OnePlus 9 Pro IP rating isn't worth the publicity, says CEO

Although OnePlus' flagship killers always impressed the market with their relatively more accessible price tags, it's safe to say that there are some corners that have been cut along the way. Until recently, for example, many OnePlus phones didn't reach the QHD resolutions of their peers at that time. There was also a time when OnePlus didn't even use glass on the back of its phones even while its rivals did. One of the biggest missing bullet points for years has been IP rating, and while OnePlus did finally concede that, it is now practically downplaying its significance.

OnePlus phones never hand any formal IP dust and water resistance rating until the OnePlus 8 Pro last year, and the company always defended that decision in terms of costs. Contrary to most people's notions, IP certification comes via expensive tests whose costs will eventually trickle down to consumers. Even without the rating, anyway, OnePlus phones have also had some measure of durability, though that came with the usual warnings and disclaimers.

The company seems to have finally decided an IP rating did look good on paper anyway, and the OnePlus 8 Pro last year became the first to get that double-digit grade. The OnePlus 9 Pro also followed suit but, contrary to last year's launch, OnePlus didn't make a big fuss over it. In fact, it was almost completely silent about that feature.

Over on Weibo, CEO Pete Lau explains the company's silence, which basically boils down to "it's not really worth talking about it." He explains that IP68 testing happens under controlled laboratory environments that don't always reflect real-world accidents that could render those test results meaningless. IP rating, he says, is just a description of quality, and it wasn't recommended to spend any time or marketing resource talking about it.

This raises the question of whether OnePlus will continue certifying its Pro phones for IP rating moving forward. Lau's statements seem intended to question the market's obsession over IP ratings and perhaps paves the road to removing IP ratings from its future phones.