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Cell phones with the lowest radiation levels (photos)

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

Kent_German.jpg
Kent German
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1 of 21 Pong Research

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.

VeryKool RS90
2 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

VeryKool RS90

SAR: 0.18

Samsung Galaxy Note
3 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note

SAR: 0.19

ZTE Nubia 5
4 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Nubia 5

SAR: 0.19

Samsung's Galaxy Note 2
5 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

SAR: 0.23

Samsung Galaxy Mega
6 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Mega

SAR:0.28

Kyocera DuraXT
7 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera DuraXT

SAR: 0.32

35567023-7361.jpg
8 of 21 Josh Miler/CNET

Pantech Discover

SAR: 0.33

Samsung Galaxy Beam
9 of 21 Josh Miler/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Beam

SAR: 0.35

35536652.jpg
10 of 21 CNET

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II

SAR: 0.36

35331546-10.jpg
11 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Pantech Swift

SAR: 0.37

35339767-1.jpg
12 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Jitterbug Plus

SAR: 0.39

35312943-2.jpg
13 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Appeal

SAR: 0.4

LG-Exalt-35827880-6821.jpg
14 of 21 James Martin/CNET

LG Exalt

SAR: 0.42

HTC_One_V_US_Cellular_35374639_02.jpg
15 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC One V

SAR: 0.43

Nokia_Lumia_1320_35829229-73133.jpg
16 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia 1320

SAR: 0.46

LG Optimus Vu
17 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

LG Optimus Vu

SAR: 0.46

35440657-3.jpg
18 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

SAR: 0.47

35547819-6361.jpg
19 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Rugby 3

SAR: 0.47

HTC_One_Max_35829189_01.jpg
20 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC One Max

SAR: 0.5

LG_G2_ATT_3582615922.jpg
21 of 21

LG G2

SAR: 0.51

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