How to display your iPhone signal strength in numbers

How to display your iPhone signal strength in numbersI penned 15 things you didn't know your iPhone could do a few months ago, but failed to include a classic – something that’s potentially rather useful if you suffer from signal problems.

I refer to showing your iPhone signal strength in numbers (dBm) rather than bars, but fortunately it’s still easily done in iOS 8.

In my old flat, I struggled to get signal in the middle of the property, and consequently had to stand near a window if I wanted to send a text (as opposed to an iMessage, which can of course use Wi-Fi) or make/receive a call.

As such, this technique came in handy for showing – in a specific numerical value – which window was generally my best bet.

To show your iPhone signal strength in numbers, we first need to enter the iPhone’s Field Test Mode, by dialling *3001#12345#* and tapping Call. You should now see the Field Test screen, which – amusingly – isn’t optimised for displays above 3.5in; I have some lovely black borders on my iPhone 5.

In there, you have MM Info, SM Info, UMTS Cell Environment, GSM Cell Environment, and PDP Context Info, each containing a daunting array of sub-menus. I won’t lie to you; I have no idea what those mean, and it’s probably best not to fool around with them.

The part we’re interested in is the signal strength. Look in the top left, beside your network name, and you’ll notice your iPhone signal strength is now displayed in numbers rather than bars. From the Field Test screen, you can tap to toggle between the two.

If you’d like to keep your iPhone signal strength in numbers, just hold the Power button until Slider to Power Off appears, but instead of turning off your iPhone, hold the Home button for several seconds until Field Test Mode disappears and you see your normal homescreen.

From now on, you'll be able to toggle between numbers and bars for your iPhone signal strength by tapping the top left - just like in Field Test Mode.

While your iPhone signal strength is showing numerically, the closer to zero, the better i.e. -67 is a stronger signal than -97.

To disable dBm iPhone signal strength, call *3001#12345#* again, enter Field Test Mode then press once on the Home button. Done!

To view your Android signal strength in numbers, the process is significantly easier (surprise, surprise!). Just tap Settings > About > Network > Signal strength.

Read more about: iOS

Add a comment

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 26, 2014 at 19:15


BsixP  Nov. 27, 2014 at 13:45

I never knew i could do this!! oO X)


You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.