Understanding the Science: Drop, Impact, and Waterproof Rating

In today's fast-paced world, smartphones have become an important part of our lives. They keep us in contact with friends, keep us entertained, and help us store important memories through videos and pictures. 

However, as our reliance on these devices grows, so does the need to protect them from accidents and mishaps that can happen in day to day life. This is where rugged phone cases become an important accessory to our phones. Acting as a strong shield against drops, impacts, and water damage, the best rugged phone case gives us that extra sense of security when living life to the fullest with our phones.

In this article, we'll delve into the science behind these protective cases, exploring the various drop, impact, and waterproof ratings that help you choose the right one for your needs.

Why Get Rugged Phone Cases?


Modern smartphones are made to withstand day to day use. However, even with the advances in materials and design, a single drop or an accidental slip can cause cracked screens, damaged buttons, or even complete device failure. 

Rugged phone cases are specially designed to withstand harsh conditions and provide optimal protection for your device. These cases keep your phone protected against drops, impacts, and water exposure to water. Considering how our phones are often exposed to the elements – especially for those who love the outdoors – it only makes sense to protect these critical personal devices.

Understanding Rugged Phone Cases Ratings

You’ll find that rugged phone cases typically come with drop, impact, and water proof ratings. These ratings provide valuable information about how well a case can protect your smartphone from external force.

Drop Ratings

Drop ratings refer to the height from which a phone can be dropped without getting damaged – while wearing a rugged phone case.

Impact Rating

While drop ratings focus on the height of the drop, impact rating talks about how well the case absorbs the shock so that it doesn’t damage internal components.

Waterproof Ratings

Rugged phone cases also come with waterproof ratings, which basically tell you how well the case can shield the phone from moisture and water damage.

Understanding the Meaning of Ratings

So, let’s say you’re looking through the Apple iPhone 15 Phone Cases collections and you’ve noticed the following “codes” on each one. Here’s what each one actually means:

IP Ratings

IP means “ingress protection” which basically tells you if you have a dust and waterproof rugged phone case. It usually has two numbers - the first represents protection against dust while the second indicates protection against liquids. For example, an IP67 rating means that the case is dust-tight (6) and can withstand immersion in water that’s at least 0.5 meters deep for around 30 minutes (7).

A higher number means the protection is better. Currently, the best rating you can get is an IP68 which means that it’s been pushed further into the water although the period of time is more or less the same with an IP67. 

If you notice ratings like IPX7 or an IP6X, this means that the item has been tested for dust but not water or vice versa. Basically, the “X” represents no testing for the particular element.

Military Standards (MIL-STD)

Drop ratings typically adhere to Military Standards or MIL-STD. You’ll find that there are several MIL-STD certifications issued to identify a shockproof rugged phone case. The most popular ones are MIL-STD-810H and the MIL-STD-461G. So, what’s the difference between the two?


This rating used to be MIL-STD-810G and is placed only on rugged phone cases that have passed 30 different testing situations. The drop test is definitely part of that rating, but it also means that the case withstood extreme temperature, shock, moisture, and dust. The test includes multiple corner drops, edge drops, and even face drops through five different test units.


The MIL-STD-461G is a little different and you might have a hard time finding a rugged phone case with this rating. Basically, the certification is focused on electromagnetic compatibility. Specifically, the test takes into consideration radiated emissions, radiated susceptibility, conducted susceptibility, and conducted emissions to makes sure that the phone’s safe from unwarranted intermission.

Selecting the Right Rugged Phone Case

Now that we've explored the science behind drop, impact, and waterproof ratings, it's essential to understand how to choose the right rugged phone case for your needs. Before looking through the selection of Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Phone Cases|SUPCASE, here are some key considerations:

Do you live an active life?

Consider your daily activities and surroundings. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, a case with high drop and waterproof ratings might be essential. On the other hand, if you work in a rugged environment, a case with MIL-STD certification might provide the necessary protection.

Do you trust the brand?

Reputable brands often invest in extensive research and testing to ensure their cases meet or exceed industry standards. Look for brands known for their durability and quality.

Have you read the reviews?

The Unicorn Beetle Pro Phone Cases | Supcase comes with multiple reviews that should help you make your decision. These reviews can provide valuable insights into how a rugged phone case performs when used in the real-world. Make sure to comb through the different reviews first before making your decision.

What other features do you need?

Some rugged phone cases offer additional features that you might find useful on day to day life. For example, there’s a rugged phone case with screen protector or a rugged phone case with battery pack. You can even find ones with built-in stands, camera covers, and belt holders. The point is that there are many choices available to you and its simply a matter of narrowing down what you need.

What’s the warranty?

Finally, don’t forget to consider warranty and customer support offered by the case manufacturer. A reliable warranty can give you peace of mind, knowing that you're covered in case of any issues.


Rugged phone cases are essential accessories for anyone looking to protect their valuable smartphones from drops, impacts, and water damage. Understanding the science behind drop, impact, and waterproof ratings is crucial in selecting the right case for you. So, don't wait until your next mishap; invest in the right rugged phone case today and safeguard your digital lifeline.