If you have ever bought a Tough Phone and wondered what an IP rating is, then this post is perfect for you.

IP (Ingress Protection) Rating is used to define the levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from tools and dirt etc.

An IP rating is made up of two factors, protection against solids and protection against liquids.  The first number in the IP rating indicates how well the handset is protected against solids (ranging from 0 to 6) while the second number is the indicator for liquids (from 0 to 7).

When you put the two numbers together, it forms the IP rating, so for example an IP 54 rating means that the handset is protected against a limited amount of dust and low pressure water jets.

The first number: Protection against solids
0 – No special protection
1 – Protected against solid objects over 50mm
2 – Protected against solid objects over 12mm
3 – Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm
4 – Protected against solid objects over 1mm
5 – Protected against dust – limited ingress
– Totally protected against dust

The second number: Protection against liquids
– Protected against vertically falling drops of water
1 – Protected against direct sprays up to 15 degrees from the vertical
2 – Protected against direct sprays up to 60 degrees from the vertical
3 – Protected against sprays from all directions – limited ingress
4 – Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress
5 – Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on ship decks – limited ingress
6 – Protected against the effects of temporary immersion of water between 15cm and 1m for 30 minutes
7 – Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

Obviously the higher the number, the better protected your phone will be, from the elements. Depending on what you use your phone for, your ideal IP rating will be different. If you’re working on a building site for example, protecting against solid objects is more important than protection against liquid.