Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5: Samsung smartphone wins radiation battle with 0.30W/kg SAR

According to a document from the National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan, the Galaxy S4 will have a much lower SAR than the iPhone 5.
March 13, 2013
samsung galaxy s4 teaser header

The Galaxy S4 will be officially unveiled only tomorrow during a special New York-based media event, but it looks like one particular characteristic for the device has been leaked via Taiwan, its Specific Absorption Rate (or SAR).

The data has been found by Tawkon in a document from the Taiwanese National Communications Commission (NCC) and we’re looking at an improvement for Samsung when it comes to radiation levels for its high-end Galaxy devices.

In case you have no idea what SAR is or why it’s important, we’ll tell you that it measures the energy absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency electromagnetic field such as the ones generated by mobile devices (you can check out our video interview with Tawkon below, for more information on phones radiation).

The Galaxy S4 will apparently have a SAR of 0.30W/kg (lower is always better). Comparatively, the Galaxy S3 has a SAR of 0.342W/kg, but the Galaxy S4 is bested by other Galaxy devices including the Galaxy Nexus (0.303W/kg,) the Galaxy S2 (0.240W/kg,) and the Galaxy Note (0.209W/kg.)


Obviously, the Galaxy S4 will be compared with the iPhone 5 when it comes to various characteristics so let’s check out the SAR for Apple’s current flagship model. Depending on what iPhone 5 model we’re looking at, we get a SAR value of 0.95W/kg (European version) or 1.18W/kg (U.S. version).

Even though the Galaxy S4 beats the iPhone 5 when it comes to radiation levels, both handsets are within the legal SAR limits. In the U.S., that’s set at 1.6W/kg over 1 gram of tissue while in the EU, the limit is a 2.0W/kg over 10g of tissue. The NCC has the same SAR standard as the FCC.

In order to be approved for sale, all handsets have to have a SAR that’s within those limits, and SAR information for each device is always available to the public. It’s also worth mentioning that the declared levels describe the maximum SAR per device, with the actual SAR fluctuating under those levels depending on how the device is used.

Do you consider SAR when purchasing your smartphones?