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 Droid Maxx

SAR: 1.54

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Motorola Droid Ultra

SAR: 1.54

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Motorola Moto E

Updated:
Photo by: Andrew Hoyle/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

SAR: 1.49

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Huawei Vitria

SAR: 1.49

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Kyocera Hydro Edge

SAR: 1.48

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Kyocera Kona

SAR: 1.45

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

SAR: 1.44

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Nokia Asha 503

SAR: 1.43

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
3 stars Good

BlackBerry Z30

SAR: 1.41

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

ZTE Source

SAR: 1.41

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

ZTE Warp 4G

SAR: 1.41

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Nokia Lumia 925

Updated:
Photo by: James Martin / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Nokia Lumia 928

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Kyocera Hydro Elite

SAR: 1.39

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

T-Mobile Prism 2

SAR: 1.38

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Sprint Vital

SAR: 1.38

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Sprint Force

SAR: 1.37

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
3 stars Good

Huawei Pal

SAR: 1.33

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Kyocera Hydro Plus

SAR: 1.33

Read full review
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
CNET Editors' Rating
0 stars Not yet rated

Where to Buy

Motorola Droid Maxx

Part Number: DROIDMAXX

MSRP: $299.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Where to Buy

Motorola Droid Ultra

Part Number: DROIDULTRA
MSRP: $199.99 Low Price: $499.99 See all prices

Where to Buy

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

Part Number: ONETOUCHEVOLVE

MSRP: $89.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Where to Buy

Huawei Vitria

Part Number: 610214633576
MSRP: $129.00 Low Price: $107.99 See all prices

Where to Buy

Kyocera Hydro Edge (Sprint)

Part Number: HYDROEDGESPT
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Where to Buy

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

Part Number: HYDROXTRMUSC
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Where to Buy

BlackBerry Z30

Part Number: Z30
Low Price: $279.99 See all prices

Where to Buy

ZTE Source (Cricket Wireless)

Part Number: ZTESOURCECRICKETWIRELESS

MSRP: $219.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Where to Buy

ZTE Warp 4G (Boost Mobile)

Part Number: WARP4GBOOSTMBL
MSRP: $199.99 Low Price: $149.99
    See all prices

    Where to Buy

    Nokia Lumia 925

    Part Number: LUMIA925ULK
    MSRP: $529.99 Low Price: $268.99 See all prices

    Where to Buy

    Nokia Lumia 928 (Verizon Wireless)

    Part Number: NOK928W
    MSRP: $499.99 Low Price: $274.99 See all prices

    Where to Buy

    Kyocera Hydro Elite (Verizon)

    Part Number: HYRDOELITE
    MSRP: $349.99 Low Price: $399.99 See all prices

    Where to Buy

    T-Mobile Prism 2

    Part Number: 610214632258

    MSRP: $139.99

    Please visit T-Mobile for additional models

    Where to Buy

    Sprint Vital

    Part Number: CNETSprintVital

    MSRP: $99.99

    See manufacturer website for availability.

    Where to Buy

    Sprint Force

    Part Number: FORCESPT

    MSRP: $299.99

    See manufacturer website for availability.

    Where to Buy

    Huawei Pal (MetroPCS)

    Part Number: 610214633453

    MSRP: $29.00

    See manufacturer website for availability.

    Where to Buy

    Kyocera Hydro Plus (Cricket Wireless)

    Part Number: HYDROPLUSCRCKT

    MSRP: $139.99

    See manufacturer website for availability.

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