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

Highest and Lowest Radiation Cell Phones

cell phone radiation skeleton

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 Types SAR Level
1 Motorola Droid Maxx 1.54
2 Motorola Droid Ultra 1.54
3 Motorola Moto E 1.50
4 Alcatel One Touch Evolve            1.49
5 Huawei Vitria 1.49
6 Kyocera Hydro Edge 1.48
7 Kyocera Kona 1.45
8 Kyocera Hydro XTRM 1.44
9 Nokia Asha 503 1.43
10 BlackBerry Z30 1.41
11 ZTE Source 1.41
12 ZTE Warp 4G 1.41
13 Nokia Lumia 925 1.40
14 Nokia Lumia 928 1.40
15 Kyocera Hydro Elite 1.39
16 T-Mobile Prism 2 1.38
17 Sprint Vital 1.38
18 Sprint Force 1.37
19 Huawei Pal 1.33
20 Kyocera Hydro Plus 1.33

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


II. 20 Lowest Radiation Cell Phones, according to CNET
  Cellphone Types SAR Level
1 VeryKool RS90 0.18
2 Samsung Galaxy Note 0.19
3 ZTE Nubia 5 0.19
4 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 0.23
5 Samsung Galaxy Mega 0.28
6 Kyocera Dura XT 0.32
7 Pantech Discover 0.33
8 Samsung Galaxy Beam 0.35
9 Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II 0.36
10 Pantech Swift 0.37
11 Jitterbug Plus 0.39
12 Samsung Galaxy Appeal 0.40
13 LG Exalt 0.42
14 HTC One V 0.43
15 Nokia Lumia 1320 0.46
16 LG Optimus Vu 0.46
17 Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G 0.47
18 Samsung Rugby 3 0.47
19 HTC One Max 0.50
20 LG G2 0.51

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

III. Apple iPhone Radiation Levels
Cell Phone Model SAR Level
Apple iPhone X not yet available
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 1.19
Apple iPhone 8 1.20
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 1.19
Apple iPhone 7 1.20
Apple iPhone SE 1.19
Apple iPhone 6s Plus                  1.14
Apple iPhone 6s 1.14
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1.19
Apple iPhone 6 1.18
Apple iPhone 5 1.18
Apple iPhone 5c 1.19
Apple iPhone 4S 1.19
Apple iPhone 4 (GSM) 1.11
Apple iPhone 4 (CDMA) 0.87
Apple iPhone 3GS 0.67

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


IV. Samsung Galaxy S Radiation Levels
Cell Phone Model SAR Level
Samsung Galaxy S8                                 1.55
Samsung Galaxy S7 1.59
Samsung Galaxy S6 1.25
Samsung Galaxy S5 1.47
Samsung Galaxy S4 1.18
Samsung Galaxy S3 0.87

Source: 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.”