What is SAR value ? What is its significance ?

When we are searching for a new mobile phone, we just go through its specifications. But, how many of us do have a look at the SAR Values before a making a decision? We tend to sideline the SAR factor while comparing the device specifications. In this article, I will try to provide you with a brief idea about SAR and we will conclude with the SAR values of some popular smartphones.

SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate. It is a measure of the rate of Radio Frequency (RF) absorption by a human body while using a cell phone. It is expressed as the power absorbed by 1 gram or 10 grams of tissue. It’s unit is W/Kg.

Now, many of you would think that using a phone with low SAR value is somehow safer than a phone with a high SAR value. But this may not be true in all the cases.

” Cell phones cannot be reliably compared for their overall exposure characteristics on the basis of a single SAR value for several reasons (each of these examples is based on a reported SAR value for cell phone A that is higher than that for cell phone B):

• Cell phone A might have one measurement that was higher than any single measurement for cell phone B. Cell phone A would, therefore, have a higher reported SAR value than cell phone B, even if cell phone B has higher measurements than A in most other locations and/or usage configurations. In such a case, a user generally would receive more RF energy overall from cell phone B.

• Cell phone A might communicate more efficiently than cell phone B, so that it operates at lower power than cell phone B would under comparable conditions. Consequently, a user would receive more RF energy overall from cell phone B.

• The highest value from cell phone A might come from a position which the user seldom or never employs to hold a phone, whereas that user might usually hold a phone in the position that resulted in the highest value for cell phone B. Therefore, the user would receive the highest RF exposure that cell phone B delivers but would not receive the highest RF exposure that cell phone A delivers.”, said FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in a report.

The Government of India has adopted the most stringent norms (US limits) for mobile handsets in 2012 which requires that phones sold have a SAR level at or below 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) taken over the volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal.

Use of Hands-free mode, Bluetooth headsets and wired headsets can have an impact on the SAR level. Our suggestion is to go for those handsets whose SAR rating is below 1 W/Kg @ 1 gram of tissue for both body and head. Health Hazards arising due to cellular communications is still debatable as scientists are yet to find conclusive evidence.

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