Good and EVO

Should HTC EVO users be worried about cell phone radiation?

If you read any other tech blogs, or just follow the news on a regular basis, you've probably noticed that a lot of people are, once again, talking about cell phone radiation and the possible risks associated with it. But in the flurry of numbers and accusations being tossed around, where do the HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D stand? And should you really let yourself worry about how much radiation you are being exposed to everyday?

WHO-logo The resurgence of this conversation all started at the end of May, when the World Health Organization announced that cell phone use can increase users' risk of developing cancer, going so far as to place cell phones in the same category as exhaust from motors, lead, and chloroform. The jury is still out, however, as a new study out of Denmark found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors. Still, this is only one of hundreds of different studies, which all seem to contradict each other.

Thus we have city officials in San Francisco who are again trying to pass controversial legislation that would force cell phone retailers to post explicit notices about radiofrequency (RF) exposure, as well as make additional fact sheets available to customers who request them. Now, I think transparency is actually a good thing, so I'm not necessarily against this. However, I also believe that most of the fears surrounding cell phone radiation are probably blown just a bit out of proportion. After all, many scientists believe that brain tumor rates today are consistent with rates before cell phones became so popular.

Evo4g So how do the HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D stack up in comparison to similar devices? According to, the original EVO 4G has a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 1.03 watts per kilogram (W/kg), while the EVO 3D is a bit lower at 0.885 W/kg. (SAR simply refers to the amount of RF energy that is typically absorbed by the body during use. Both Canada and United States cap the maximum allowed SAR level at 1.6 W/kg.)

Using CNET's cell phone radiation rankings as a guide, this places both EVO phones squarely in the middle of the pack. As a reference, the highest radiation cell phone in the United States is the Motorola Bravo with a SAR reading of 1.59 W/kg, while the Samsung Blue Earth holds the distinction of emitting the lowest amount of radiation at 0.196.

And just for the sake of comparison, Verizon's iPhone 4 has a SAR rating of 1.18, the Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint is at 0.68, the T-Mobile myTouch 4G from HTC is at 0.938, and the Motorola Atrix 4G from AT&T is at 1.47.

When thinking about cell phone radiation, it is important to keep in mind that these numbers represent the maximum SAR levels that have been observed in testing during phone calls; actual levels can actually be lower depending on a variety of circumstances, including the specific band the phone is currently using. Levels will also vary when using the phone to transmit data or send text messages.

And because a multitude of studies on cell phone radiation exist, each contradicting the other, we can only come to the conclusion that we simply don't know how harmful our cell phones really are, if at all. However, if you want to play things safe and minimize your exposure to RF radiation, you can follow some commonsense practices:

  • Cell-phone-radiation Avoid talking on the phone for long periods, and send text messages instead.
  • Use a Bluetooth or wired headset for extended conversations.
  • Avoid carrying your phone in your pocket. Instead, carry it in a bag or use a belt clip that keeps the phone at least one inch away from your body.
  • Avoid using your phone in weak signal areas, as your phone will emit more radiation as it uses more power to broadcast to the cell tower.

Now, do I follow all of these tips all of the time? Absolutely not. When it comes down to it, it's up to you to decide how far you want to take this. But at least you can rest easy knowing that, while the HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D are not the lowest radiation-emitting cell phones in the US, they are far from the top.

How much do you worry about cell phone radiation? Do you take any extra precautions to shield yourself from it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

Avatar of John F

16 thoughts on “Should HTC EVO users be worried about cell phone radiation?

  • Haha Worry? Not me everything gives you cancer these days.

  • Right it’s in the water we drink, the air we breath, the cigs I smoke, and the chemtrails that the government drops from planes to thin out the population. lol

  • Why… why did you give this any kind of exposure at all? The WHO classified it as a Group 2B… which also includes magnetic fields and pickled veggies… and nobody thinks about the pickles on their burgers. If you’re placed in Group 2B, it means the WHO has absolutely no evidence to say it’s carcinogenic. It basically means nothing.

    This is getting to be a bit ridiculous. It’s low-level RF, not a nuclear reactor.

  • Avatar of davidr521

    Two words (which are actually *required* in many states now anyways):

    Bluetooth. Headset.

    That is all

  • Not to be a negative nelly but does blue tooth emit harmful radiation? I sometimes imagine a spot where my motorola s9 sits on the back of my head developing cancer.

  • Avatar of L.S. Ramos

    I really hate how painfully misrepresented the WHO is regarding this matter, even on “expert” sites like this.

    The WHO classification is reserved for cases where there is limited evidence of cargenogenicity in humans and insufficient evidence in experimental animals. In effect the WHO is not concluding that cell phones cause cancer, but instead simply are not ruling them out. There is no proven causative relationship, as such there is no scientific proof that cell phones cause cancer.

    According to xkcd, based on the timeline of increased cancer rates and increased cell phone use, cancer causes cell phones. It’s a joke, yes, but it’s an equivalently valid assumption based on current scientific evidence.

    Cell phones are in the same classification as coffee and pickles; if you are going to be afraid of cell phones based on the classification, then you must also avoid eating pickles and coffee, since the WHO came to the exact same conclusion regarding those foods.

    There is more scientific evidence surrounding graphite, the material in pencil “lead,” that indicates a causative relationship to cancer than there is between cell phones and cancer.

  • Is that really funny , how bout we just go ahead and place a rfid in your right hand ,and tell you that’s just how it is ,the new world order ,world health orginzation telling u this is just a new kinda cold , your getting blazed at the sub atomic level u idiot, matter a fact keep lol while they super dose u with high a EMF bath of microwaves, were all getting back ground rf radation. U can’t see ,smell or hear radation.

  • One place I read on this a while ago is incidence of cancer rises in first world countries. These risks are raised by toxins, foods, and not getting enough sun (this is from the vit D freaks)

    Cell phones are generally used in first world countries. XKCD.ORG had a great piece on this a week or so back which draws the conclusion based on evidence that cancer causes cell phones and not vice versa.

  • I don’t believe much that comes out of Government Agency’s mouths.
    Can anyone say FDA? They released drugs onto the Market knowing they cause Deaths until there are too many Deaths, then they Investigate.
    This cell phone Radiation issue may be something and may be nothing
    If it is something, there are too many entities and Lobby Groups who will make sure that info takes years to reach the general population. There are also many variables which come into play like age of the user, how much use, etc. The real info will be buried for years,
    I’ve seen a Neurosurgeon interviewed who will only use cell phones with bluetooth.
    Remember when Radar Screens came out for the Aviation Industry. Everyone said there was no Danger, that is until the testicles of Ground Control Employees started shriviling up :(
    Ere on the side of caution as they say.

  • No not mad . But aware,

  • Avatar of Steve Gaudreau

    Damn if it ain’t one thing or another that you love can kill ya! I love steak, red meat will kill ya. Beer yum will kill you. I have to say what won’t. The two words people!!! Jim Fix

  • Avatar of Steve Gaudreau

    By the way, I love my E3D!

  • Now I’m not a scientist but isn’t wireless bluetooth just as bad as using a cellphone? I remember when this was a huge worry back in the day people started getting those wired headphones with mics on them, I know there’s a bunch for iPhone but are there any for the Evo? Speaking of iPhones what was their SAR ratings?

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