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Android Phone drop testing and water submersion testing

We just got back from Cloud Expo at London’s ExCel exhibition centre and what we find we are most asked by customers is if they can drop the device. We enjoy inviting customers to go ahead and drop whichever device they are holding but not one person would let go of the device!

So as an antidote to a busy exhibition and for a bit of fun our CEO has enjoyed making a quick video in which he merrily throws around a rugged Android smartphone and then readily submerges it while playing a video trailer.

Enjoy and share!

Although in this video we test an Android phone all of our devices are drop tested and have an IP rating that is a minimum of IP65. So what testing is performed other than tossing it around the office, dunking it in a jug of water and retriever dog training?

These are good questions and the answer varies from device to device but as a guide:

  • All devices are tested for a 1.2 metre drop which will involve dropping multiple times on all sides. Usually 50+ drops. The device must still work and not show any signs of damage such as cracks (scuffs permitted). Generally smaller devices can handle much greater drops heights with phones and light tablets being the most fun to test because you really can throw them!
  • All devices meet IP65 which involves a powder chamber test and a water test that involves what is easiest to describe as a water cannon. These tests ensure there is no ingress from dust or water. After the powder test the device looks like it’s been covered in thick snow. Then it gets a good wash down from all angles. To pass the test the device is opened up and photos are taken. There must be zero evidence of powder or water inside the device.
  • For IP67 devices a unit is submerged for 30 minutes at a minimum depth of 15cm.
  • IP68 specifies long periods of submersion at >1m depth. We can design for IP68 but do not currently do official testing for IP68.
  • MIL-810 is a series of standards relating to wide ranges in temperature, humidity, vibration and sometimes also altitude. Although most of our devices don’t have 3rd party certified MIL-810 all devices are tested for high/low temperature as this is very important to rugged tablet design, as more mobile device failures are attributed to high/low temperature extremes than to drops.

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