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The Samsung IP68 Water-Resistance Technology Guide!

The Samsung IP68 Water-Resistance Technology Guide!

Ever since Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphone, their flagship S and Note smartphones have all been IP68-certified to be dust- and water-resistant.

Let’s take a look at the engineering behind the Samsung’s IP68 rating, and clarify its limitations, so you can enjoy your Samsung smartphones for many years to come!

 

Samsung IP68 Engineering

The challenge with making smartphones water-resistant isn’t just ensuring that water won’t get inside. Before the Galaxy S7 edge, a number of devices already did that, like Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 Active smartphone or the Kenxinda Flattop ruggerdised smartphones.

What Samsung introduced in their flagship smartphones from the Galaxy S7 edge onwards was IP68 dust- and water-resistance without prior preparation.

Unlike prior water-resistant smartphones, you don’t need to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water. There is no need to cap the earphone and USB ports. It is dust- and water-resistant 24/7.

To achieve this feat, Samsung introduced a number of engineering improvements :

  • An unspecified “new type of water resistance technology” was used to seal the unit internally against the ingress of water,
  • An “exclusive type of water protective tape” was added to the back of the front and rear glass, as well as other internal parts,
  • Rubber linings were used on parts like the USB port, the earphone port, and the SIM card tray to prevent the ingress of water

  • Anti-corrosive materials like nickel and platinum and corrosive-resistant coating were used for all external metal parts and connectors like the earphone and USB ports,
  • The USB port has a short circuit sensor to cut-off power when it detects a short circuit due to water contact
  • Portable electronic vents were used to ensure a good flow of air and outflow of water and humidity

As you can see, a lot of engineering went into ensuring that Samsung smartphones are dust- and water-resistant, while remaining ultra-slim.

Teardowns by iFixit also showed considerable use of adhesive in subsequent models, all the way to the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, to maintain this IP68-rated dust and water-resistance.

 

Is The Samsung S Pen IP68 Rated Too?

The S Pen of IP68-rated Galaxy Note devices are also IP68-rated against dust and water. However, the S Pen requires slightly different techniques to achieve such water-resistance :

  • its printed circuit board (PCB) is covered with a special epoxy material
  • rubber seals are used to seal off vulnerable passageways
  • important components like the pen pressure switch are also covered by rubber seals

This allows the pen tip to move as needed, while preventing the ingress of water that will damage the internal components of the S Pen.

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Samsung IP68 Rating Clarified

All Samsung smartphones that are IP68-rated can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes.

This means you can take it for jogs in the rain, or reading in the bathtub. However, we must point out that IP68 is a rating for water immersion.

IP68-rated devices are NOT designed to withstand water pressure. We therefore do not recommend you take it into the shower or while you swim.

The IP68 certification is based on a specific set of test conditions :

Temperature Range : 15-35 °C
Pressure Range : 86-106 kPa
Maximum Water Depth : 1.5 metre
Maximum Time of Immersion : 30 minutes

If you exceed those conditions, Samsung’s IP68 measures may not prevent the ingress of water.

In fact, if you check your User Guide, you will see that Samsung warns against exposing their IP68 smartphones to “water moving with force“.

This means you should not place them under running water from a tap or a waterfall. Even ocean waves may exert enough force to drive water into their chassis.

 

Summary : IP68 = Water-Resistance, NOT Waterproofing

The takeaway message is this – Samsung IP68 smartphones are water-resistant, not waterproof. You need to be gentle with them when they are exposed to water.

The biggest problem is water pressure, not depth. You can leave it at the bottom of a swimming pool without worry, but the force of water from a tap can exceed the IP68 pressure rating.

Do NOT do this!!! Never pour water on your device, because it exerts pressure!

Let’s consider a real-world scenario – taking photos and videos while snorkelling.

You won’t reach a depth of 1.5 m when you snorkel. But swinging your device underwater could literally force water into the chassis!

That doesn’t mean you cannot use your device underwater. You can, but you must make sure not to exert too much force. Take it in and out of the water gently, and if you have to move, do so gently.

 

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Kenxinda Ruggedised Smartphones Torture Test

On the 31st of December, Kenxinda launched their Flattop series of ruggedised mobile devices. The Kenxinda Flattop series consists of five ruggedised smartphones, one ruggedised feature phone and one ruggedised power bank. Take a look at their specifications and prices.

Ruggedised devices are currently a very niche market, but they could well become mainstream as smartphone users start to use their mobile devices to more challenging environments. How often have you been forced to leave your mobile devices at home, or at the beach?

 

IP68 & MIL-STD-810G

The Kenxinda Flattop mobile devices are waterproof, dust-proof and shock-proof. They are designed to work in harsh conditions, being IP68-certified and MIL-STD-810G rated. That means they will take pretty much all the abuse you can throw at them and still work. Water, dirt and shock will no longer be a problem with one of these devices. Take a look at what they have been dunked in.

