Water & dust proofingOne of the most sought durability metrics is the presence of an IP rating for a device. Ingress Protection, abbreviated to IP, denotes the durability of a device against dust and water. The rating usually comes in the form of ‘IP xy’ where x is a number that denotes dust protection and y is a number that denotes water protection.
Broadly, the higher each number the better. However, there are also certain nuances to these values. For example, a device with an IPX8 rating will be protected against immersion, but it also needs to have an IPX6 rating to be protected against jets of water. This means, if your device has an IPX8 rating, it can survive a dip in the pool, but won’t necessarily have the same resilience when faced with a stream of running water.
Screen durabilityFor phones, screen durability has always been a tough sell. When a smartphone drops, quite often the screen is the first thing to give way. Manufacturers prepare their models against this by including tougher layers over their displays. Common brands include Corning Gorilla Glass and Asahi Dragontail, and usually a higher number denotes stronger performance.
Shock protectionSome smartphones also claim shock proofing, which means they can survive a drop or two without any scratches (literally). This is usually achieved by optimising the frame design using metal or rubber elements in the frame of the smartphone. However, this is not that common and most people looking for this should opt for a rugged case.