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Cell phones with the highest radiation levels (pictures)

CNET shows you the 20 cell phones among current US models that have the highest SAR (specific absorption rate), as rated by the FCC.

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Nate Ralph, Kent German
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1 of 21 Pong Research

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.

Motorola Droid Maxx
2 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Droid Maxx

SAR: 1.54

Motorola Droid Ultra
3 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Droid Ultra

SAR: 1.54

Motorola Moto E
4 of 21 Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Alcatel One Touch Evolve
5 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

SAR: 1.49

Huawei Vitria
6 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Huawei Vitria

SAR: 1.49

Kyocera Hydro Edge
7 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro Edge

SAR: 1.48

Kyocera Kona
8 of 21 Josh Miller

Kyocera Kona

SAR: 1.45

Kyocera Hydro XTRM
9 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

SAR: 1.44

Nokia Asha 503
10 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Asha 503

SAR: 1.43

BlackBerry Z30
11 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET
ZTE Source
12 of 21 James Martin/CNET

ZTE Source

SAR: 1.41

ZTE Warp 4G
13 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

ZTE Warp 4G

SAR: 1.41

Nokia Lumia 925
14 of 21 James Martin
Nokia Lumia 928
15 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia 928

SAR: 1.4

Kyocera Hydro Elite
16 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro Elite

SAR: 1.39

T-Mobile Prism 2
17 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

T-Mobile Prism 2

SAR: 1.38

Sprint Vital
18 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Sprint Vital

SAR: 1.38

Sprint Force
19 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Sprint Force

SAR: 1.37

Huawei Pal
20 of 21 Josh Miller

Huawei Pal

SAR: 1.33

Kyocera Hydro Plus
21 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro Plus

SAR: 1.33

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