Apple Watch 4 RF Radiation

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by colonelbutt, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. colonelbutt macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2007
    This is just an FYI for anyone interested, as this is a controversial subject and some people care, others don't

    Information on RF/SAR rating is here:

    The SAR rating in itself provokes different opinions from experts, but its all we have at the moment in terms of controlled and consistent measurement

    There is evidence of tumor growth on test rats treated to steady MW/Cellular radiation, albeit at amounts typically larger then would be received from a mobile/cell phone. There is also evidence that MW/Ceulluar radiation can speed growth in tumors already in existence.

    RF radiation obeys the inverse square law. Basically as the gap between the emitter (e.g. watch) and receiver (e.g. your body) increases the radiation absorbed rapidly falls off. As the Apple Watch is held next to your skin its actually continuously closer more then a cell/mobile phone typically would be. This is why I also recommend when folk are talking on their mobile phone to keep a small air gap, even a few millimetres, with their head, as this dramatically reduces any absorption as compared to touching.

    The risk from the watch is probably small but worth knowing about nevertheless.

    My watch is the A2008. As expected cellular RF is almost three times wifi and Bluetooth, the results are (these are max values observed over a time period and at pre-determined distances - see the link above for more details):
    LTE/4G 0.36
    Wifi 0.14
    Bluetooth <0.1 (probably around 0.10 considering measurements of other models)

    My procedure is to:
    1. Have on airplane mode when I am sleeping and also when I am at my desk at the office as I have my iPhone and iPad available
    2. Have wifi switched off when out of the house as its a useless step (at work the personal wifi network has a signon system which the watch can't cope with)
    3. Have cellular off unless I am without my phone. Typically on when popping out of the office during the week or at meetings.

    I am sure everyone's mileage will vary
  2. friednoodles Suspended

    Feb 4, 2014
    I'm not worried about the Watch, because I know that it is completely insignificant compared with the electromagnetic radiation cancer risk from the sun. 150,000,000 km away and it emits so much radiation that thousands of people get cancer from it every day.

    Perceived risk versus actual risk.
  3. user1234 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    I'm also a bit concerned since radiation has not been proven safe.

    I also have my watch on airplane mode while sleeping, and WiFi turned off at all times since it doesn't really make a difference for me to have it on. It's annoying that WiFi is turned on automatically when airplane mode is turned off, and having to use the settings app to turn it off completely.

    As for bluetooth I'm hesitant to have airplane mode on during the day since it decreases the usefulness of the watch a lot. It's such low power and while don't know the transmission cycle it shouldn't transmit a lot in order to conserve battery. I wish there were some documentation available on that.
  4. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    I keep my watch and phone in a double-insulated, lead-lined backpack and only take them out for emergencies. One can never be too careful!
  5. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2018
    Fountain City
    I’d think that the risk from not being able to quickly contact emergency services without first re-enabling a bunch of settings would be greater than the non-ionizing radio radiation, provided you believe the current science on non-ionizing radiation.
  6. BrettDS macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2012
    For what it’s worth, most of this is probably unnecessary. To save battery the watch keeps the WiFi and LTE radios turned off whenever it’s connected to the phone through Bluetooth. If it looses the Bluetooth connection then it will turn on the WiFi radio and try to get a WiFi connection. If it can’t get a WiFi connection, then it will turn on the LTE radio to get an LTE connection.

    But it’s not like a phone that will try to maintain a WiFi and LTE connection at all times.
  7. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    Thanks for this info. I have always wondered about this..

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6 December 7, 2018