Xiaomi, OnePlus fingered for high-radiation phones by German regulator [U]

Recent testing by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection or BfS has found the highest levels of specific area radiation coming from phones made by Xiaomi and OnePlus.

The data, compiled by Statista and seen through Digital Trends, shows that the globally-implemented Android One device, the Xiaomi Mi A1, recorded an SAR reading of 1.75 watts per kilogram. In second place was the OnePlus 5T at 1.68W/kg. In fact, Xiaomi’s Mi Max 3 and the OnePlus 6T took third and fourth with readings only slightly 1.6W/kg.

The HTC U12 life took fifth place while another HTC phone, two more OnePlus phones, another Xiaomi Phone, two iPhones, two Google Pixel phones filled up the top 16.

Most of the least-emitting phones were made by Samsung — the Galaxy Note 8 bottomed out with 0.17W/kg. LG, Motorola and ZTE getting at least two slots each. All readings drawn through the BfS were 0.32W/kg or less.

The longstanding scientific debate over whether cellphone radiation is harmful to humans continues to be argued as the BfS issued a release last week discounting a US National Toxicology Program report finding that such radition could induce cancer. The BfS stated that testing was done on rats with radiation at far higher levels proportionate to what humans would experience on a daily basis.

That said, in order for a phone to receive a “Blue Angel” environmental friendliness certification in Germany, they must test below 0.6W/kg — a far cry from the FCC’s 1.6W/kg limit and a clear sign that standards aren’t being bridged.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Xiaomi Mi A1 and OnePlus 5T broke the FCC’s SAR limit of 1.6W/kg.

However, FCC standards specify that limit for a 1 gram sample of human tissue. The Conformité Européenne, which regulates such safety standards in the European Economic Area, advises a limit of 2W/kg over a 10 gram sample.

Furthermore, certain governments suggest different methods of SAR testing for their certification. Therefore, it is not accurate to compare the measurements to different standards. Pocketnow regrets the error.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.