Samsung’s latest and biggest Note, the Galaxy Note 9, will go on sale in most parts of the world from next week. The handset is an iterative upgrade over the Note 8 featuring an improved dual-camera setup, better performance and storage, and improved battery life and S-Pen. And just like the previous Note and Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S lineup, the Note 9 is also IP68 certified.
The IP68 certification means the Galaxy Note 9 is dust and water-resistant. Mind you, water-resistant, not water-proof. There’s a world of difference between the two.
If you are wondering what the Galaxy Note 9’s IP68 certification really means, read below.
What Does the Galaxy Note 9’s IP68 Certification Mean?
The ‘IP’ in the ‘IP68’ certification of the Galaxy Note 9 or any other device stands for Ingress Protection, while the number ’68’ denotes the level of protection. The ‘6’ in the ‘IP68’ denotes that the Note 9 is dustproof i.e. its internals are completely sealed against any kind of dust ingress. As for the ‘8’, it means the Note is resistant to water ingress for 30 mins in up to 1.5m depth but only in fresh water.
It is important to note that not only the Galaxy Note 9 but the S Pen is also water-resistant. And the phone continues to be water-resistant even if it is dunked in water with the S Pen removed.
IP68 is the highest level of IP certification available for consumer devices. While all of Samsung devices have featured IP68 certification, it is a step above the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 7 and even Google’s Pixel 2 series which feature an IP67 certification.
The Fine Print
Just because the Galaxy Note 9 features an IP68 certification, it does not mean it is waterproof or it cannot be damaged by liquid. There’s a world of difference between water-resistant and waterproof. The former means that the Note 9 is only capable of resistant ingress of water thanks to the rubber sealing around its internals. If you expose your Note 9 to a pressurized water source for an extended period of time, the water can easily breach the water-resistance sealing and seep inside it.
Then, there’s also the difference between water and other forms of liquid. Regular/fresh water is fine but exposing your Note 9 to salt/sea water is a very bad idea. Doing so accidentally and for a short period of time is fine, but exposing the device regularly to salt or sea water over a period of time will cause irreparable damage.
If you ever end up dropping your Note 9 in seawater, it is recommended that you immediately take it out, wash it with regular water, dry it, and then let it sit idle for a few hours. Trying to use the phone or doing anything else during this period might damage the phone permanently. You can take the Note 9 swimming with you, but do not take it down to the very bottom of the pool as the pressure might breach the sealing of the device.
Wear and Tear
The IP certification of any device is achieved by sealing the internal chassis using rubber gaskets. This certification will deteriorate over time due to wear and tear. This is unlikely to make a huge difference, but if you end up dropping the Galaxy Note 9 and its chassis shape or structure is compromised, its IP rating can be affected.
If the front or the rear glass panel of the Note 9 ends up getting cracked, the Note 9’s IP certification will be compromised. While this is unlikely to have any immediate impact, it is recommended that if your Note 9’s glass panel is cracked, you should avoid dunking it in water.
Irrespective of the fact that the Galaxy Note 9 features an IP68 certification, Samsung will not honor the warranty of the device due to liquid damage. If you live in the United States or any other developed market, you can still probably get Samsung to repair or replace your phone under warranty. But in other parts of the world, you might be out of luck.
The IP68 certification of the Galaxy Note 9 is meant to act as a cushion against accidental spills and splashes. It is not recommended that you expose your Note 9 to water or any kind of liquid over an extended period of time just because it has an IP68 certification.