list of smartphones with the best and the worst specific absorption rate

What is SAR, specific absorption rate? What risks do electromagnetic waves pose to health? What is the list of smartphones that emit the least waves? Studies remain unable to establish a clear link between health and absorption of electromagnetic radiation. However, it is already possible to take a first precaution by choosing the best smartphone on the side of the DAS!

We often hear about DAS, with a lot of confusion especially from the point of view of its health hazards. And in general, we do not always think of consulting this indicator when buying a smartphone. So why is this important? Is there a proven health risk? How to limit the supposed risks of exposure to electromagnetic radiation? What are the best and worst smartphones smartphones from a DAS point of view? We take stock!

What is SAR, or specific absorption rate?

When you look at the data sheet of a smartphone, you will notice that for each device is indicated the SAR (specific absorption rate). The SAR corresponds to electromagnetic radiation that will be absorbed by your body when using your smartphone. These waves come both from antennas dedicated to GSM, 3G and 4G network, as from those dedicated to WiFi and Bluetooth. The measure selected is expressed in Watts. Like your microwave oven, the waves emitted by your smartphone – and other devices – indeed cause a rise in the temperature of tissues (mainly composed of water) when they are absorbed.

From Watts to calories, including joules

But 1 watt represents the transfer of an energy of 1 joule per second. To figure out roughly what this corresponds to in terms of the rise in tissue temperature, we will have to switch to another unit of measurement, the calorie. Itself defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a gram of water by 1 ° C. One calorie is equal to 4.186 joules. Of course, it thickens very quickly: SAR is expressed in watts per kilogram. However, the waves of a smartphone do not escape only in the direction of your body, but in many directions. SAR only concerns the part of the waves that are actually absorbed by your body.

SAR largely depends on the method used to measure it

SAR therefore largely depends on how it is measured. As since the beginning of wireless telephony, this value is tested first on a representation of the human head, as if the owner of the device was on a call. The measurement takes place at the location defined as having the highest absorption, which in the case of a smartphone or mobile phone is as close as possible to the antennas. The measurements are made at several places on the head in various frequency ranges (the higher they are, the more they are energy vectors but the less they penetrate the tissues).

In the case of smartphones other tests are also carried out, such as for example at the extremities, at the level of the waist, etc. What you need to know is the DAS can be called everywhere the DAS (or SAR in English), we do not measure it everywhere the same ! In the United States, the value is measured on only 1 gram of tissue, absorbing the strongest signal strength. In the European Union, it is made on 10 grams of fabric. In the absence of information on the volume used for the measurement (or the country in which the SAR was measured), the comparison between the SARs of devices sold at two points in the world is not possible.

When will we see a truly universal indicator?

If there is really an important point to remember about the SAR, it is therefore that this indicator is unfortunately not not yet universal. This is why American researchers have pinned the iPhone X, 8, 7 and the Galaxy S9, S8 for their emission of waves while they do not exceed the legal threshold set in the United States by the FCC, the Federal Commission communications. The measurements carried out in the United States thus differ greatly from the standards set in Europe or Asia.

On the other hand, in the European Union, the measurement system and the thresholds are the same everywhere. This threshold is reflected in the law of the Member States: the SAR of all devices sold in the Union cannot exceed 2 W / kg. The measurement being made, we told you, on 10g of tissue where the intensity of the waves is the strongest. Display of the SAR is mandatory – in the absence of other mention it describes a measurement made at the level of the head. Most recent phones have SAR head understood between 0.4 and 1 W / kg but some are worse candidates than others with a SAR that can sometimes flirt with legal limits.

SAR and electromagnetic waves: really proven health risks?

As we have seen, the higher the SAR index, the more likely a telephone is to emit waves. The question of knowing if these waves are really harmful for health, or if there is a proven link between their intensity and the risk of cancer is not, however, at all trench. There is no no scientific consensus on long-term health effects low but regular exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

If we take the broader case of exposure to electromagnetic radiation in the workplace, we can cite theNational Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) which admits many “consequences” on workers’ health, but does not speak of risk and is careful not to suggest long-term effects. Likewise, the National Agency for Health, Food, Environment and Occupational Safety (ANSES) estimated in 2013 that there is no proof that smartphone waves have “Proven health effects”. For its part, the WHO classifies electromagnetic waves as “Possibly carcinogenic to humans”. In this category, there are particularly harmless and widespread foods such as pickles for example.

The “short term effects“On the other hand, according to the INRS, can occur”directly“, In particular by a“heating of biological tissues” and an “nervous system stimulation“. A study by the Tropical Institute and Swiss Public Health identified a correlation between smartphone waves and decreased memory performance in adolescents, confirming previous research results. But these are not proven cause and effect links. Despite everything, many associations assure that the waves are harmful.

To add to the confusion, the scientific community does not always agree with justice. Courts have indeed already taken the step of recognizing a link between waves and health. The lack of scientific consensus and case law show that the question of the dangerousness of electromagnetic waves is still far from being settled. Discoveries could nevertheless be made in the coming years when this type of radiation is now part of our daily lives. Taking an interest in DAS is therefore apply the precautionary principle. It is for this same reason that the measurement is systematically carried out – and that the display of the value is a legal obligation.

Do you want to limit your exposure to electromagnetic waves? Let’s start trying to answer the right questions: if you can, try to measure over several days the number of hours you spend with the cell phone / smartphone within 10cm of your body. From the pocket of your pants to your bed, your smartphone is very likely to spend most of its time with you. Start by reducing this fusional relationship – and force yourself into disconnections where your smartphone will quietly wait for you in another room.

