When it comes to resistance to the elements, Samsung seems to believe in the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." They've carried over the IP68 rating under IEC 60529 that was first found on the S8 all the way to their tenth-anniversary flagship, the Galaxy S10. While this certainly sounds great on paper, it's natural to want to dig a little deeper and find out what the rating means.
For starters, IEC standard 60529 outlines a series of standardized tests put forth by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which assigns a device such as the S10 a corresponding IP rating based on how well it resists water and dirt. According to the standard:
This standard describes a system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by enclosures of electrical equipment for two conditions: 1) the protection of persons against access to hazardous parts and protection of equipment against the ingress of solid foreign objects and 2) the ingress of water. The degree of protection against these two conditions is designated by an IP Code.
Though more popularly known as "Ingress Protection," the "IP Code" actually stands for "International Protection Marking," and essentially translates to how well a smartphone is shielded against water and dirt. These two elements are further separated into two grades that show up as the numbers right next to "IP."
The first number denotes a device's resistance to dust or dirt, while the second records how well protected a device is from water seeping in and damaging sensitive electronic components inside. The Galaxy S10 line of flagships all have been certified IP68, which means the S10, S10+, and S10e can all survive exposure to water and dirt for a certain period of time. Here is a breakdown of the code to summarize.
- IP: The abbreviation of "Ingress Protection," the rating system for a device's resistance to dust and water.
- 6: The IP rating's first number represents a device's dust protection rating. Don't let the seemingly low number of "6" fool you, however, as it actually means that the S10 is completely shielded from dirt and debris.
- 8: Next up is the device's water resistance, which is denoted by the second number of the rating. A score of "8" means that the S10 will withstand being completely submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes and emerge unscathed. In comparison, the older S7's score of "7" meant it could survive a 30-minute dunk at a meter deep.
When all is said and done, the S10's IP68 rating means that you're relatively well protected from water-related dangers, from getting caught in a downpour, accidental toilet drops, to beverage spilling directly onto your device. That said, it's worth noting that this rating isn't bulletproof, and you'll still need to take other factors such as chemicals and salt water into account, as these can still damage your S10.
The IP Rating claims a certain level of protection against water and dust, but doesn't account for chemicals and particles like chlorine and flouride that are commonly dissolved in water. These impurities, along with saltwater, can be corrosive, and not only ruin your S10's finish but also damage the rubber gaskets that seal your device and give it its IP68 rating in the first place.
So if you thought that this IP rating gives you license to carelessly leave your S10 in your pocket while you wade into the ocean, it doesn't. You should still be careful around such environments, especially when you consider that Samsung will void your warranty (which only covers manufacturer defects for a year and battery replacements for six months in the first place) if your S10 gets water damaged.
On the other hand, your protection from water damage increases substantially if you choose to sign up for Samsung Premium Care. This monthly subscription plan is like health insurance for your S10, and gives you up to three damage claims in a 12 month period, water damage included.