There is a new battle afoot in the smartphone market. Weve seen the battle of displays, the battle of processors, and the battle of memory storage. Weve seen the battle of aesthetics, and the battle of the depth and dimensions of the phones. Now, we have the battle of the waterproof mobile phones.
We have had water-resistant and waterproof phones around for a while now, but recently theyve been getting increased media attention. With phones that cost Â£600 these days, its more and more important that we protect them.
Taking Out Insurance
Many of us have been taking out insurance at the cost of up to Â£10 per month on top of our mobile contracts. Many of us are petrified about what can happen to our phones, especially in situations where they are at risk. When it snows, when it rains, when we go swimming, and even when we go on holiday, we find we are overprotective of our mobiles because we are scared of losing them. It is not just the losing of the device, its losing all of the contacts in the device if something goes wrong.
Waterproof Mobile Phone Standards
There are a set of standards that dictate how good a mobile phone is at being both water and dust resistant. These standards are used for lots of physical bodies in order to measure these characteristics. For example, there are certain standards that electricity sockets must meet in order to be legal. For example, they must be IP 22, meaning you cant stick your fingers in and they are water drip resistant.
The Standards Themselves
The IP standard seems fairly complicated at first viewing. But in reality, they are very simple. The rating consists of the letters â€œIPâ€ and then two numbers. The first number is the dust resistance, or solid particle protection, and the second is the water protection or liquid Ingress Protection.
Lets have a look at the scale for the dust protection:
0 Provides no protection whatsoever.
1 Provides protection to objects of 50mm or more.
2 Provides protection to objects of more than 25mm such as fingers, and this is the level of electronic sockets.
3 Provides protection against objects of more than 2.5mm such as tools, thick wires, etc.
4 Provides protection against objects of 1mm or more such as thin wires, screws, etc.
5 Provides protection against dust.
6 Is dust tight and does not allow any particles inside.
Now lets have a look at the scale for liquids, in particular water:
0 No protection at all.
1 Provides protection for dripping water, which will equate to about a mm of rainfall every minute for 10 minutes.
2 Provides protection against dripping water, which includes 3mm of rain water per minute and even provides protection at a tilted angle and not just from the top.
3 Provides protection against spraying water to the volume of 0.7 liters every single minute and involving a pressure of 80-100kpa.
4 Provides protection against splashing water to the degree of 10m per minute for 5 meters, so this is fairly water resistant.
5 Provides water against water spraying jets with 6.3mm nozzles involving 12.5 liters per minute for 3 minutes. This test denotes a fairly good level of water protection and so number 5 is pretty good.
6- Provides water protection against powerful jets sprayed at the object including 100 liters per minute for 3 minutes and pressure of 100kpa. This is a fairly powerful test.
7- The next level is protection against full immersion in water for up to 1m depth and durations of 30 minutes. This is the level of the Sony Xperia Zed and the future Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.
8 Provides protection against immersion, even more than 1m and for an indefinite period of time.
Now you see that a protection level of IP 57 is pretty impressive and most of us can get away with a water protection level of IP X4. In fact, most pundits recommend that you do go for a phone that provides protection at least against splashing of water as most incidents involve this level of exposure.
The Best Waterproof Mobile Phones in 2013
Now lets get on to the best waterproof smart phones around on the market and lets start with the Sony Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Z
This is the phone that was recently released and offers protection of IP 57. Its a cracking phone that looks beautiful and is capped off with a superb 5 inch high definition screen. It has just about everything you could need on a premium-end smartphone and is reasonably priced at Â£529â€¦ and dropping. One of its best features is the 13.1 megapixel front camera.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
This is a phone that is in the slightly lower end of the spectrum with a 5 megapixel camera, Dual core 1GHz processor, and costing around Â£200-Â£250. Its a very good phone providing the same level of water resistance as the Sony Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia Go
Again, this phone is at a lower level than even the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2, coming in at around Â£150-Â£200. It has a 3.5 inch capacitive display, which is the same size as the old iPhone series models up to the iPhone 5. It has a microSD card slot and a camera that is just about okay at 5 megapixels. The battery isnt that great, but is removable.
The Huawei Ascend D2
This is a cracking phone from the Chinese manufacturer, which was released in 2013. It is expensive at well at over Â£400 in most outlets, and up to Â£500-Â£600 on some. It has a 13 megapixel camera, a Quad core processor, and a stunning 5 inch screen. Coming with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it really packs a punch and looks good too.
Phones That Are Just Resistant To Water
There are a number of phones on the market that are water resistant and can be splashed, dropped, or sprayed with water without adverse effects. These phones will have at least an IP X4 level and some will have IP X5.
One good example is the HTC Butterfly, which is a beautiful phone with a 5 inch super LCD3 display and a Quad core 1.5GHz processor. It has loads of memory onboard at 16GB and the possibility to add another 32GB of external memory storage through the SD card. It comes at a price similar to the iPhone at around Â£500.
Upcoming Samsung Release
News flash! The Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to come in a waterproof mobile variant. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active will be released in July or August this year and will have all the good things that the Samsung Galaxy S4 â€œNormalâ€ has, but it will be robust and waterproof too. If you really need a waterproof phone, then the Sony Xperia Z or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active are going to be terrific examples. These phones are in the top 3 of just about anyones best mobile phone lists, so you really cant go wrong with them.
So there you have it, the lowdown on the waterproof mobile phones on the market. This is an interesting addition to the race in the smart phone market that surely will provide a lot of people with peace of mind.
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