Smartphones are more than just devices for communication, entertainment, education, and work. They are also sources of electromagnetic radiation that can affect our health. How much radiation does your smartphone emit and how can you protect yourself from it? In this piece, we will answer these questions and more.
- Key Insights
- What is smartphone radiation and how is it measured?
- What are the health effects of smartphone radiation?
- Which smartphones have the highest and lowest SAR values in 2023?
- Samsung vs. iPhone: Which Phone is Safer Based on SAR Values?
- How to reduce phone radiation: Tips from experts and authorities
- Smartphones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy, measured by the specific absorption rate (SAR).
- SAR values vary by country, with the US and EU having limits of 1.6 W/kg and 2 W/kg, respectively.
- Independent analyses reveal the LG 510W and LG-G512 as the highest SAR emitters, while Samsung’s Gear 2 has the lowest.
- SAR values vary within brands; Samsung models range widely, while iPhones maintain consistent radiation levels.
- Some Samsung models have lower SAR values than iPhones, but iPhones generally offer more consistent radiation emission.
What is smartphone radiation and how is it measured?
Smartphone radiation is the radiofrequency (RF) energy that travels between your phone and the nearest cell tower. RF energy is a type of electromagnetic radiation that can be harmful if it exceeds certain levels.
The amount of RF energy absorbed by your body from your phone is measured by the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg). The SAR value depends on various factors, such as the phone model, the signal strength, the distance from the phone to your head or body, and the environmental conditions.
Different countries have different regulations and standards for the maximum allowable SAR values for smartphones. For example, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that smartphones sold in the country have a SAR value of no more than 1.6 W/kg for head exposure and 1.6 W/kg for body exposure. In Europe, the European Union (EU) sets a limit of 2 W/kg for head exposure and 2 W/kg for body exposure.
What are the health effects of smartphone radiation?
According to the World Health Organization, there is no conclusive evidence that exposure to low-level RF fields from smartphones and other wireless devices causes adverse health effects.
However, some studies have suggested that high-level RF exposure may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as brain tumors, or cause other biological effects, such as changes in brain activity, blood pressure, or metabolism.
Therefore, it is important to be aware and informed about the amount of radiation emitted by your smartphone and how to reduce your exposure and protect yourself from its potential harm.
Which smartphones have the highest and lowest SAR values in 2023?
The SAR values of cell phones are not always easy to find or compare, as they are often buried in user manuals, websites, or databases. Moreover, the SAR values reported by manufacturers or regulators may not reflect the actual exposure levels experienced by users in real-world scenarios.
For instance, the newly released iPhone 15 supposedly boasts a SAR value of 0.98 W/kg across all forms, including iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, this might not always be the case once you start using it.
Therefore, it is important to conduct independent and objective analyses of the SAR values of different cell phone models and brands, and to inform consumers about the potential health effects of cell phone radiation. The data presented was sourced from the German Federal Office for Radiation, with a data cut-off as of August 25, 2023.
Top 10 smartphones with the highest SAR values for head exposure in 2023
The LG 510W and LG-G512 have the highest SAR values of 1.94 W/kg each, exceeding the recommended limit of 1.6 W/kg for head exposure. These LG models may not meet regulations in some regions due to their design, antenna placement, or technologies.
The Motorola Edge has a SAR value of 1.79 W/kg, followed by Xiaomi’s Mi A1 and its LTE Dual SIM variant with 1.75 W/kg each. These values show the variation in SAR levels across and within brands.
Huawei P8 has a SAR value of 1.72 W/kg, and OnePlus 5T has a SAR value of 1.68 W/kg. These models are still within regulatory limits in many countries, which differ in their acceptable SAR thresholds.
The difference between the SAR values for head exposure of the top 10 smartphones is not very large, ranging from 1.58 to 1.94 W/kg. This means that these phones emit similar amounts of radiation, although they are higher than other phones.
