Last updated on: 9/25/2017 | Author:

Highest and Lowest Radiation Cell Phones

On Aug. 7, 1996, the FCC created guidelines on cell phone radiation (RF) exposure with input from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The guidelines created a measure of the rate that body tissue absorbs radiation during cell phone use called the specific absorption rate (SAR). The SAR for cell phone radiation was set at a maximum of 1.6 watts of energy absorbed per kilogram of body weight. The limit was set due to the thermal effects of cell phone radiation (all RF radiation can heat human body tissue at high enough levels) – it was not set to mitigate other biological effects cell phone radiation might have such as DNA damage or cancer.

The FCC SAR limit is based upon a cell phone call that averages 30 minutes when the cell phone is held at the ear. Holding a phone away from the body or using a wired earpiece lowers the amount of radiation absorbed, and text messaging rather than talking, further lowers that amount.

The following charts list SAR levels for the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, as well as 20 of the highest SAR level cellphones and 20 of the lowest SAR level cellphones. The list provides the maximum possible SAR level from the phone (many phones have differing SAR levels depending on where and how the phone is used). If your phone is not on either list, you can find the SAR level for your specific phone by checking the online FCC database.

I. 20 Highest Radiation Cell Phones, according to CNET

 Cell Phone TypesSAR Level
1Motorola Droid Maxx1.54
2Motorola Droid Ultra1.54
3Motorola Moto E1.50
4Alcatel One Touch Evolve1.49
5Huawei Vitria1.49
6Kyocera Hydro Edge1.48
7Kyocera Kona1.45
8Kyocera Hydro XTRM1.44
9Nokia Asha 5031.43
10BlackBerry Z301.41
11ZTE Source1.41
12ZTE Warp 4G1.41
13Nokia Lumia 9251.40
14Nokia Lumia 9281.40
15Kyocera Hydro Elite1.39
16T-Mobile Prism 21.38
17Sprint Vital1.38
18Sprint Force1.37
19Huawei Pal1.33
20Kyocera Hydro Plus1.33

CNET, “Cell Phones with the Highest Radiation Levels (Pictures),”, June 9, 2014

II. 20 Lowest Radiation Cell Phones, according to CNET

 Cellphone TypesSAR Level
1VeryKool RS900.18
2Samsung Galaxy Note0.19
3ZTE Nubia 50.19
4Samsung Galaxy Note 20.23
5Samsung Galaxy Mega0.28
6Kyocera Dura XT0.32
7Pantech Discover0.33
8Samsung Galaxy Beam0.35
9Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II0.36
10Pantech Swift0.37
11Jitterbug Plus0.39
12Samsung Galaxy Appeal0.40
13LG Exalt0.42
14HTC One V0.43
15Nokia Lumia 13200.46
16LG Optimus Vu0.46
17Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G0.47
18Samsung Rugby 30.47
19HTC One Max0.50
20LG G20.51

CNET, “Cell Phones with the Lowest Radiation Levels (Pictures),”, June 9, 2014

III. Apple iPhone Radiation Levels

Cell Phone ModelSAR Level
Apple iPhone Xnot yet available
Apple iPhone 8 Plus1.19
Apple iPhone 81.20
Apple iPhone 7 Plus1.19
Apple iPhone 71.20
Apple iPhone SE1.19
Apple iPhone 6s Plus1.14
Apple iPhone 6s1.14
Apple iPhone 6 Plus1.19
Apple iPhone 61.18
Apple iPhone 51.18
Apple iPhone 5c1.19
Apple iPhone 4S1.19
Apple iPhone 4 (GSM)1.11
Apple iPhone 4 (CDMA)0.87
Apple iPhone 3GS0.67

Apple, “RF Exposure,” (accessed Sep. 14, 2017)

IV. Samsung Galaxy S Radiation Levels

Cell Phone ModelSAR Level
Samsung Galaxy S81.55
Samsung Galaxy S71.59
Samsung Galaxy S61.25
Samsung Galaxy S51.47
Samsung Galaxy S41.18
Samsung Galaxy S30.87

Samsung, “SAR Information,” (accessed Sep. 14, 2017)

V. Find Your Phone: FCC Database on cell phone radiation (SAR) levels

The FCC maintains a database that includes the SAR – radiation absorption – levels for every certified cell phone sold in the United States.

You can find the SAR for your individual cell phone by typing the FCC ID number of your cell phone into the FCC database available here:

From the FCC website: “The FCC ID number is usually shown somewhere on the case of the phone or device. In many cases, you will have to remove the battery pack to find the number. Once you have the number proceed as follows. Go to the following Web address: Once you are there… Enter the FCC ID number (in two parts as indicated: ‘Grantee Code’ is comprised of the first three characters, the ‘Equipment Product Code’ is the remainder of the FCC ID). Then click on ‘Start Search.’ The grant of equipment authorization for this particular ID number should appear. The highest SAR values reported in the equipment certification test data are usually included in the comments section of the grant of equipment certification.”