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04 September 2019

Too Many Waves! Huawei, Nokia, Wiko... 17 Models of Different Brands Pinned for Excessive Radiation

We would like to see more articles in the press on this important issue, linking the cell phone tests conducted in the U.S. at the request of the Chicago Tribune with those carried out in France, the results of which were revealed thanks to the actions of Dr. Marc Arazi and the Phonegate Alert Association.  

Too many waves! The list of smartphones caught at fault
by Benjamin Douriez, 60millions-mag.com, 21 August 2019, updated 22 August 2019 - auto-translation*

Huawei, Nokia, Wiko... About fifteen models of different brands have been pinned for excessive radiation, and require updating.

Does your smartphone emit too many waves? This is a question that many consumers should ask themselves. While regulations set a maximum level of electromagnetic radiation for mobile phones, some models have exceeded or even still exceed it.

The National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) is in charge of controls on this subject. According to our count, within a year and a half, it pinned seventeen models for non-compliance with the authorized specific absorption rate (SAR).

A too confidential list

Although public, these reminders to smartphone manufacturers rarely reach users' ears because they are not sufficiently covered by the mainstream media. We have therefore gathered in the list below all the models concerned since the beginning of 2018.

Samsung and Apple, the two smartphone giants, are not included. But several other relatively well-known brands, such as Wiko, Huawei and Alcatel, have had one or more of their models pinned. The worst is Nokia, with three different devices caught between April and July 2019.

Two models banned in France

In rare cases, phones have been withdrawn from the market and recalled from users. In July, for the first time, this measure was ordered by the authorities for two little-known brand models: the Leagoo S8 and the Allview X4 Soul Mini S. The two manufacturers had not reacted to ANFR's formal notices, says the prohibition order published in the Official Journal.

In 2018, another mobile phone was recalled, but this time on a voluntary basis by Orange, which distributed it: the Hapi 30.

Check your updates!

For most other models, an operating system update has been proposed. It modifies the behavior of the device in order to limit its radiation and thus comply with the authorized standards.

Users of the smartphones concerned should therefore check whether it has been carried out. In principle, updates should be proposed automatically - but they must also be accepted by the user.

What are the health effects?

The issue of the health effects of electromagnetic waves is the subject of much scientific debate. The national health security agency (ANSES), whose last collective expertise on the subject dates back to 2013, recommends that people making many calls use a hands-free kit - the distance from the device to the body reduces exposure to waves.

In a 2018 article, it recommends above all, "that all users should give priority to the acquisition of phones with the lowest specific absorption rates (SARs)".

The SAR is used to measure the emissions to which the mobile user is exposed. Expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg), it must not exceed 2 W/kg at the head level, 2 W/kg also at the trunk level, and 4 W/kg at the arm or leg level.

Too many waves at the trunk

The increase in the number of reminders to the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) is due in particular to a tightening of standards in 2016. From now on, the measurement at the trunk level must be done at 0.5 cm from the skin. Previously, it could be up to 2.5 cm - a margin that made it easier to comply with the 2 W/kg limit.

It is on this measure at the trunk level that almost all the models in the list below have been pinpointed by ANFR. Some smartphones went far beyond the limit. The Nokia 6.1 was measured by ANFR at 3.58 W/kg, while the Allview X4 Soul Mini S, now banned, reached 4.6 W/kg, more than twice the allowed value.

iPhone 7 in the spotlight

Across the Atlantic, serious doubts appeared on August 21, 2019, about Apple's iPhone 7, accused of emitting twice as much as announced. After a long investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports that it has measured the smartphone with an emission level between 2.50 and 2.81 W/kg (5 mm measurements).

The tests, which were paid for by the newspaper and performed in an accredited laboratory, are disputed by Apple.

In France, the iPhone 7 was tested by ANFR in May 2016 without revealing any non-conformities. The SAR at trunk level was measured at 1.34 W/kg, according to data available on the ANFR open data site. Differences in European and American measurement protocols could explain this discrepancy.

The association Alerte Phonegate, which is dedicated to this subject, sees in these multiple excesses a "health and industrial scandal".

The list of smartphones concerned

For each smartphone identified as having excessive electromagnetic emissions, we indicate the date of the call to order published by ANFR and the resulting decision. An online document, linked to it, most often provides information on how to update the smartphone to reduce its radiation.**

Alcatel - Pixi 4 (6")
Call to order in May 2018. Consequence: software update (version 01005 or later). More information.

Allview - X4 Soul Mini S
Call to order in July 2019. Consequence: prohibition and withdrawal from the market by the authorities. More information.

Archos - Access 50
Call to order in December 2018. Consequence: software update (version 20181011 of 11 October 2018 or later). More information.

Echo - Star Plus
Call to order in May 2018. Consequence: software update (version V02_20180307 or later). More information.

Hisense - F23
Call to order in July 2018. Consequence: software update (version L1360. or later). More information.

Huawei - Honor 8
Call to order in May 2018. Consequence: software update (version B389 or later). More information.

Leagoo - S8
Call to order in July 2019. Consequence: prohibition and withdrawal from the market by the authorities. More information.

Logicom - M Bot 60
Call to order in January 2019. Consequence: software update (version B18V01.01B12 or later). More information.

Neffos - X1 TP902
Call to order in May 2018. Consequence: model recalled by the manufacturer. More information.

Nokia - Nokia 3 (TA-1032DS)
Call to order in April 2019. Consequence: software update (version 00WW_4_43E or later). More information.

Nokia - Nokia 5
Call to order in April 2019. Consequence: software update (version 00WW_6_12E or later). More information.

Nokia - Nokia 6.1 (TA-1043)
Call to order in July 2019. Consequence: software update (version 00WW_3_51F or later). More information.

Orange - Hapi 30
Call to order in April 2018. Consequence: model recalled by Orange (letter sent by the operator).

Wiko - Tommy 2 Bouygues Telecom
Call to order in July 2018. Consequence: software update (version V02.17.BYT.20 or later). More information.

Wiko - View
Call to order in October 2018. Consequence: software update (version V01.27.OPE.20 or later). More information.

Xiaomi - Mi Mix 2S
Call to order in February 2019. Consequence: software update (version 10.2.1 or later).

Xiaomi - Redmi Note 5
Call to order in February 2019. Consequence: software update (version or later).

Original article in French:

*We thank Dr. Marc Arazi, President of the Phonegate Alert Association, for this auto-translation.  We have made only a few minor grammatical corrections.

** Information is in French, so we have not provided the links here.

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