Article ID : 00251037 / Last Modified : 16/09/2020Print

SAR & Mobile Phones

    What is SAR?

    Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures the amount of radio frequency (RF) power that is absorbed by the human head or body when using a mobile phone. SAR is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg) and is used in radio frequency exposure guidelines.

    The SAR value of a mobile phone refers to its maximum SAR value, which greatly overstates real-life exposure levels. Maximum SAR values are determined during SAR compliance testing using standardised methods. Such testing takes place under laboratory conditions, with phones transmitting at their highest certified power levels in all used frequency bands. 

    In real life, mobile phones are designed to be as power-efficient as possible to maximise battery life. As a result, they operate at much lower power levels during everyday use than during SAR compliance testing.

    Should I worry about SAR?

    To ensure safety for all mobile phone users, including children, pregnant women and seniors, expert scientists have set conservative exposure limits, against which all mobile phones must be tested. All Sony mobile phones meet national and international guidelines for exposure to radio waves. Mobile phones are designed to operate at much lower power levels during everyday use than the maximum, worst-case power levels measured during SAR compliance testing.

    I have a choice between two phones. Is the one with a lower SAR value safer to use?

    The differences in SAR values between phone models do not reflect a difference in safety.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent U.S. government agency responsible for defining radio wave exposure guidelines in the United States, explains that:

    While SAR values are an important tool in judging the maximum possible exposure to RF energy from a particular model of cell phone, a single SAR value does not provide sufficient information about the amount of RF exposure under typical usage conditions to reliably compare individual cell phone models.

    Where can I find information about the SAR values of Sony mobile phones?

    SAR values and safety guidelines for individual Sony mobiles are available:

    On Sony's support website 

    In your smartphone's settings 

    What can you do to limit your exposure to radiation?

    Science supports the claim that mobile phones compliant with SAR guidelines are safe to use. However, if you wish to reduce your exposure to mobile phone emissions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests using a hands-free option for longer phone calls, such as headphones or the built-in speakerphone feature on your smartphone.

    You can visit the following websites for more information on health and SAR:

    • EMF Explained
      This website provides information on health and safety in mobile telephony.
    • The International EMF Project
      A WHO programme to identify research needs and recommend research, perform health risk assessments and produce information material concerning electromagnetic fields.
    • ICNIRP
      The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is an independent scientific organisation responsible for providing advice on non-ionising radiation exposure.
    • Mobile & Wireless Forum
      The Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) is an international association of companies with an interest in mobile and wireless communications including the evolution to 5G and the Internet of Things. Visit the SAR Compliance page for more information on SAR.