In this article, I’m going to cover the lowest radiation cell phones, and smartphones, that you can buy in 2021.
Although it isn’t the absolute best measure of a phone’s safety when it comes to EMF radiation exposure, SAR ratings are really our only publicly available means to compare the radiation levels of these devices. So, if you’re looking to find some low radiation phones, this is the place to be.
So, after we talk about the lowest radiation phones, I’ll go a bit more in-depth about what a SAR Rating is, why it matters, and why it isn’t always the best for determining the safety of a phone.
P.S. If you’re just looking for a great way to protect yourself from the radiation your phone emits, consider getting an EMF protection case. I’m currently using (and loving) this case from Defendershield. It is by far the best emf protection case on the market.
Alright, let’s get started!
Lowest Radiation Cell Phones of 2021
This is a comprehensive chart of the lowest radiation cell phones currently available. I’ll do my best to keep it updated as new phones are released and their SAR ratings become available.
|1.||Samsung Galaxy Note 8||0.17||Unlocked|
|2.||ZTE Axon Elite||0.17||Unlocked|
|3.||Verykool Vortex RS90||0.18||Unlocked|
|4.||Samsung Galaxy Note||0.19||T-Mobile|
|5.||ZTE Nubia 5||0.225||Unlocked|
|6.||Samsung Galaxy Note 2||0.28||Verizon|
|7.||Samsung Galaxy Mega||0.321||AT&T|
|8.||Kyocera Dura XT||0.328||Sprint|
|10.||Samsung Galaxy Beam||0.36||Unlocked|
|11.||Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II||0.37||Verizon|
|13.||Samsung Jitterbug Plus||0.4||Great Call|
|13a.||Jitterbug Plus||0.4||Great Call|
|14a.||Samsung Galaxy Note 2||0.43||Sprint|
|15.||HTC One V||0.455||US Cellular|
|16.||LG Optimus Vu||0.462||Unlocked|
|17.||Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G||0.47||T-Mobile|
|17a.||Samsung Rugby 3||0.47||AT&T|
|18.||HTC One Max||0.5||Sprint|
Lowest SAR Cell Phone / Smartphone
As you can see from the chart, coming in just first place with an absorption rate of just .17 watts per kilogram is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. This is by far the lowest radiation smartphone by a major manufacturer.
In fact, Samsung devices hold 12 of the 20 spots for the lowest SAR level.
This leads us to the question:
Why Do Samsung Phones Have Such Low SAR Ratings?
It’s actually a pretty interesting story. It used to be that the FCC mandated that cell phone manufacturers only use antennas that transmitted in all directions, known as omnidirectional antennas.
In 2003 the FCC changed its rule, in part to protect hearing aids from the radiation emitted from th
Three years after this change, in 2006, Samsung released a new antenna that “enhances handset safety by radiating most of the transmitted RF energy away from the handset user.”
This was not only a transformational upgrade for Samsung, but something brand new to the industry. More importantly, though, it dramatically lowered the recorded SAR ratings of all the phones using this antenna.
You see, if you take a look at the image below, you’ll notice that specific absorption rate tests are done with a model head, and a cellphone held by a machine very close to the ear. This fairly closely replicates how a normal person would use the phone.
They read how much radiation is absorbed by the dummy. Since Samsung’s new antenna directed most of the radiation away from the head, it resulted in far lower SAR ratings.
So Why Don’t Other Phone Manufacturers Do This?
Well frankly, they don’t have to. The regulations only say that you no longer have to use an omnidirectional antenna and that you have to stay under 1.6 w/kg on SAR tests.
So, not only do phone manufacturers not want to put the money into the research and development, but they also don’t want to admit that there is even a reason to try and achieve lower SAR ratings.
Alright, we’ve talked a lot about SAR ratings when determining the lowest radiation cell phones on the market, so let’s break this down a bit.
What Are SAR Ratings?
SAR, or specific absorption rate, is simply a measurement of how much EMF radiation human tissue absorbs from a specific phone.
So first, what even is Specific Absorption Rate?
