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Since we started reviewing cell phones more than 10 years ago, CNET has tracked the Specific Absorption Rate, or 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 lowest SAR levels and the 20 phones with highest SAR levels.

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

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 into the matter will continue, and we will continue to monitor its results.

Editor's note: Models are listed from lowest to highest SAR rating.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Pong ResearchRead the article
1
of 21

VeryKool RS90

SAR: 0.18

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note

SAR: 0.19

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Nubia 5

SAR: 0.19

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

SAR: 0.23

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Mega

SAR: 0.28

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera DuraXT

SAR: 0.32

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Pantech Discover

SAR: 0.33

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miler/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Beam

SAR: 0.35

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miler/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II

SAR: 0.36

Updated:Caption:Photo:CNET
10
of 21

Pantech Swift

SAR: 0.37

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
11
of 21

Jitterbug Plus

SAR: 0.39

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Appeal

SAR: 0.4

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
13
of 21

LG Exalt

SAR: 0.42

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
14
of 21

HTC One V

SAR: 0.43

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
15
of 21

Nokia Lumia 1320

SAR: 0.46

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

LG Optimus Vu

SAR: 0.46

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

Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

SAR: 0.47

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

Samsung Rugby 3

SAR: 0.47

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

HTC One Max

SAR: 0.5

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

LG G2

SAR: 0.51

Updated:Caption:
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