How to check the actual signal strength on YOUR phone

ByGB Blog Official 2018-07-03 225907

Signal strength always matters – both for voice and data. This becomes crucial when we need to make an emergency call or use the internet in weak signal areas. Our guide shows how you can check your actual signal strength on either an Android phone or an Apple iPhone.
 Checking signal strength on Android phones
 Checking signal strength on iPhones
 What if your phone suffers from weak signals?


Checking signal strength on Android phones

The two most common methods involve checking your system settings and using a dedicated app.

Method 1: Check via the phone status

Go to settings: Settings - About phone - Status - Signal strength. You will see two numbers, the first indicates phone signal strength (dBm), with 0 - 50dBm representing excellent signal strength.


The following is a rough guide to signal strength (dBm):

  • -50 to -40 means an excellent signal (your phone is close to the base station).

  • -60 to -50 indicates very good signal.

  • -70 to -60 shows good signal.

  • -80 to -70 means less weak signal.

  • -90 to -80 shows weak signal.

  • Above -90 indicates basic communication is possible.

  • Under -90 means your phone talking may be intermittent.

If your phone signal strength is above -90dBm, it will support phone communication; however, if call quality is intermittent, your phone may be faulty.

Method 2: Use a specialized app

"Network Signal Info Pro" provides information on your current network (cellular or WiFi).

Step 1. Search for, download and install "Network Signal Info Pro" from Google Play.



Step 2. Launch the app to view system information and network information, including WLAN, cell location, net type, net strength, data state, IP, phone type, etc. A chart displays the signal strength in real-time.


Checking signal strength on iPhones

It's much easier to test it on iOS, just try the following methods:

Method 1: Use the iOS Field Test

Step 1. Dial and call "*3001#12345#*" to enter iOS Field Test mode.


Step 2. The number on the upper left hand corner represents the signal strength indicator, the test time is on the bottom center. The closer the signal is to zero, the stronger the signal.


Step 3. Long press the Power button to view the power off interface, then release – do not power off. Long press the Home button until your phone returns to the home screen, the signal indicator will turn into a number.


To revert the signal number to the standard indicator, simply dial "*3001#12345#*" again.

Note: The tested iPhone system version is iOS 10.0.1.

Method 2: Use a specialized app

Network speed and phone signal are not the same, however the network speed reflects the signal strength to some degree.

Step 1. Go to App Store, download and install the "Speed Test" app.


Step 2. Launch the app to automatically connect to the server. Click "Start Test" and wait. The app will display ping, download/upload speed test results, and ranking. Click on "More" for detailed results, including the phone model, test time, and location.

The results menu displays your full test history in detail.

Gearbest Haylou GT2

What if your phone suffers from weak signals?

Generally, a weak signal is due to either poor network operator performance or bad quality signal reception from your phone. The following tips can resolve this.

1. Use your phone in different locations

Observe how the signal changes based on location (using the same phone and SIM card); if the signal regularly changes between locations, then this is the primary reason for your weak signal.



Generally speaking, signal strength is adversely affected in low lying areas or crowded areas blocked by physical obstacles, e.g. tall buildings. Try going upstairs or move closer to the window to improve signal reception.

2. Change to another network operator

If possible, check the signal with a different network-operated SIM card on the same mobile phone in the same location. If there is any variation, then the weak signal is caused by the network operator itself.


Within the USA, there are 8 main mobile network operators: AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, TracFone Wireless, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular, and Cricket Communications. The first four are the main operators, with Verizon Wireless providing the broadest signal coverage.

3. Use a cell phone signal amplifier to strengthen your phone signal

This is a good choice for those in the countryside, in basements, or other weak signal areas; just install the antenna outdoors and the receiver indoors. Unfortunately, due to customs restrictions, Gearbest does not currently sell this gear. However, the equipment should be available from local stores.

4. Purchase a new cellphone (if all else fails)

​If the signal changes in the same location with the same SIM using different phones, the culprit could be your phone. You can send it to a repair store for a maintenance check or just buy a new phone.


We strongly advise you to always check and test the phone signal before buying phones in local stores. Regarding any online purchase, choose a reliable brand for good hardware quality and after-sales service.


 You may also want to read:
How do WiFi signal extenders work?
5 easy ways to boost your Android phone's signal
How to do what if the phone is flooded?
How to cancel paid subscriptions on your smartphone?
Gearbest Xiaomi Mi Note 10

For the purpose of this article, the featured image(s) were sourced from the internet. For any issue, please contact us, and we will deal with the matter promptly.

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