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SAR Chart

We found out way back in May via the FCC that the Pre would not put out so much radiation to boil your brains, but recently the Environmental Working Group culled the databases to find out how all these phones stacked up against each other. The numbers above are a sampling of the most popular smartphones in the United States right now, and as you can see above, the Pre ranks near the bottom (with only the BlackBerry Storm pulling a lower score). And that’s a good thing, as with the specific absorption rate, smaller numbers are better.

Essentially, the SAR measures the amount of electromagnetic (radio) energy put off by by a phone during use. SAR is measured in watts/kilogram. Most smartphones do receive high, but poor, marks in comparison to their dumbphone brethren, but when you’re sporting 3G radios and bluetooth and WiFi and all sorts of fancy high power chips and processors you’re going to be emitting all sorts of radiation anyway.

For the record, the United States limits SAR ratings to 1.6 W/kg, while the EU sets the bar at 2.0 W/kg. If you’re interested in seeing how the Pre stacks up against other phones out there, you can head over to the EWG website and search their database.

Also, we should note that some of the information on the EWG website may not be completely accurate or complete. For instance, the Palm Pre page lists the phone for both Sprint and Verizon. We contacted EWG for clarification and they confirmed for us that Verizon’s listing on that page is indeed an error  (for now, of course).