It is also advisable in case ofavoid overexposing the most sensitive parts of your body : brain, armpits, heart, and genitals. There are several solutions for this: for example, you can find another way to transport it throughout the day (a backpack that you can use to carry other useful things?) And use a hand kit. free – even wireless. The waves emitted by Bluetooth devices are indeed several orders of magnitude weaker compared to the waves emitted by the GSM / UMTS / GPRS / 3G / 4G antennas of your smartphone. In particular on devices with the lowest range (class 3 for example).

And their way of saving energy, especially with the latest Bluetooth standards, means that radiation exposure is not continuous. Of course, the best is the wired headset, but it is much less practical! It is also strongly recommended not to sleep next to your smartphone. This advice is not only motivated by the DAS. Next to your bed, you will be more tempted to use it before you fall asleep, but the blue light they emit disrupts the circadian rhythm and prevents you from sleeping. In addition, we tend to load them near the bed, which increases the risk of accidents (explosions).

DAS ranking: the list of smartphones from highest to lowest

To see more clearly, we have tried to draw up a DAS ranking of the most popular smartphones. If you think some should be in the leaderboard, let us know in the comments!

DAS: list of the best smartphones

The value represents SAR head (W / kg)

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (0.173)
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (0,187)
  3. Samsung Galaxy S8+ (0.26)
  4. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (0.264)
  5. Samsung Galaxy A50 (0,27)
  6. Samsung Galaxy S9+ (0,294)
  7. Moto G5 Plus (0.30)
  8. Moto Z (0.30)
  9. Samsung Galaxy S8 (0.315)
  10. Huawei P30 (0.33)
  11. Wiko Pulp (0.332)
  12. Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 (0.349)
  13. Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 (0.349)
  14. Wiko Lenny 3 (0.358)
  15. Huawei P8 Lite (0.36)
  16. Nokia 7 Plus (0.361)
  17. Samsung Galaxy S9 (0.362)
  18. Samsung Galaxy A10 (0.379)
  19. Xiaomi Redmi 9A (0.398)
  20. Huawei Mate 20 Pro (0.40)
  21. Samsung Galaxy S7 (0.406)
  22. Samsung Galaxy Fold (0,43)
  23. Samsung Galaxy S10 (0.477)
  24. Samsung Galaxy S10+ (0.516)
  25. Xiaomi Mi 11 (0.55)
  26. Samsung Galaxy S10e (0.582)
  27. Nokia 8 Sirocco (0.59)
  28. Xiaomi Poco F3 (0.59)
  29. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro (0.597)
  30. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 (0.595)
  31. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 (0,591)

DAS: list of the worst smartphones

The value represents SAR head (W / kg)

  1. Xiaomi Mi A3 (1,97)
  2. Xiaomi Mi A1 (1.75)
  3. OnePlus 5T (1.68)
  4. Xiaomi Mi Max 3 (1.58)
  5. Asus Zenfone 6 (1,57)
  6. Samsung Galaxy S20+ (5G) (1,57)
  7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (1,56)
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (1,55)
  9. Samsung Galaxy S20 (1,52)
  10. Google Pixel 3 XL (1.39)
  11. OnePlus 5 (1.39)
  12. Google Pixel 4 (1,39)
  13. Google Pixel 4 XL (1,39)
  14. Google Pixel 3 XL (1.39)
  15. Google Pixel 3 (1.33)
  16. HTC Desire 12/12+ (1.34)
  17. Xiaomi Mi 9T (1,341)
  18. OnePlus 7T Pro (1,374)
  19. Xiaomi Mi 9 (1389)
  20. Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite (1389)
  21. OnePlus 6 (1.33)
  22. Google Pixel 3 (1.33)
  23. Google Pixel 3a (1,33)
  24. iPhone 8 (1.32)
  25. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (1,29)
  26. Apple iPhone 7 Plus (1.24)
  27. Asus Zenfone 5 (1,20)
  28. OnePlus 7 Pro (1,199)
  29. OnePlus 7 (1,166)
  30. OnePlus 7T (1.04)
  31. Galaxy Z Fold 3 (1.036)
  32. Google Pixel 6 (1.0)
  33. Oneplus 9 pro (0.99)
  34. Google Pixel 6 pro (0,99)
  35. iPhone 13  (0,97)
  36. iPhone 13 mini (0,98)
  37. iPhone 13 Pro (0,99)
  38. iPhone 13 Pro Max (0,99)
  39. iPhone 12 (0,99)
  40. iPhone 12 mini (0,99)
  41. iPhone 12 Pro (0,99)
  42. iPhone 12 Pro Max (0,99)
  43. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (0,99)
  44. Apple iPhone 8 Plus (0.99)
  45. Apple iPhone XS Max (0.99)
  46. Apple iPhone XR (0.99)
  47. Apple iPhone XS (0.98)
  48. Apple iPhone X (0.98)
  49. Apple iPhone SE 2020 (0.98)
  50. Motorola Razr 2019 (0,97)
  51. Huawei Mate 30 (0,960)
  52. Huawei Mate 30 Pro (0,960)
  53. Apple iPhone 11 Pro (0,95)
  54. Apple iPhone 11  (0,95)
  55. Nokia 6 (2018) (0,944)
  56. Oneplus North 2 (0.94)
  57. Apple iPhone 6S Plus (0.91)
  58. Oppo Find X3 pro (0,881)
  59. Galaxy A52 5G (0.78)
  60. Huawei P20 Pro (0.73)
  61. Galaxy S21 Ultra (0.714)
  62. Huawei P30 Pro (0,64)

So, can you see it more clearly? Is the SAR of a smartphone part of your purchasing criteria? Do not hesitate to share your opinion on the subject in the comments of this article!

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