Some factors that could affect the SAR values of the phones are the design, the location of the antennas, the technology used, and more. Four of the phones on the list go beyond the recommended limit of 1.6 W/kg, while the rest are very close to it.
Top 10 Smartphones with the Lowest SAR Values for Head Exposure in 2023
Samsung’s Gear 2 has the lowest SAR value of 0.09 W/kg, making it the safest device for head exposure. Samsung also has the SGH-Z560 and Gear 2 Neo, with 0.10 and 0.11 W/kg respectively, showing its dedication to low RF exposure devices.
Motorola’s MPx 200 is the only non-Samsung model in the top five, with 0.12 W/kg. Samsung dominates this list with seven out of ten devices, thanks to its research and development on antenna design, placement, and materials.
The SAR values in this list range from 0.09 to 0.17 W/kg, which are much lower than the recommended limit of 1.6 W/kg. These models show that brands can achieve high performance without compromising user safety.
Top 10 Smartphones with the Highest SAR Values for Body Exposure in 2023
The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus have the highest SAR values of 1.83 W/kg each for body exposure. Motorola also has the moto g8 power, motorola one fusion, and moto e6 play, with SAR values around 1.78 W/kg each. This shows a trend in Motorola’s devices that might lead to higher SAR values for body exposure.
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2 and LG’s GW520 have SAR values above 1.7 W/kg each. This shows that the challenge of managing SAR values is not limited to one brand or series. The SAR values in this list are close, from 1.72 to 1.83 W/kg. They are all around the upper limit, but not within the acceptable range set by us and EU (1.6).
Users who often keep their smartphones in contact with their bodies, such as in their pockets or belts, should be aware of the high SAR values for body exposure. This might not be a problem for normal phone activities, like texting or browsing, but it might be more risky for activities that involve long-term body exposure, like listening to music with the phone in a pocket.
Top 10 Smartphones with the Lowest SAR Values for Body Exposure in 2023
The SAR values in this list are very close, from 0.00 to 0.22 W/kg. This shows the technological progress made by manufacturers to optimize performance and user health. The iPhone (1. Generation) has the lowest SAR value of 0.00 W/kg for body exposure, meaning no radiation absorption when the device is close to the body.
Samsung has many models with low SAR values, such as the Gear 2 Neo, Gear 2, and Galaxy Note 10.1 Wi-Fi, with 0.01, 0.02, and 0.03 W/kg, respectively. These show Samsung’s dedication to minimizing radiation exposure and producing different devices, from wearables to tablets, with low SAR values.
Motorola’s MPx 200 and Huawei’s Mate 8 have SAR values slightly above 0.20 W/kg. OnePlus 2 has the same value, showing that newer brands are also aware of SAR values.
Samsung vs. iPhone: Which Phone is Safer Based on SAR Values?
One way to measure this is by looking at the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values, which indicate how much radiofrequency (RF) energy is absorbed by the body and head when using the phone.
We use our dataset to check the SAR values of major iPhone and Samsung models for head exposure. The recommended maximum limit for both head and body exposure is 1.6 W/kg.
SAR values of major Samsung Smartphone models in 2023
The Samsung model with the highest SAR value is the Galaxy A23 5G (1.49 W/kg), while the lowest is the Galaxy A34 5G (0.55 W/kg). Several newer models, such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip 5G, have SAR values under 1.0 W/kg, showing a trend of lower radiation in recent models.
SAR values of major Apple iPhone series in 2023
The iPhone model with the highest SAR value is the iPhone 7 (1.38 W/kg), while the lowest is the iPhone X and its successors, including the iPhone 14 (0.99 W/kg). This SAR value is consistent across many iPhone models, both old and new, indicating that Apple has kept a standard of radiation emission across its devices.
Comparing Samsung vs. iPhone SAR values
Comparing the highest SAR values, Samsung’s Galaxy A23 5G slightly exceeds iPhone’s iPhone 7. However, comparing the lowest SAR values, Samsung’s Galaxy A34 5G has a much lower SAR value than iPhone’s 0.99 W/kg.
