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.
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
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
Research into the matter will continue, and we will continue to monitor
Editor's note: Models are listed from lowest to highest SAR rating.