Here is a little trick that allows you to display the signal strength on your iPhone in numbers, instead of the default 5 dot signal strength display. You may have seen numeric signal strength on Android Phones and may be wondering why you can’t do the same on your iPhone.
iPhone Signal Strength
Typically the signal strength on an iPhone is displayed in dots. While this is adequate for providing a broad idea of the available signal strength at a given point, it does not really convey the signal strength in terms of its actual numeric value in dbm (unit of measure for signal strength).
With numeric signal strength display enabled on your iPhone, you will be able to see and describe the signal strength on your iPhone more accurately in terms of its actual numeric value, instead of broadly relating to signal strength in terms of dots.
Not sure if this really helps, but you can make this change on your iPhone and get even with your friends owning Android phones. It is comparatively easy to display signal strength in both numbers and dots on Android phones by just going into settings and tapping on the Signal strength option.
iPhone Signal Strength in Numbers
Follow the steps below to show iPhone signal strength in numbers.
1. Tap on Phone > Keypad
2. Dial *3001#12345#* and tap on the Call button (include the asterisks and the hashtags)
This will take you into iPhone’s Field Test Mode where you will see some menus (See image below), each of these menu items will lead you into tons of sub-menus. Please do not change anything on this screen, unless you truly understand what they are, and you are very sure about what you are trying to achieve.
3. Just take a look at the top left of your screen, next to your network name. You will find that the signal strength is displayed in numbers while you are in the Field Test Mode.
4. Next, hold the Power button until Slider to Power Off appears. Do not power off at this stage, instead move to step 4 and 5.
5. Hold the Home button until the Field Test Mode disappears and you see your normal homescreen.
6. From now on, you will be able to display the signal strength on your iPhone both in numbers and dots by toggling between the two options.
How to Read Signal Strength
When the signal strength is displayed in dots, you will normally see all the 5 dots on your iPhone when the signal strength is good, and you will see one or two dots when the signal strength is bad.
When the signal strength is displayed in numbers, the highest signal strength is usually around -30 to -10, while anything below this number means the signal is decreasing in strength, until it reaches -100 to -110 which is usually the lowest value after which you should get the poor signal strength or no service indicator.
To make this clear, the signal strength on your iPhone is better when the displayed number is closer to zero. For example, let us consider a hypothetical case of a user who is experiencing bad signal strength and starts moving towards an area with good reception.
First the user will see a poor signal strength of -110 on his iPhone and the numbers will start changing to -100, -92, -75, -63, -49 and so on as the user is able to enjoy the best signal strength.
Note: Signal strength is measured in decibels and the unit of measure for the negative numbers that you can see on your iPhone displaying signal strength in numbers is dbm (decibels relative to one milliwatt).
You can refer to this link for more information on this topic.
Back to Default Signal Strength Display
You can easily get back to your iPhone default signal strength display by following these steps.
1. Dial *3001#12345#* to enter the Field Test Mode
2. Just press once on the Home button.
You will be back to iPhone default signal strength display and won’t be able to toggle between the numeric and bar options.