Top 10 Highest- and Lowest-Radiation Cell Phones

Blackberry Curve
Blackberry Curve

The wireless industry sued the city of San Francisco July 23 to stop a law that requires cell phone stores to post how much radio energy each model emits.

It's the first law of its kind in the nation. The industry trade group known as CTIA — The Wireless Association said the law will mislead consumers into thinking that one phone might be safer than another on the basis of radiation measurements.

Studies have not conclusively found that cell phone radiation is a health risk. Research continues on brain tumors.

According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, specific absorption rate, or SAR, is "a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body." For a phone to pass FCC certification and be sold in the United States, its maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. In Europe, the level is capped at 2 watts per kilogram while Canada allows a maximum of 1.6 watts per kilogram.

So where does, your cell phone rank when it comes to radiation emissions? See the tables below for the top 10 highest- and lowest-radiation cell phones sold in the United States as compiled by CNET Reviews.

Top 10 Highest-Radiation Cell Phones

Manufacturer and Model
SAR Rating (watts/kg)
1. Motorola V195s 1.6
2. (tied) Motorola Zine ZN5 1.59
2. (tied) Motorola Rival 1.59
4. Sony Ericsson Satio (Idou) 1.56
5. (tied) Kyocera Jax s1300 1.55
5. (tied) Motorola VU204 1.55
7. (tied) RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Sprint) 1.54
7. (tied) RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (US Cellular) 1.54
7. (tied) RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Verizon Wireless) 1.54
10. (tied) Motorola Crush 1.53
10. (tied) Nokia E71x 1.53
Source: CNET Reviews

Don't see your phone among the top 10 highest or lowest? Check out where your phone model ranks as sorted by manufacturer:

UTStarcom/PCD| Kyocera | LG | Motorola | Nokia | Palm | Pantech | RIM | Samsung | Sanyo | Siemens | Sony Ericsson | Apple iPhone/Other