If you have picked up a smartphone in the recent past, especially the Lumia series, you must have noticed a label behind the device stating that the phone meets National SAR Limits. To a lot of you, this might just be a sticker and you perhaps peeled it off and threw it away cause it was spoiling the look of your glittery new device; for others it may have popped a series of question marks in your head. For them, here are all the answers about what SAR means, how to check for SAR Values and why should you bother about SAR in the very first place when picking a Smartphone.
What is SAR Value?
SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate. Candidly speaking, it means the rate at which the tissues of your body will absorb certain radiations. In our case, we will keep the focus on radiations being emitted by smartphones which is mainly in the form of Electromagnetic waves.
For the people obsessed with units, SAR Values are expressed in the units of Watt per Kilogram or W/kg for short. The general consensus is that, lower the value of SAR, the safer the device is for usage or prolonged usage without causing much harm to the human system.
Many people mistakenly assume that using a cell phone with a lower reported SAR value necessarily decreases a user’s exposure to RF emissions, or is somehow “safer” than using a cell phone with a high SAR value. 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.
Hence, against the common notion, SAR Values are a mere barometer to measure how safe a device is but should not be taken as the only quantification in doing so.
How to Check for SAR Value of your Smartphone?
If you are using a modern day smartphone, chances are great that it already is a device which falls within safe SAR Values, however, just in case you are a curious bunny and would like to tap a few numbers on your smartphone, then it is rather simple to find out the SAR value of your mobile device.
To do that, simply open the dialer on your mobile do the following:
Type in *#07# on your dialer and press the Call Button if results dont appear immediately
For several smartphones like the iPhone 5s, you would be taken to a page with the link which would direct you to the page where all the SAR Values are given. For other devices such as the Galaxy Note III, you can find the value right on the board. Here are the two typical screenshots that we picked after checking the SAR Values.
What is the Safe Value of SAR?
For a device to be passed fit and usable by FCC in the US and generally accepted in India, SAR Value should not exceed beyond 1.6 W/kg for 1 g of Tissue mass in the human body. However, for the European Union the limits are slightly different and stretch to 2 W/kg averaged over the 10 g of tissue.
You might have noticed that the SAR Values are always written differently for Head as well as the body of the smartphone. This is because, every individual part of the device must fall within the maximum permissible SAR Value. Here is an interesting table outlining the SAR Values for various parts:
Why Should you Consider SAR Value When Picking a Smartphone?
It is extremely important to consider the SAR Value when picking up a smartphone. The simple reason being, a high SAR Value may result in health issues. These issues are well documented and have been spoken very often on several health forums. However, what the effect may be in the long term is still unknown because relatively speaking, mobile phones are fairly young players into the market.
One common issue that has been reported in the past few days has been the absence of sparrows which has been solely attributed to the radio waves being emitted by mobile phones. Yet, be safe than sorry.
SAR Values are extremely important parameter when judging which phone to pick. If you had to make a choice between a local or an International brand, then chances are SAR Values of a branded product might be much lower as compared to a cheaper and a local product which may cause more harm in the long run. You can easily check SAR Value of any smartphone by using the code we have shared above. So, go on, check your device for it’s SAR and please, stay safe.
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Valuable Info via: Wikipedia, FCC, EMFExplained, TOI