Tech special: How smart phones in India fare on SAR values
When a smart phone’s performance is being measured based on the number of cores, gigabytes of RAM, display resolution and battery power, crucial elements like the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) get sidelined. the guide has prepared a list of some of the popular smart phones and where they stand in terms of their SAR values.
What’s SAR Value?
>> SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) is the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to electromagnetic waves. According to the Indian government, the permissable level of SAR in mobile handsets is fixed at 1.60 W/Kg, measured over 1 gram of tissue.
>> According to the Department of Telecom, the information on SAR values must be made available to the consumer at the point of sale. However, it’s often not disclosed by certain e-commerce websites. Also, we came across only two companies who mention SAR values in their websites.
How we went about collecting the SAR values
>> Our first attempt was by visiting the official websites of all the products and companies mentioned here.
>> If the official websites didn’t mention the SAR values, we looked up their respective product pages on several e-commerce portals.
>> We also looked at the press releases sent/available online (for Indian media).
>> In cases where different SAR values were listed for head and body, we have selected the highest value among the two.
1. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925I) and Galaxy A7 (SM-A700FD)
Samsung smart phones may be costlier than your average budget/premium phones, but the SAR values may justify it. Topping the charts is the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy A7. It’s also one of the few companies to list the SAR value on its website.
2. Samsung Note 4 (SM-N910G)
The Note 4 gets the second place in terms of SAR value, which is again, slightly higher than the Galaxy A7 and the S6 Edge.
3. Asus Zenfone 2 (all variants)
Apart from offering impressive specs, the Zenfone series devices by Asus come with low SAR values. If the levels were around 7 with the Zenfone 5, Asus brings it further down to 0.351 W/Kg with the Zenfone 2.
4. Lenovo Vibe X2 4G
Lenovo not only did an impressive job with the design of the Vibe X2 4G, but also its SAR levels, placing it on the fourth position with a SAR value of 0.612 W/Kg.
5. Lenovo A6000
Lenovo steals the show in the budget segment with the A6000 with a SAR value of 0.939. Following closely in the same price range is the Redmi 2, which is also perhaps the safest option from Xiaomi with a SAR value of 0.999 W/Kg. The Moto E (2nd Generation) 3G also stands close with a SAR value of 1.02.
6. iPhone 6
Apple’s iPhone 6 may have gained the attention of gadget lovers across the world, with its sleek design and features, but the device fails to impress in terms of SAR value. And while the SAR value for the iPhone 6 stands at 1.18 W/Kg, the SAR value for iPhone 6 Plus is slightly higher at 1.19 W/Kg.
7. Lenovo A7000
Lenovo’s latest entry, the A7000 ranks marginally better than its competitors in the SAR value at 1.26 W/Kg. Following it closely on SAR values is Xiaomi’s latest device, the Mi4i at 1.29W/Kg.
8. Xiaomi Mi4
Xiaomi’s popular model, the Mi4 fails to impress in terms of SAR value. At 1.36 W/Kg, the Xiaomi Mi4 has the highest levels among all Xiaomi smart phones available in India.
9. Moto Turbo and Nexus 6
Despite their high pricing, Motorola seems to have overseen the SAR value of the Moto Turbo and the Nexus 6. Both phones come with the SAR value of 1.38W/Kg, which is still within the government-approved limits of 1.60W/Kg, but among the highest in the premium segment.
10. Moto G (2nd Generation)
One of the most popular phones from Motorola, also has the highest level of SAR, which is just 0.8 W/Kg lower than the official figure of 1.6 W/Kg allowed in India. Incidentally, the SAR value of the Moto G2 is close to the cheaper Moto E 1st Generation (1.50 W/Kg).