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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:Caption:Photo:Pong Research
1
of 21

Motorola Droid Maxx

SAR: 1.54

$68.77 at Amazon
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
2
of 21

Motorola Droid Ultra

SAR: 1.54

$210.87 at Amazon
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
3
of 21

Motorola Moto E

SAR: 1.5

$94.90 at Walmart
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET
4
of 21

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

SAR: 1.49

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
5
of 21

Huawei Vitria

SAR: 1.49

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
6
of 21

Kyocera Hydro Edge

SAR: 1.48

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
7
of 21

Kyocera Kona

SAR: 1.45

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller
8
of 21

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

SAR: 1.44

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
9
of 21

Nokia Asha 503

SAR: 1.43

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
10
of 21

BlackBerry Z30

SAR: 1.41

$149.00 at Amazon
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Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
11
of 21

ZTE Source

SAR: 1.41

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
12
of 21

ZTE Warp 4G

SAR: 1.41

$99.99 at Amazon
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Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
13
of 21

Nokia Lumia 925

SAR: 1.4

$99.09 at Amazon
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Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin
14
of 21

Nokia Lumia 928

SAR: 1.4

$205.14 at Amazon
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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
15
of 21

Kyocera Hydro Elite

SAR: 1.39

$79.99 at Amazon
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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
16
of 21

T-Mobile Prism 2

SAR: 1.38

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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
17
of 21

Sprint Vital

SAR: 1.38

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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
18
of 21

Sprint Force

SAR: 1.37

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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
19
of 21

Huawei Pal

SAR: 1.33

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Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller
20
of 21

Kyocera Hydro Plus

SAR: 1.33

Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
21
of 21
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