Measure LTE / 4G signal strength of your smartphone

Until we can’t switch to 5G (Xiaomi is already prepared) definitively, we have to put all our hopes in 4G. This technology, with its flaws, is still the best we have within the reach of most. Therefore, today I am going to show you something that you have surely wanted to do many times without finding the correct way to carry it out. I’m going to show you how to measure LTE / 4G signal strength on Android.

One of the main problems with the LTE / 4G network on Android is that we do not have a tool for the operating system that is on hand to verify the strength of this type of signal. Almost always our only guide is the “lines” of the icon in the notification bar.

Although this seems quite intuitive, the truth is that it does not give us much information, or at least not ponderable information. It is only a mere guide.

However, with the application that I am about to show you, you will get much more information (accurate information) that will help you find the best points to connect to mobile data using your operator’s LTE / 4G signal.

What is Signal Spy?

As I mentioned, Android has many configuration settings for almost everything, but when we enter the section that deals with diagnosing and measuring the quality of the mobile’s 4G / LTE signal, it does not offer much information.

In Android, when we have connectivity problems or the signal that reaches our mobile is very weak, it is difficult to obtain precise answers. Beyond contacting our telephone operator to verify if our SIM is working properly, there is not much we can do.

If you want check the strength of your LTE / 4G signal you can use tools like Signal Spy. With an application like this we can see the characteristics of our mobile network:

  • The type of connection (LTE, HSPA, EDGE).
  • The band used.
  • The strength of the signal.
  • The name of the telemarketer.

Signal Spy is an application with a free plan that allows us to obtain a lot of information from our mobile network without spending a penny, and is available in the Google Play Store.

Installing it on our mobile device does not require any type of root access or a special ROM, so you can install it without major complications.

It is also true that it has some premium or paid functions, so do not be scared if at any time you see a warning. In addition, you do not have to worry, the functions that we are going to use are available in the free version.

Note: If you are subscribed to Google Play Pass you can access all these premium features for free.

How to Measure LTE / 4G Signal Strength on Android Using Signal Spy

Once we have the application installed, we will have to give it access to the phone and the location. Do not deny any of them, both permissions are necessary for the app to work properly.

When we are inside the app, Signal Spy will show us information about the connectivity, both of the mobile data network and the Wi-Fi connection.

It may happen that you do not see any data in the app. If this is the case, slide your fingers from top to bottom on the screen of your mobile to refresh the application.

Data that we must take into account within the application

The central data within the app is the signal strength, which indicates the level of stability of the connection to the mobile network. This can come in handy if we have noticed that we have cuts in phone calls or we lose connectivity when we are in certain places. In this way we can monitor, in real time, which are the dead zones in which said signal loses its power.

If you are going through a connectivity problem in any part of your house, either because it has many walls or because the signal from your router is not enough, this can be a remedy to find the places where the signal is truly stronger. You can apply it to both the mobile data connection and the Wi-Fi signal.

As reference data for LTE / 4G signal strength, I will tell you that if your device receives a signal from between -110dBm and -120dBm, it means that the quality of your connection is weak.

What does dBm mean?

Let’s make a section here to get you up to speed on the meaning of these letters: dBm corresponds to the decibel-milliwatt measurement. It is a logarithmic measure of power relative to one milliwatt. It is commonly used in telecommunications and is used to measure the intensity of the signal that reaches the mobile from a cellular network.

The value of this figure is always negative. When it is greater, that is, when it approaches zero, we say that the signal power is better, and worse when the opposite happens, when it moves away from zero in the negative sense.

On 3G and 4G / LTE networks, the meaning of these values ​​varies a bit, although in general, they range from excellent intensity with around -80 dBm to no coverage around -110 dBm.

EXCELLENT Good ACCEPTABLE Bad WITHOUT SIGNAL
3G -70 dBm or more -71 to -85 dBm -86 to -100 dBm -101 to -109 dBm -110 dBm or less
4G / LTE -80 dBm to -90 -91 to -105 dBm -106 to -110 dBm -111 to -119 dBm -120 dBm or less

Although the interpretation of the figures are not final or set in stone, they will help you get an idea of how to interpret dBm data displayed by Signal Spy or any other application of this style.

In addition to this, Signal Spy will also show you other types of data:

  • The frequency or frequency bands used.
  • The channel and transmission speed (the latter information is only available for Wi-Fi networks).

If this article about how to measure the strength of the LTE / 4G signal on Android helped you, visit our guides section, where we have many more articles about tutorials for Android and Xiaomi mobiles.