What do the bars indicate?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by oogje, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. oogje, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

    oogje macrumors regular

    oogje

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    nyc
    #1
    I have a Verizon IP5. I'm at home connected via WiFi. I see 2 bars. If I turn off LTE, it goes to 5 bars.

    So I'm guessing...

    When the phone is idle, connected to WiFi, and cellular data and LTE are on, the bars indicate LTE or 3G signal strength depending which is active but I can't know for sure which it is.

    If I turn off WiFi and the LTE symbol is showing, the bars indicate LTE signal strength.

    If the 3G symbol is showing the bars indicate 3G signal strength.

    If I turn off cellular data, the bars indicate talk (EV-DO?) signal strength.

    If I'm talking on the phone the bars always indicate talk signal strength.

    Am I guessing right or wrong?
     
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    The bars indicate phone signal strength only. E, 3G, 4G, and LTE indicate which data connection you have. The WiFi icon indicates its own WiFi signal strength.
     
  3. sawah macrumors 6502a

    sawah

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #3
    It's voice signal only for the bars. If I turn off 3G I get five bars of voice from the closest tower. If I leave 3G on it detects another tower that's farther away and I get less bars. This is on a 3GS with an obviously damaged antennae though. When I get my five it will be interesting to see how it behaves with the towers here.
     
  4. oogje thread starter macrumors regular

    oogje

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    nyc
    #4
  5. randy98mtu macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

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    Mar 4, 2009
    #5
    This makes me wonder though. When I walk into the biulding, I go from 4-5 bars on LTE, drop down to 3, 2, 1. Then it switches to 4G and jumps back up to 4-5 bars...
     
  6. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Think about it this way.

    1 LTE bar means there is a weaker LTE signal than 4 LTE bars.
     
  7. oogje, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

    oogje thread starter macrumors regular

    oogje

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  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    Wrong.

    The bars indicate cellular signal strength on the current generation network that your phone is listening to at that time.

    If your phone says "LTE," then it's showing you signal strength for the LTE towers it has connected to. This is a data-only network for now, so will only indicate signal bars for cellular data. The way the networks are deployed now though, it's pretty safe to assume that voice signal strength should be equal to or better than LTE, and will almost never be worse.

    3G or "4G" indicates the signal strength of those respective networks. For Verizon, that's CDMA2000, and indicates signal strength for both voice and data. For AT&T, that's HSPA, and also indicates voice and data.

    In both cases, not all CDMA/HSPA cell sites have LTE on them, so it's normal for LTE to have different signal strength than 3G/"4G."
     
  9. oogje thread starter macrumors regular

    oogje

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    nyc
    #9
    If I'm connected to WiFi, what do the bars indicate? I can't see an LTE or 3G symbol because the WiFi symbol/strength indicator is there.
     
  10. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #10
    They still indicate the strength of the cellular network signal that the phone is currently connected to.

    You're right, you can't. This was true before LTE, too.
     
  11. oogje thread starter macrumors regular

    oogje

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    nyc
    #11
    Thanks. If I'm connected to WiFi is there a way to tell which cellular network signal is being represented by the bars?
     
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    Maybe there is an app.
     
  13. Gin Gin macrumors regular

    Gin Gin

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #13
    You could briefly turn off wifi.
     
  14. sawah macrumors 6502a

    sawah

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    Sep 13, 2010
    #14
    Thanks for the information, I did not know this.
     
  15. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    I was incorrect. This is a much better explanation.
     

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