Q: I'm thinking of buying the Samsung Soul and I'm concerned with its radiation level. But when I looked at the user manual there were multiple SARs listed. Is this typical and how do I know which listing is right? - Rich
A: It's not a matter of which listing is right since it is very common for a single handset to have multiple SARs. For both GSM and CDMA phones, the radiation level will vary by transmission band, the testing position (at ear vs. at body), and the testing body that reported the results. In CNET's radiation charts we always list the highest at-ear SAR as tested by the FCC. I know that's a lot of qualifications, but the distinctions are important to understand.
I'm glad you mentioned the Soul since that phone is a great example of just how results can vary. First off, the Soul uses three GSM bands (900, 1,800, and 1,900) so it's likely that you're seeing a different reported SAR for each band. As I said before, all of the listings are correct, but for your situation one SAR will be more correct than the others. Of the three GSM bands the Soul uses, only the 1,900 band is used in the United States, so I would concentrate on that listing. Also, you'll want to make sure that the results are from the FCC, which conducts tests specifically for the U.S. market. If the results are form another body, such as the European Union's testing agency or Industry Canada, then you could see a different result.… Read more