swimming thinking this will cause it no harm. Seawater can cause a lot of damage to water resistant devices. If you do end up dropping your Galaxy S9 in salt/sea water, quickly take it out and even if it is working fine, wash it thoroughly with fresh water and then dry it properly. Do this even if the handset is working fine after being dunked in seawater. The damage caused might not be immediately visible but it will after a few hours. If you spill any other liquid on the handset, do the same thing as they can wear off the oleophobic coating on its display.
Wear and Tear
The Galaxy S9 achieve its IP68 certification by sealing the internal chassis using rubber gaskets. The IP certification of the device will deteriorate over time, though this should not make a huge difference. Most importantly, though, if you drop your Galaxy S9 and its frame or the structure of the chassis is compromised in any way, its IP rating can be affected. Similarly, if the front or rear glass panel of the device shatters, the IP rating of the device will be affected. In such cases, you should always be careful of dunking the phone in water as too much pressure can end up breaching the internal sealing.
Irrespective of the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S9 is IP68 certified and Samsung proudly highlights this in its marketing materials, the company does not cover the handset for any kind of liquid damage under its one-year limited warranty. So, if you somehow do end up causing liquid damage to your Galaxy S9, don’t expect the Korean to replace or fix your phone for free.
Consider the IP68 certification of the Galaxy S9 as a protection against accidental liquid spills or those oops moments when you accidentally drop the phone in the toilet. Do not keep dunking the phone in pressurized water thinking it will emerge unscathed from it over time. While a light wash under tap water to clean the device is fine, never dunk the phone in deep water for a long period of time as it can negatively affect its IP certification and eventually cause water damage.