Well, in short, SAR is a measurement of the rate at which body tissue absorbs EMF radiation from a specific phone.
This measurement is used internationally, with different countries having set different legal minimums.
In the United States, the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) published a set of rules in 1996 defining the legal EMF exposure limits.
They decided that no phone sold in the United States could have a SAR rating that exceeded 1.6 w/kg of body weight. So, when tested, the dummy (that represents a person) can’t absorb more than 1.6 watts of radiation for each kg of body weight represented.
The measurements are based on a person holding the phone to their ear for 30 minutes.
Are SAR Ratings A Good Way To Determine Cell Phone Safety?
First of all, these SAR standards were set almost 25 years ago, when cell phones, and our understanding of the dangers of EMF radiation, were far different.
Secondly, SAR standards are only designed to protect users from the dangers of the heat generated by microwave radiation. These standards do not account for the non-ionizing radiation that we now know is harmful, especially via long-term exposure.
SAR ratings also don’t really give us a real-world example of the radiation emitted or absorbed, since this will be largely determined by the person using the phone, how the phone is being used, apps on the device, etc.
In fact, the FCC on their website admits that: “cell phones constantly vary their power to operate at the minimum power necessary for communications; operation at maximum power occurs infrequently. Consequently, cell phones cannot be reliably compared to their overall exposure characteristics on the basis of a single SAR value.
I won’t go into any more details if you want to learn tons more about SAR ratings, and how to find the SAR rating of your phone, check out this article.
Alright, now let’s answer a few related questions:
How Can I Check The SAR Rating Of My Phone?
There are quite a few ways to check the SAR Rating of a mobile phone, which is why I wrote this post that outlines 7 different ways.
But my favorite, and the one I use most often, is called the “Quick Code” method. Essentially all phone manufacturers are required to have this code protocol that communicates information about the device to the service provider.
There is quite a bit of information contained, and part of that information is the SAR rating of your particular phone.
To use this method, just follow these simple steps:
- Open up your phone like you’re about to make a phone call.
- Dial exactly this: *#07#
- Press send as if you’re about to call that number, and voila, you’ll be presented the information.
Just a quick aside – I just want to mention that if you’re worried about EMF radiation, there is an E-book that I absolutely cannot recommend any higher called “The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs” that I would really encourage you to check out. I didn’t write it, but it’s one of the absolute best resources available.
What Is The Lowest Radiation Smartphone?
The current lowest radiation smartphone (by SAR rating) is the Verykool Vortex RS90 with a SAR rating of .18 w/kg.
What Is The Lowest Radiation iPhone?
The lowest radiation iPhone ever sold was the iPhone 3GS that came out in 2009, and had a reported SAR rating of .79 W/kg. You can reference the chart below for all iPhone SAR ratings.
|Model (click for more SAR levels)||SAR|
|Apple iPhone 12 Max||.98 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 12||.98 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 11 Pro||.99 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 11||.95 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone X||1.08 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 8||1.14 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 7,||1.10 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 6||1.18 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone SE||1.14 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 5||1.18 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 4S||1.11 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 4||1.17 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 3GS||0.79 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone 3G||1.38 W/kg|
|Apple iPhone||0.97 W/kg|
In total, I would say that Apple iPhones have middle-of-the-road cell phone radiation levels, they certainly don’t have the highest, but Samsung and other companies have phones that emit far less radiation.
If you are going to go with an iPhone, I’d recommend considering a quality EMF protection cell phone case.
What Is The Lowest Radiation Samsung Phone?
The Samsung phone with the lowest SAR rating is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a rating of just .17 W/kg.
What Is The Lowest Radiation LG Smartphone?
Currently, the LG Exalt has the lowest SAR rating of any LG phone, at just .43 W/kg.
What Is The Lowest Radiation Google Pixel?
The lowest radiation Google Pixel phone is the Pixel1, which had a specific absorption rate of .89 watts per kilogram when tested on the head.
