How to check the cellular signal strength of your Android device

Say what you want, but smartphones are all reliant on that pesky signal strength indicator on the status bar. You know, it's the one you normally don't pay much attention to, but once your Internet connectivity dies out, you immediately start praying to the gods of the cellular connectivity. Often, there's little you can do besides restarting the device and waiting for the problem to fix itself - poor cell reception is caused by being in congested urban environments, below ground, or in really bad weather, as all of these will reduce your phone's chances of communicating with the cellular tower in your area.

Of course, a little troubleshooting has hurt nobody, and thankfully, there's a rather easy and straightforward way of telling what the cellular strength of your device is.

But first of all, how do you actually measure signal strength? When you want to measure the "strength" of a given signal, you are actually trying to convey its "power" into layman's terms, and you measure that power ratio in decibels (dB) of the measured power referenced to one milliwatt (mW), which is more commonly referred to dBm. Don't freak out when you see a negative reading for the signal power of your phone's reception, though - that's how it's supposed to be. Yet some devices may omit the redundant minus sign.

However, have in mind that lower is better, meaning that a signal strength of -80db is multiple times stronger than a reading of -95, for example. When it comes to mobile cellular signal, the absolute best you could possibly get is around -50dBm, whereas readings near -120dBm mean that your phone's about to drop its cellular connection anytime now. The lower the number, the better the reception.

With that said, here's how to check your signal strength easily.




1. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

There's a way to get this in the status bar for iPhones. Would be a good idea to include an article on that.

2. uzbek-mobile-man

Posts: 118; Member since: Sep 27, 2014

Is there any reliable application on Google Play Market which checks the cellular signal strength of the Android device? I said: reliable. Because, there are thousands of fake application there on Google Play Market.

3. KingSam

Posts: 1516; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Get a highly rated sensor testing app. I guess those should work.

4. ShadowHammer

Posts: 213; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

I've used LTE Discovery to good effect. As far as I can tell, they are legit. The app has lots of info on the cellular connectivity of your phone.

5. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

I also use that app from time to time especially when traveling to see how the carrier is expanding. But unless I'm mistaken the only notification bar info you can get is the band your on

8. ShadowHammer

Posts: 213; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

That's been my experience as well. Which for me, is sufficient, but if people need more functionality, they may want to try out other apps.

6. andynaija

Posts: 1267; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

SignalCheck Lite is pretty good at showing what network band you're connected too and it's strength. It also measures WiFi signal too.

7. andynaija

Posts: 1267; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

How do you manage to blur out everything EXCEPT your phone number? (-_-)

9. uzbek-mobile-man

Posts: 118; Member since: Sep 27, 2014

ShadowHammer and andynaija!! Thank you very much for your answer.

10. Danehardin

Posts: 1; Member since: May 18, 2018

Signal strength is main important for an android antenna.I have found good tips on how to calculate signal strength of an antenna and good for me

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless