How durable is your phone? Or better yet, how confident are you in your phone’s ability to survive daily lifestyle abuse? Do you use your phone “naked”, or is a case a mandatory accessory when leaving the house?

We’re seeing some progress with manufacturers advertising more durable build quality for consumer facing devices. No longer just the ultra-tough construction site gadgets, many flagship phones now champion improved drop protection or enhanced water resistance. We currently have the Galaxy S7 Active in house to review, and that’s a perfect time to revisit the topic of “ruggedness”.

Samsung and Sony both feature water resistance prominently in their respective ads and commercials. We’ve also seen LG recently flirt with a more durable build on the V10. HTC delivered specifics for how much abuse the HTC 10 could take, even though it isn’t a particularly rugged phone. More conversation surrounding durability is great, and it’s always going to be helpful for consumers to understand what they’re actually buying.

We see labels and badges asserting a certain level of protection, or describing capabilities like underwater survivability, but what do those labels mean? How are these classifications verified? Let’s take a look at the IP scale for water damage, and the Mil-Spec certification process for drop and shock resistance.

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