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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
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of 21

Motorola Droid Maxx

SAR: 1.54

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Droid Ultra

SAR: 1.54

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto E

SAR: 1.5

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Alcatel One Touch Evolve

SAR: 1.49

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Huawei Vitria

SAR: 1.49

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro Edge

SAR: 1.48

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Kona

SAR: 1.45

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller

Kyocera Hydro XTRM

SAR: 1.44

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Asha 503

SAR: 1.43

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry Z30

SAR: 1.41

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

ZTE Source

SAR: 1.41

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
12
of 21

ZTE Warp 4G

SAR: 1.41

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
13
of 21

Nokia Lumia 925

SAR: 1.4

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin

Nokia Lumia 928

SAR: 1.4

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera Hydro Elite

SAR: 1.39

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

T-Mobile Prism 2

SAR: 1.38

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

Sprint Vital

SAR: 1.38

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

Sprint Force

SAR: 1.37

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

Huawei Pal

SAR: 1.33

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller
20
of 21

Kyocera Hydro Plus

SAR: 1.33

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