Help me find a Not-So-Dumb Phone
July 23, 2013 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a simple, non-smart phone with the following features: * Long battery life * Bluetooth (to connect to a Parrot in the car) * Good speaker and microphone for hands-free * Low SARS rating This last point has been the hardest for me to find. For some reason, it seems that new smart phones have much lower SARS rating. I don't really care that it has a keyboard. I should also mention that I am in Europe so it needs to be 2G/3G/4G which I think is different from the States. Appreciate any help! I've been looking on CNET, Google and across the web without much luck...
posted by BigBrownBear to Technology (2 answers total)
I guess it depends on how low you mean by "lower SARS" and how long you mean by "long battery life." Maybe the Samsung Monte Slider (E2550) which has 9.5 hours talk time, 0.445 to 0.595 W/Kg SAR, and Bluetooth 2.1?

I don't have any personal experience with this phone and I haven't found any reviews that mention speakerphone quality, so I can't help with that requirement.

Nokia still makes a number of simple "candybar" style phones with long battery life. Maybe one of them will meet your requirements if you can find the SAR ratings for them.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:37 PM on July 23, 2013

Nokia is still king for feature phones. I'm sure they carry a model that caters to your needs.

SAR rating might not tell you the full story btw. I assume you want low number to minimize your exposure to RF radiation? Bear in mind that SAR level is derived from maximum power level a device is capable of. Mobile handhelds are designed to operate at minimum operating power output that still gives satisfactory result. In other words, you can have a high SAR level device but through good designs and close proximity/good signal to the base towers, the RF radiation can be much lower than a device that is located in bad coverage area. This is a study comparing the power output of handhelds in different geographical regions. The summary is that in rural area a device uses maximum power output 50% of the time (as opposed to 20% for a device in urban area) and only 3% of the time will it use minimum power output (as opposed to ~20% in urban). Understanding that there is typically a 1000 fold range between minimum and maximum power output, SAR rating might be useful if you're in rural/bad coverage area but not so much if you're in urban/good signal area.

I guess what I'm trying to say is good practice (headsets, minimizing usage in bad coverage areas, etc) might be far more important than SAR ratings.
posted by 7life at 2:05 PM on July 24, 2013

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