Smartphone has become the most indispensable personal electronics we all use and own right now. It is the device that is our pocket and one stays in our bedside table as well. While most of the time we focus on the benefits of these devices in terms of communication and reachability, these devices also come with a potential risk: exposure to radiation. A comprehensive report published by The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) shows the level of radiation emitted by both new and old smartphones.
The data shared by Statista shows that the criteria was set to current smartphone models as of December 10, 2018 from vendors such as Apple, BlackBerry, Google, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi and ZTE. The tests were reportedly conducted while calling with phone placed on ear. The results are nothing but shocking with Xiaomi’s Mi A1 topping the list as smartphone that emits the most radiation. The Mi A1 is an Android smartphone that was launched in 2017 and is used widely by consumers in the emerging markets.
The second device in the list is also from a Chinese smartphone maker, the OnePlus 5T. The list showing top 16 most radiation emitting devices is dominated by Xiaomi and OnePlus. Both Xiaomi and OnePlus have four devices each in the list while Google, Apple, Sony, HTC and ZTE have their devices in the list as well. Xiaomi Mi A1 and OnePlus 5T are followed by Xiaomi Mi Max 3, OnePlus 6T and HTC U12 life as the top five devices that emit most radiation.
“All Xiaomi smartphones sold in India comply with the laws for SAR values and are well under the limit. Mi A1 has a SAR value of 1.26 W/kg (head) and 0.17 W/kg (body) in India. Values shared in the said report have been obtained from tests in Germany (where the conditions and standards for SAR testing and values are different from those in India) and thus cannot be compared to SAR values in India. For reference, India has a maximum limit of 1.6 W/kg while in Germany, the limit is 2.0 W/kg,” Xiaomi spokesperson told BGR India in an email response. OnePlus is yet to comment on the findings.
Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 is sixth on the list while Google Pixel 3 XL, OnePlus 5, iPhone 7 and Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact round up the top ten list. While there is no universal guideline for a safe level of phone radiation, this list is one where smartphone makers would not want their devices to be seen and with top honors, Xiaomi and OnePlus are raising concerns about their devices.
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The German certification for environmental friendliness, also known as ‘Der Blaue Engel’ (Blue Angel), only certifies phones that have a specific absorption rate of less than 0.60 watts per kilogram. All of the phones listed in the data have more than double the threshold value. Samsung Galaxy Note 8, ZTE Axon Elite and LG G7 emit the least amount of radiation among phones tested by the German agency.