iPhone signal bars

How to display your iPhone signal strength

numerically? [TWEAK – NO JB REQ’D]

OK, so this is a bit of a useless tweak. I mean, the numerical signal strength (in decibels, you serious?) is probably more accurate than using five bars, but at the end of the day it doesn’t help you if your signal is poor. Some argue that you can orient yourself or walk towards a signal tower to strengthen your signal reception, but in my experience that is

BS. On a jailbroken iPhone you can switch on this tweak in SBSettings, but since I did not use it (and believe me, my iPhone was as tweaked as you can get) it goes to show how useless of a tweak this is. Nevertheless, times are tough, there is no jailbreak for the iPhone 5 in near sight, and so even this got me excited today.

This tweak is quite nifty. It is one of those cases where the road travelled to reach the destination is more exciting than the destination itself. To begin, open Phone and dial the following number: *3001#12345#*. Then press the Call button.

This will open Field Test Mode. You will notice that your signal bars have already changed to numerical values (decibels). The range is between -51 (best signal) and -121 (no signal). I don’t have the data for iOS 5 or 6, but I found this graph for iOS 4.1 which converts dBs into signal bars.

If you want to go back to displaying bars just press the home button once and the numerical display will disappear like a bad dream. If you want your iPhone to display signal strength numerically permanently, you need to force quit the application as follows. Press on the sleep button until you see the “slide to power off” slider, then release it and press the home button until the Phone app quits and you see your springboard.

And there you go. If you want to revert to signal bars, dial the same number again, and once you are in Field Test Mode press on the home button once.

Kevin at the Labs

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