The iPhone 7 boasts a few improvements over its predecessors. It has better cameras, faster processors, a revamped home button and with the removal of the headphone jack, it offers better water resistance.
Apple claims that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the first splash, water and dust resistant iPhones as represented by their IP67 intrusion rating. The company achieved this rating for the iPhone 7 by sealing water and dust intrusion areas with rubber gaskets. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the removal of the headphone jack and the mechanical home button greatly improved its water resistance.
This rating suggests that, unlike prior models, you can use them under the rain, take them to the bathroom, splash them by the pool or use them on the beach without fear of damage.
What does IP67 stand for?
What exactly does an IP67 rating mean for electronic gadgets?
The IP in IP67 means "Ingress Protection." This code is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to rate the standard of protection offered by a gadget's enclosure.
The first number signifies the level of protection against external particles like dust and lint. The higher the number, the better the protection against tiny specks of material. This rating ranges from 0 (No protection) to 6 (tight protection from dust).
The second number is the degree of protection against water intrusion. Again, the higher the number, the better. This rating ranges from 0 (no protection from water whatsoever) to 8 (over 1-meter water depth immersion protection).
IP67 then affords the highest level of protection against dust and lint (represented by the first digit 6) and immersion protection of up to 1 meter (or about 3 feet) of freshwater for 30 minutes (represented by the second digit 7).
What can I do and can't do with an IP67 rated gadget?
With the highest rating for dust protection, you could certainly take your IP67 gadget to the beach, the desert or even through a dust storm.
It is also well protected against tiny and fine particles like pocket lint and powder-type substances. We still recommend that you give your gadget a thorough cleaning after exposure to these conditions, of course.
Also, keep in mind, that even with an IP67 rating, your gadget is still susceptible to external scratches so you will still need to be careful when handling your gadget around dust (jet black iPhone 7 owners beware). As the name implies, ingress protection only protects the internal components from particle intrusion.
Against liquids, an IP67 rated gadget's protection is limited to about 30 minutes of immersion in up to a meter or three feet of freshwater. This means it is water-resistant but not water-proof.
It will definitely survive a quick splash in the bathroom or shower and even a quick dip in a toilet or sink. It will also be protected against accidental table spills and will be able to withstand the rain.
While poolside splashes are OK, you can't take an IP67 gadget swimming or diving with you. The protection rating also only refers to freshwater so avoid dipping your IP67 gadget in seawater too.
Also, never ever charge an IP67 rated device while it is wet.
Other gadgets with an IP67 rating
Aside from the iPhone 7, other gadgets with an IP67 rating include smartwatches like the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear. (The generation one Apple Watch has an IPX7 rating, meaning it has no dust protection rating but its water resistance is similarly rated at 7.)
Popular water-resistant Bluetooth speakers like the OontZ Angle 3 are usually rated with IP67.
On the smartphone front, almost all water-resistant models are at least IP67. Newer handsets from the Sony Experia and Samsung Galaxy lines even claim a higher IP68 rating, meaning they can be immersed beyond the one meter limit of IP67 devices.
For all the benefits of IP67 dust and water protection, please do read the fine print regarding your gadget's warranty against water damage. As with the iPhone 7, even with its IP67 rating, Apple still does not cover water damage under its warranty.