On Body (USA)
- Pixel1 – 0.56 W/kg
- Pixel XL- 0.58 W/kg
- Pixel 2- 1.14 W/kg
- Pixel 2XL – 1.18 W/kg
- Pixel 3a- 1.17 W/kg
- Pixel 3a XL – 1.18 W/kg
- Pixel 4 XL – 1.2 W/kg
On Head (USA)
- Pixel 1- 0.89 W/kg
- Pixel XL – 0.92 W/kg
- Pixel 2 – 0.93 W/kg
- Pixel 2 XL – 1 W/kg
- Pixel 3a- 1.8 W/kg
- Pixel 3a XL 1.16 W/kg
- Pixel 4 – 1.2 W/kg
What Is The Lowest Radiation Motorola Phone?
The lowest radiation cell phone made by Motorola would be the Motorola X4 with a SAR level of 1.12 W/kg when measured on the head.
However, Motorola phones all have fairly similar SAR levels, ranging from 1.12 W/kg to 1.26 W/kg.
What Is The Lowest Radiation Nokia Smartphone?
Obviously, Nokia’s old “brick” phones emitted fairly low levels of cell phone radiation. However, among the modern Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 1 has the lowest radiation with a head SAR of .8 W/kg, tied with the Nokia 5 which also had a head SAR of .8 W/kg.
The Nokia Lumia 620 and 830 also have SAR limits under .9 W/kg.
Will Extremely Low Radiation Cell Phones Be Released?
There are several companies working on releasing cell phones specifically designed to have low radiation levels. One in particular that I’m extremely excited about, and have pre-ordered, is the Mudita Pure. I should really write a full review of the product, but for now, I’ll just say that it was developed with the dangers of EMF radiation in mind.
In fact, the Mudita Pure has a head SAR of just .06 W/kg, which I believe would make it the lowest radiation phone released, at least that still has modern smartphone features.
Not only will the Mudita Pure have unbelievably low radiation levels, but it’s also specifically designed to reduce your use and reliance on phones.
The Mudita Pure is currently estimated to start shipping in November of 2021 and pre-orders are open now.
Will 5G Cellphones Emit More EMF Radiation?
The discussion on how much 5G will impact us I’ll leave for my other articles on the topic. However, if we’re just looking at the specific absorption rate of these other phones, and whether they have high or low radiation levels, then essentially the answer is no, 5G phones don’t have particularly high SAR levels.
Let’s look at some of the most popular 5G phones as well as their radiation levels:
5G Cell Phone Radiation (SAR) Levels (USA Head Readings)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max – .98 W/kg
Apple iPhone 12 Pro – .99 W/kg
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – .71 W/kg
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 – .71 W/kg
Google Pixel 4a – 1.37 W/kg
As you can see, many of these 5G phones actually have somewhat low SAR levels. So, then you just have to decide through your own research how much you believe having a 5G phone may affect you.
How Can I Reduce My Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation?
I don’t want to go too deep into this topic, because I wrote a hugely comprehensive guide on reducing your exposure to cell phones that you can check out.
I literally outline 17 different ways you can reduce your exposure, with detailed steps on how to do it.
However, one of the absolute best things you can do is to get a quality EMF protection case for your phone. I’m currently using (and loving) this one from Defendershield.
It’s also really, really, important that you have a quality EMF meter, like the Trifield TF2. Not only will this let you accurately measure the EMF radiation from your cell phone, and determine just how low, or high, that radiation is, but it will also be crucial in any EMF mitigation you attempt.
If you’ve noticed throughout my articles, I often recommend this, because, without a good EMF meter, you won’t be able to find the sources of radiation, or know if what you are doing to reduce it is even helping.
Alright, now that we’ve exhausted the topic of “lowest radiation mobile phones,” I hope you have a much clearer understanding of:
- Which phones have low radiation
- How we determine which phones emit the least radiation
- What SAR ratings are
- And so much more.
If you want to expand your knowledge of EMF radiation further, be sure to check out my Knowledge section, or consider picking up this book. You can also take a minute to check out my recommended products page!
If you enjoyed this guide, do me a favor and share it!