Among all smartphone brands today, Samsung and Apple are arguably the most popular.
To date however, especially given Samsung’s recent exploding battery issue that prompted a global recall of their flagship models, Apple seems to have the edge over the Korean tech giant. iPhones have thus far proven to have better cameras, longer battery life, more powerful core processors. Unfortunately, they also happen to have the highest electromagnetic radiation specific absorption rate, or SAR.
An Apple a Day
Under the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) legal limit, SAR values for mobile devices that reach the market should not go above 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg). Multiple reports however are calling out Apple because their iPhones and iPads have one of the highest SAR values. In fact, their newest flagship device, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, are two of the highest radiating phones ever created by Apple, to date.
According to reports filed, the iPhone 7’s SAR for cellular transmission is 1.19 W/kg at the head, and 1.19 W/kg when placed near the body. The bigger model, the iPhone 7 Plus, has a SAR value of 1.19 W/kg at the head, and 1.17 W/kg when near the body.
To be fair, the values still fall below the FCC recommendation and therefore pass safety standards. However, experts and regulatory boards all agree that further research is required to be able to definitively say that such figures pose no long term health risks.
“Those evaluating the potential risks of using wireless devices agree that more and longer-term studies should explore whether there is a better basis for RF safety standards than is currently used,” says the FCC.
You could assume that these figures are the benchmark figures for most smartphones today, but Apple’s biggest competitor proves the contrary.
In contrast, Samsung’s flagship device, the Galaxy S7 Edge has been lauded for having the lowest electromagnetic radiation, with an exact SAR value of only 0.264W/kg at the head and 0.66 W/kg near the body.
The manufacturer’s ability to limit RF exposure can be credited to an innovative antenna system they implemented back in 2006 that works to enhance handset safety by radiating most of the RF energy away from the user.
Best practices to reduce radiation exposure
Regardless of whether you own a Samsung or an Apple device, the important thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to rush to get rid of your smartphone.
There are numerous things you can do to limit your exposure to radiation:
- Limit calls to only when absolutely necessary. If you can, use air-tube headsets, instead of traditional ones built with metal wires that amplify radiation signals.
- Try to use your phone only when you have good cell phone signal. Limited service means your phone is working extra hard and emits more radiation.
- Do not carry your cell phone directly on your body. Do not tuck it in your bra, avoid using belt clips, or stuffing it in your pocket.
- Do not use your phone while in a moving vehicle. This goes beyond hazards caused by texting and driving. Even when you’re on a bus, train or car, constant movement means your smartphone is constantly scanning for service, and is therefore operating at a higher signal strength.
- Avoid sleeping next to your phone. Studies have shown that cell phone radiation can disrupt sleep cycles and even cause allergies and headaches.
- Whenever possible, text instead of calling to avoid placing your mobile device near your head.
- Go easy on the apps. Make sure you turn off any apps running in the background. Not only does this save battery, it also helps minimize unnecessary radiation caused by background data running.
- Use a cell phone case design to minimize radiation. A trusted, credible brand should be able to offer you numerous options to fit style preferences and ensure that you are able to use your device safely.
For options, be sure to visit www.vesttech.com and browse through our selection of protective smartphone cases.