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Do You Know The SAR Rating Of Your Cell Phone

Cell Phone Radiation

We all know that cell phones work based on radiation frequencies or electromagnetic waves. Some studies have linked the causes and effects of radiation on human health, suggesting that long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation may lead to brain tumors or different types of cancer. Understanding the SAR values of phones is crucial in this context.


The radiation from cell phones or mobile devices can be determined based on their SAR value. This value can help us know how exposed humans are to the radiation emitted from their smartphone devices. 


So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the topic!

Key Takeaways

  • SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, measures the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field.

  • SAR ratings indicate the electromagnetic radiation frequency a human body absorbs from a cell phone.

  • Standardized dummies simulating human tissue are used for testing.

  • SAR levels of cell phones assess RF characteristics and compliance with safety guidelines.

  • FCC's permissible limit for public exposure is a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg).

  • Phones with SAR values below this level are considered safe.

  • How to Check SAR Rating:

  • SAR values are for reference only and may vary based on testing standards and conditions.

  • While SAR ratings are crucial, they provide information about RF exposure under specific conditions.

  • FCC's values ensure compliance with maximum exposure levels, not typical usage conditions.

  • Buying a low SAR-rating smartphone may not necessarily reduce typical radiation exposure.

First things first: What is SAR in mobile phones?

SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, measures the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field. In simpler terms, the SAR rating phones indicate the level of electromagnetic radiation frequency absorbed by a human body from a cell phone.

How the SAR rating of a cell phone is measured?

Standardized dummies simulating human tissue are used to test phone SAR ratings. The cell phone is placed against these dummies in various positions, and a robotic probe measures the electric field. The highest SAR values for each frequency band are reported to ensure compliance with FCC guidelines.


To determine the SAR value of the smartphone, each cell phone is placed against the dummy head & body in various positions & each of the sides of the head to stimulate the way different users typically hold a cell phone.


A robotic probe takes a series of measurements of the electric field at pin-pointed locations in a very accurate & grid-like pattern within the head & torso.


Finally, all the data is submitted for final authorization; however, only the highest SAR values for each frequency band are included in the final authorization to check compliance based on the FCC’s radiation frequency guidelines.

Sar Measurement

What does SAR tell you?

SAR levels of cell phones provide a way to assess RF characteristics and compliance with safety guidelines


The FCC's permissible limit for public exposure from cell phones is a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg). Phones with SAR values below this level are considered safe.

How do you check the SAR Rating of your smartphone?

  • Check your mobile phone user guide. You likely find the value there.
  • Check on your mobile phone manufacturer's website: For ease, please find the ones of the famous brands below,
  • Dial the USSD code - #07#
  • Look into your phone’s settings.
  • Check it here on the FCC website: Type in the FCC ID number of your cell phone & hit search.

For example, the SAR rating of the iPhone 11 is 1.09 W/kg, whereas the SAR rating of the Samsung S10 is 1.11 W/kg. We’ve listed the SAR ratings of other popular cell phones below.

Cell Phones

SAR Level 

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max:

1.07 W/kg

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max:

1.15 W/kg

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max:

0.76 W/kg

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:

1.10 W/kg

Samsung Galaxy Z flip 4:

0.19 W/kg

Samsung Galaxy S21:

0.97 W/kg

Samsung Galaxy S22:

1.25 W/kg

Google Pixel 5:

1.14 W/kg

Google Pixel 6:

0.55 W/kg

OnePlus 8T:

1.19 W/kg

OnePlus 9 Pro:

0.72 W/kg

Xiaomi Mi 11:

1.08 W/kg

Xiaomi Mi 12:

1.13 W/kg

Huawei P50 Pro:

0.84 W/kg

Motorola Edge 30:

0.71 W/kg

Sony Xperia 1 IV:

1.01 W/kg

LG Velvet 2:

0.53 W/kg

Nokia XR20:

0.77 W/kg

(Note: SAR values are for reference only and can vary based on testing standards and conditions.)

SAR Mobile Phones: Not the Only Factor

While SAR phone ratings are essential, they must provide complete information about RF exposure under typical usage conditions. 


Instead, the SAR values collected by the FCC are intended only to ensure that the cell phone does not exceed the FCC’s maximum permissible exposure levels even when operating in conditions that result in the device’s highest possible – but not its typical - RF energy absorption for a user. 

Final Thoughts

Buying a smartphone with a low SAR rating may help reduce radiation exposure compared to the ones with higher SAR ratings & vice versa, which is incorrect. FCC only accounts for the highest single measurement taken for each frequency range. It doesn’t indicate the amount of RF a consumer gets exposed to during normal usage.

FAQ's

Q. What are the SAR Values of Smartphones?

A. SAR values indicate the maximum rate at which energy is absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.


Q. Are Lower SAR Values of Phones Always Safer?

A. Lower SAR values indicate lower maximum exposure levels but don't necessarily correlate with safer or lower typical exposure. 


Q. Can I Find the SAR Values of Smartphones Online?

A. SAR values are often found on the manufacturer's or FCC's websites.


Q. Is There a Universal Standard for SAR Phone Ratings?

Countries have different standards, but the FCC standard of 1.6 W/kg is commonly referenced.


Q. Does a higher SAR phone rating mean more radiation Emissions?

A higher SAR rating indicates a higher potential for radiation absorption but not necessarily higher emission during typical use.

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About the author

Ravi Shah


Ravi is the head of Content Strategy at iFixScreens Corporate. With over a decade of experience writing technical content for his readers, Ravi has helped thousands of readers with helpful content, tips, and tricks. He mainly writes content related to gadget repairs, such as iPhones, Smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

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