SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of how much radio frequency (RF) energy is absorbed by your body when using an electronic device like a mobile phone. In the EU, SAR limits are governed by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). Here, any mobile device with a SAR of 2.0 Watt per kilogram (W/kg) or less averaged over 10 grams of tissue is considered safe for consumer use.
SAR is calculated for two areas: the head and the rest of the body. During testing, the phone’s radio is set to its highest transmission level for each frequency. For the head rating, the phone is placed directly next to the head to simulate actual calling behaviour. For the body rating, the phone is positioned 10 mm away from the body. You should therefore carry your phone in a bag or something similar to keep it 10mm away from your body. This ensures that exposure remains at or is below the as-tested level. To additionally minimize exposure we recommend to use a hands-free headset.
The SAR of the Fairphone 2 is relatively low: 0.288 W/kg for the head and 0.426 W/kg for the body. There’s a lot of research out there about the effects of exposure to radio frequency, but many remain inconclusive. If you would like to research more, see the World Health Organization.
For the Fairphone 1, please consult the relevant article.
For the full lab report, look here: