For a phone to pass FCC certification and be sold in the United States, its maximum Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram.

Since we started reviewing cell phones more than 10 years ago, CNET has tracked the SAR of every handset that we review. Though we're still reformatting our full Cell Phone Radiation Charts and will bring them back shortly, we have updated our lists of the 20 phones with the highest SAR levels and the 20 phones with lowest SAR levels.

Don't miss: Why CNET compiles cell phone radiation charts

By publishing these lists we are in no way implying that cell phones are dangerous. Also, we are not implying that a cell phone with a lower SAR is inherently safer. Rather, we are giving you the tools to make a choice based on your own concerns.

Though some researchers argue that the radiofrequency energy that cell phones emit may lead to a higher risk of cancer, others disagree. Research continues, and we will continue to monitor its results.

The SAR level listed in this gallery represents the highest SAR level measured with the phone next to the ear, as tested by the FCC. It's possible for the SAR level to vary among different transmission bands (the same phone can use multiple bands during a call), and different testing bodies can obtain different results.

Editors' note: Models are listed from higest to lowest SAR rating.

Updated:
Photo by: Pong Research / Caption by: ,

Motorola Moto E

Updated:
Photo by: Andrew Hoyle/CNET / Caption by: ,

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
2.5 stars

MSRP: $89.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Huawei Vitria

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Kyocera Hydro Edge

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.0 stars
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3 stars
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Nokia Asha 503

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

BlackBerry Z30

Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

ZTE Source

Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.0 stars

MSRP: $219.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

ZTE Warp 4G

Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,

Nokia Lumia 925

Updated:
Photo by: James Martin / Caption by: ,

Nokia Lumia 928

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Kyocera Hydro Elite

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

T-Mobile Prism 2

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.0 stars

MSRP: $139.99

Please visit T-Mobile for additional models

Sprint Vital

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.5 stars

MSRP: $99.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Sprint Force

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.0 stars

MSRP: $299.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Huawei Pal

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
2.0 stars

MSRP: $29.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Kyocera Hydro Plus

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Editors' Rating
3.0 stars

MSRP: $139.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Hot Galleries

Don't miss out

We'll take you inside Apple's big event on Monday, March 9

The company is expected to share more details about its smartwatch and possibly introduce new Macs, an Apple TV and other products.

Hot Products