Smartphone Radiation: The 10 Highest and 10 Lowest Emitters

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The World Health Organization recently revealed the radiation levels emitted from common cell phones to be "possibly carcinogenic." The new findings put phones in the same category as DDT and car exhaust.

The amount of radio frequency energy that your body absorbs from your cell phone is measured by its Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR. The units are measured in watts per kilogram, and each phone in the U.S. must have an SAR of lower than 1.6 to pass clearance.

We’ll take a look at the highest- and lowest-emitting smartphones currently still for sale in the U.S. nowadays. If you’re looking for a phone that’s not on our list, CNET has a very thorough cell phone radiation level database that covers non-smartphones and phones no longer being sold.

You’ll also notice that some popular handsets such as BlackBerrys and the venerable iPhone haven’t made the list. That’s because they’re all right in the middle somewhere—not too high, not too low.

The iPhone 4, for instance, has an SAR of 1.17 (AT&T) to 1.18 (Verizon). Older model BlackBerrys tend to have elevated SAR levels, while newer models have managed to reduce SAR quite a bit more.

As for high- and low-level SAR smartphones, Motorola has a handful on the naughty list, while Samsung claims half of the top spots on the nice list.

Check out the gallery to see if your smartphone makes an appearance.


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