Waterproof or Water-Resistant smartwatches? IP Rating, ATM Rating Explained

Do your smartwatch have protection from the water?? Is your watch fully waterproof??

Are you an avid smartwatch user? Do you want to use your smartwatch almost every time in a day? Then, you should certainly opt for a waterproof smartwatch. Otherwise, drops or splashes of water would damage your expensive device. However, you would still need to use your smartwatch with caution when it is about to get in contact with water.

Need for Waterproof Smartwatches

In the regular smartwatches, if water enters, it can easily damage the internal circuit of your watch. Even the damage would be more intense if the water has soluble particles like soap or salt.

Waterproof Smartwatches

Having the water-resistant feature would protect your favorite companion from water to some extent. Moreover, it would help you to stay away from the inconvenience of removing your smartwatch now and then.

Aren’t you a water person (For instance, a swimmer)? Then, you won’t need a high-end water-resistant smartwatch. But, if you are not sure enough, you need to be familiar with the IP ratings. Follow the post, and you will have a better idea about water-resistant smartwatch.

Water-Resistant VS Waterproof

Do you think water-resistant and waterproof are the same? No, they are different. Even no such product as waterproof exists in the world. Definitely, you would get water protection for some extent (if your smartwatch have a higher IP rating.) which will be really beneficial in daily uses.

Water-Resistant VS Waterproof

Nonetheless, certain parameters are there beyond which there is no guarantee of protection of your device against water. Being water-resistant means having protection against water to a certain extent!

In clear terms, being waterproof means having 100% protection against water. That means the duration up to how long the device has been immersed in water cannot pose any effect. And you already know there is no such device that is waterproof.

Hence, if you find a device advertised as waterproof, it is actually a water-resistant device.

You must check the test conditions well before making your device come into contact with water. When it comes to figuring out the resistance of a device (against liquids and solids), IP (Ingress Protection) rating comes into the picture.

Cautions with Water resistant smartwatches

Note that water-resistance is a temporary feature in a device (in a smartwatch in this context). That means the water-resistant quality of a smartwatch can lessen over time. Hence, you need to be very careful if your smartwatch is a few years old.

Never put your smartwatch in water for longer, as you cannot measure the safety parameters (as per the IP ratings) all the way. Moreover, you cannot guess in advance if the water has any soluble substance in it.

Other than the water, you should also protect your smartwatch from chemicals, such as cosmetics and other day-to-day products. Do you often use a steam room to rejuvenate your body and mind? Never carry your smartwatch with you if you don’t want to end up damaging it.

How to Opt a waterproof Smartwatch?

Are you associated with freestyle swimming? Do you want to add a smartwatch to your journey? Then, it is mandatory to do in-depth research before narrowing down your options. You must read the smartwatch manual carefully to know about its features, especially the water-resistance capacity, IP Rating etc.

Check the parameters and testing conditions well before carrying your smartwatch in water instead of getting distracted by compelling ad copies.

Know about the IP Rating

The IP rating is the acronym for Ingress Protection. It represents the water and dust resistance that a device inbuilt comes with. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) contributes by providing this rating.

IP Rating

Moreover, the IP rating exhibits a certain format. The word “IP” is followed by two numbers.

The first number indicates the level of protection from a solid for e.g. dust. In most of the smartwatches you will get this no. as “5” or “6”. for e.g. IP56, IP68 etc. So here we consider this number as “x”

The Second number (0, 1, 2, and so on) represents the degree of protection against the liquid. The greater the second number the more water protection comes inbuilt with the smartwatch.

Different Types of IP Ratings

IPX0: It represents a device without any water protection.

IPX1: The device is protected from dripping water when falling in a vertical direction (condensation). The parameter is 1mm of water or 0.039 inches per minute of rainfall.

IPX2: The device is protected against direct water sprays of at most 15 degrees. IPX2 can protect the device for 2 1/2 minutes in all tilt directions for a total of 10 minutes with the parameter of 3mm of water per minute.

IPX3: A device with the IPX3 rating has protection against spraying water. As per the parameter, the water must flow via a spray nozzle for 1 minute per square meter for up to 5 minutes.

IPX4: IPX4 protects a device against splashing water. The water can come from all directions from a spray nozzle for up to 10 minutes.

IPX5: A device with the IPX5 rating is protected against a water jet of 1 minute per square meter for up to 3 minutes. The IPX5 rating applies for 12.5 liters/ minutes of water.

IPX6: IPX6 protects a device against strong water jets, including heavy spray. The protection parameter is 1 minute per square meter for up to 3 minutes while the water volume must be 100 liters per minute with 9.8 feet of distance.

IPX7: A device with the IPX7 rating comes with strong protection against water if got immersed for a short duration. Even IPX7 can safeguard a device against splashes, snow, rain, etc. The parameter for IPX7 is static water of up to 1-meter depth for a maximum of 30 minutes.

For e.g. according to the Apple support, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch (1st generation) have a water resistance rating of IPX7.

IPX8: IPX8 offers stronger protection than IPX7. If a device comes with the IPX8 rating, it is protected against a long-time immersion in water in more than one meter of depth.

If you are searching for a smartwatch with robust water-resistant capacity, you can opt for one with the IPX8 rating. Moreover, when it comes to performance an IPX8 smartwatch exceeds one with the IPX7 rating.

You can also get some low budget smartwatches like Xiaomi Amazfit Bip with IPX8 Rating.

IPX9K: Having the IPX9K rating means boasting protection against high-temperature water jets and water pressure. The parameter should be 14 to 16 liters of water per minute with a distance of 3.9 to 5.9 inches.

However, the best IP ratings for smartwatches are IP67 and IP68. A smartwatch with the IP67 rating means it can resist water when it is dropped into the water up to the depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes. When it comes to IP68, it offers the same level of protection for up to 1.5m water depth. Even smartwatches with the IP67 and IP68 ratings also come with dust resistance.

What about ATM Rating

ATM ratings are getting prominence nowadays when it comes to buying smartwatches and fitness trackers. Hence, you should also check the ATM rating of your shortlisted smartwatch along with its IP rating. The standard pressure at sea level is represented by 1 ATM. For instance, if a smartwatch features an ATM rating of 3, it can withstand a depth pressure of 30 meters.

Wrapping Up

If you want to buy a smartwatch, it is better to opt for one with a higher IP rating, preferably IP67 or IP68. You don’t know when your smartwatch unknowingly comes into contact with water. Hence, choose your smartwatch wisely.

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