Feel as if you are sailing through a fog? Fogs on the Seas of Technology are not wet, rather they are made of words, acronyms and jargon which cause many
travellers to feel lost and confused. Often even those selling the technology have not received enough training to shine a light on some of these. A perfect example is the SAR rating of a phone. Many will tell you that SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate and give scientific definitions. ( If you are scientifically minded, you can find those online in Wikipedia and other online sources e.g.

Calaxy Nexus phone

My phone with low SAR

However, some phone sales staff don’t know what it is! You don’t need to remember, the science in detail. Basically, it is a measure of the user’s radio frequency exposure from using the phone. It appears the scientific jury is still out on the possibility of health effects from such exposure. All phones sold in Australia must conform to a standard similar to those in other developed countries so many people believe any of them are safe to use. However, if you feel concerned about it, you can choose to use a hand-free or speakerphone feature to limit the time you have the phone close to your head and/or you can select the phone which has the lowest SAR rating of these which meet your other needs. The SAR rating of Australian phones must be published in the instruction manual and they can usually be found online as well. My own phone was selected because I loved it but it’s relatively low SAR rating was one feature that attracted me.

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