Their IP68 rating means they are rated to be impervious to dust, as well as waterproof up to 1.5 meters in depth for up to 30 minutes. It is not known if Kenxinda actually subjected these devices through the extensive and expensive MIL-STD-810G stress tests. They probably just built them to withstand the MIL-STD-810G laboratory tests.

 

Torture Tests Of Kenxinda Ruggedised Smartphones

Kenxinda demonstrated the ability of their ruggedised smartphones to withstand water, dust, dirt and shock at the launch event. Here is the video of their demonstration :

The phones were immersed in water, dirty sandy water and flour. Later, the media was invited to throw the ruggedised devices in any manner they wish. They continued to work normally no matter what abuse we subjected them to. We even tried to scratch the phone screens with sand, but failed to visibly scratch them.

 

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Kenxinda Flattop Ruggedised Mobile Devices Revealed

The smartphone market today can be divided into three segments – the premium segment, medium segment and the budget segment. The premium segment is dominated by Apple and Samsung with smartphones that are made from the best materials available and offer superior user experience. The medium segment is dominated by the likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi with an emphasis on performance. Finally, we have the budget segment with entry-level smartphones at very low cost.

While the premium segment remains relatively rarefied, the medium segment is getting squeezed by the budget segment. With many small manufacturers entering the smartphone market, it is getting harder for them to differentiate their products in such a saturated market.

Kenxinda aims to penetrate this difficult market with focusing on the niche ruggedised devices market. Hence, on the last day of 2015, they officially launched the Kenxinda Flattop series of ruggedised mobile devices, as well as the Kenxinda W3 smartwatch. The stars of the launch were, without doubt, their Flattop series of ruggedised mobile devices.

 

Kenxinda Flattop Launch Video

 

Kenxinda Flattop Ruggedised Mobile Devices

The Kenxinda Flattop mobile devices are waterproof, dust-proof and shock-proof. They are designed to work in harsh conditions, being IP68-certified and MIL-STD-810G rated. That means they will take pretty much all the abuse you can throw at them and still work.

Kenxinda launched a mix of 7 devices – 5 smartphones, together with one feature phone and one power bank. The Kenxinda smartphone models (W5 to W9) run on Android 5.0.1 Take a look at their key specifications and recommended retail prices :

ModelBasic SpecificationsPrice
Kenxinda Flattop W9 Smartphone1.3 GHz octa-core processor
2 GB RAM + 16 GB storage
6.0" HD display
8 MP rear + 5 MP front cameras
4000 mAh battery
4G LTE, dual SIM, dual standby
RM 2,299
~US$ 539
Kenxinda Flattop W8 Smartphone1.3 GHz octa-core processor
2 GB RAM + 16 GB storage
5.5" HD display
8 MP rear + 5 MP front cameras
3000 mAh battery
4G LTE, dual SIM, dual standby
RM 1,699
~US$ 399
Kenxinda Flattop W7 Smartphone1.3 GHz quad-core processor
1 GB RAM + 8 GB storage
5.0" HD display
8 MP rear + 5 MP front cameras
2800 mAh battery
4G LTE, dual SIM, dual standby
RM 1,399
~US$ 329
Kenxinda Flattop W6 Smartphone1.3 GHz quad-core processor
1 GB RAM + 8 GB storage
4.5" QHD display
5 MP rear + 2 MP front cameras
2600 mAh battery
4G LTE, dual SIM, dual standby
RM 1,099
~US$ 259
Kenxinda Flattop W5 Smartphone1.3 GHz quad-core processor
1 GB RAM + 8 GB storage
4.0" display
5 MP rear + 2 MP front cameras
2800 mAh battery
4G LTE, dual SIM, dual standby
RM 899
~US$ 209
Kenxinda Flattop W3 Feature Phone32 MB RAM + 32 MB storage
2.2" TFT display (240 x 320)
< 3 MP rear camera
1800 mAh battery
2G connectivity
RM 239
~US$ 59
Kenxinda Flattop Max7 Power Bank10400 mAh lithium-ion battery
Output current : 2.1 A
Input current : 1.5 A
RM 299
~US$ 69

Kenxinda also demonstrated the ruggedised capabilities of these mobile devices, subjecting them to water, dust and dirt. We were also given the opportunity to throw these mobile devices around. You can check out their demonstration here.

 

Kenxinda W3 Smartwatch

Kenxinda also launched a smaller and more affordable smartwatch – the Kenxinda W3. The name is confusing since Kenxinda also has a Flattop feature phone with the same model number.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The Kenxinda W3 has a 1.44″ LCD display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, and even a 0.8 MP camera built-in! It even has telephony capability through a SIM slot that supports the quad-band GSM network (you don’t need an LTE connection on a smartwatch and the GSM connectivity offers the best battery life).

It has 32 MB of RAM and 32 MB of internal storage, with a microSD slot for additional storage. Its 300 mAh battery is sufficient to provide up to 50 hours of use. The Kenxinda W3 also comes with an integrated FM radio and Bluetooth 3.0 support.

Unbelievably, Kenxinda is pricing the Kenxinda W3 smartwatch at just RM 169 (~US$ 39), with a FREE Bluetooth earphone to boot!

 

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