Considering the averages, iPhones have a relatively stable SAR value around 0.99 W/kg, while Samsung’s range is wider, with some models having very low SAR values, but others approaching the upper limit.
So, which phone is safer: Samsung or iPhone?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question, as it depends on the specific model of the phone. Some Samsung models have lower SAR values than any iPhone model, while others have higher. iPhones have more consistent and predictable SAR values across their devices. Therefore, if you want the phone with the lowest possible SAR value, some Samsung models would be safer. However, if you want a phone with a stable and moderate SAR value, iPhones would be a better choice.
Does iPhone have more radiation than Samsung?
This is not a valid question, as it varies from model to model. Some Samsung models emit less radiation than iPhones, while others emit more. iPhones have a consistent radiation level across their devices. Thus, you cannot say that iPhones have more radiation than Samsung phones or vice versa in general. You have to compare specific models to make a fair comparison.
How to reduce phone radiation: Tips from experts and authorities
Mobile phones are very useful, but they also give off radiation. This can harm your health if you are exposed too much. Here are some tips from experts and authorities on how to reduce phone radiation to your head and body:
- Keep the Phone Away from Your Head: The best way to reduce radiation is to keep the phone away from your head. Use speaker mode, headphones, or earbuds when you make calls. This will lower the amount of radiation that goes into your brain.
- Text More, Call Less: Another way to avoid contact between the phone and your head is by texting instead of calling. Texting uses less radiofrequency (RF) energy than voice calls, which means less radiation.
- Make Calls Short: Don’t talk on the phone for too long. The longer the call, the more radiation you get. Try other ways to communicate, like email or video chat. This tip is suggested by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the UK government, and many experts.
- Wait for Good Signal: Don’t use your phone in areas with bad signal. In these places, your phone works harder and gives off more RF energy to stay connected. Wait until you have a good signal before you make calls or use data.
- Don’t Keep the Phone in Your Pocket: It’s better to keep your phone in a bag or backpack than in your pocket. This will reduce radiation to your body parts. Experts say this is especially important for your heart and reproductive system.
- Turn Off the Phone at Night: Sleep is important for your health. To sleep well, you should turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode at night. This will stop any radiation from your phone while you sleep. Many experts agree with this tip.
These tips will help you reduce radiation exposure and protect your health in the long run. The main things to remember are distance and duration: keep the phone away from your head and body, and don’t use it for too long.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering a plethora of functionalities. However, with their benefits come concerns about radiation exposure. The SAR values, which measure the amount of RF energy absorbed by the body, vary across different models and brands.
While some phones, especially newer models, have made significant strides in reducing SAR values, others still hover near the regulatory limits. It’s essential for consumers to be informed about the SAR values of their devices and take proactive measures to minimize exposure.
By following expert tips and understanding the radiation levels of specific phone models, users can make informed decisions and ensure their well-being in the digital age.
The SAR value for the iPhone 14 is approximately 0.99 W/kg, while the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G has a SAR value of 1.49 W/kg and the Galaxy A34 5G is at 0.55 W/kg.
While there’s no conclusive evidence linking low-level RF fields from smartphones to adverse health effects, some studies suggest high-level RF exposure might increase certain cancer risks or cause biological changes.
The iPhone (1. Generation) has the lowest SAR value of 0.00 W/kg for body exposure, followed closely by several Samsung models like the Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Note 10.1 Wi-Fi.
iPhones generally have consistent SAR values around 0.99 W/kg across models. In contrast, Samsung’s SAR values vary, with some models having very low values and others nearing the regulatory limits.
Experts advise using speaker mode, headphones, or earbuds during calls, texting more than calling, keeping calls short, waiting for a strong signal before using the phone, not storing the phone in pockets, and turning it off or using airplane mode at night.