Radiation from mobiles is an issue that has been discussed almost since mobiles have been around. The specific absorption rate o SAR is used to measure the radiation emitted by our mobile devices. And although there is no consensus on the harmful effects of mobile radiation on human health, we should opt for those mobile devices that have lower SAR. Because, as they say, prevention is better than cure.
The German Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) has a web page where we can search for our device to find out the radiation rate it has. The truth is that it has a very extensive database, so it includes both new and old devices. From this page also we can extract a list of mobile devices that have more and less radiationThus we will have one more factor to take into account when choosing one model or another.
Which mobiles emit the most radiation in 2020?
The BFS shows us a simple table in which we can see the SAR value of hundreds of devices. In it we have the name of the mobile on the left and two values on the right. The one that puts “Am Ohr” is the SAR value we have when the mobile is on the ear. The other value marks the amount of radiation we have when we carry the mobile on our body (for example, in our pocket).
SAR is measured in Watts per kilogram. The lower the SAR value, the less radiation the mobile emits. Under current legislation, the maximum SAR should not exceed 2 W / kg. As we will now see, no mobile exceeds this value. In fact, most stay below 1.16 W / kg.
We have made a selection of the best known brands and we have filtered by current models. Then we have sorted the list by the radiation they emit while being in the ear and the result is what you have on these lines.
Between the mobiles that emit the most radiation we have several models of Xiaomi, the Alcatel Idol 5 and the OnePlus 6T in two different versions. The winner is the Xiaomi Mi A1, with 1.75 W / kg, a quite high figure if we take into account that the limit is marked at 2 W / kg.
And what about two of the largest manufacturers in the world? We can tell you that, for example, iPhone 11 Pro has a SAR of 0.99 W / kg when the phone is placed on the ear. As for Samsung, the Galaxy Note 10 boasts a SAR of 0.21 W / kg at the ear.
If we order the list by the SAR value When the mobile is not on the ear, the model that emits the most radiation is the Alcatel Shine Lite, with 1.81 W / kg. They are followed by Sony’s Xperia XA1 and Motorola Moto E6 Play. The rest of the list is completed by several models of Xiaomi, Alcatel and Motorola.
If we go to the opposite extreme, those that emit less radiation, we have the Samsung Galaxy J3, he Sony Xperia E5 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 in the top 3.
The Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Bfs) page also allows us to search for the SAR of specific models. We will only have to put the model that interests us in the search engine and click on the magnifying glass icon.
For example, iPhone 11 has a SAR of 0.95 W / kg at the ear and 0.99 W / kg at the body. The Samsung Galaxy S20 does not appear on the list, so we have not been able to compare it with the Apple terminal. Yes we have been able to verify that the S10 Plus has a SAR of 0.52 W / kg at the ear but goes up to 1.58 W / kg at the body.
SAR may not be an aspect that makes us eliminate a device from our list of possible ones if we like it a lot, but at least it can help us decide if, for example, we are between two very similar models.