(Last Updated On: June 21, 2020)
If you think your iPhone is having some problems recently, here’s a quick way to easily check hardware on the iPhone.
With iOS 10 and above, Apple had built a ‘Diagnostics and Usage’ feature which compiles all software or hardware errors on your iPhone.
This is a great feature that can help you identify your iPhone’s problem before it gets worse.
How to Easily Check Hardware Error on iPhone without Dismantling:
- Go to Settings > Privacy
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Diagnostics & Usage.’
- Tap on ‘Diagnostics & Usage Data.’
- On this screen, you can see a list of error logs. The most common one is Low Memory error.
On the latest iPhone, use the following steps:
- Go to Settings > Analytics
- Go to Analytics Data
- On this screen, you will see a lot of files with the extension .ips.
Now, how can tell you if there’s a hardware issue?
Simply look for an entry called panic.plist.
This is a common terminology used by Apple and it’s derived from the word Kernel Panic which means an action taken by an operating system upon detecting an internal fatal error from which it cannot safely recover.
The most common iPhone hardware issues are:
- RAM (memory chip)
- Proximity Sensor
- Charging ports
If you don’t see this entry, then you don’t have to worry about anything.
How to Check iPhone Signal Strength with Field Test Mode
This is not exactly new, but it is a handy tip for new iPhone users or simply to show off to your buddies how “geeky” you are. :)
Go to your dial pad, enter the following and followed by tapping on Call:
This will launch Field Test Mode.
Take note of the number on the top left corner. That indicates your iPhone’s signal strength in dB-microvolts per metre (dBµV/m) or in decibels above a reference level of one milliwatt (dBm).
The lower the number, the better your signal is. e.g. -51 is full signal, -105 is no signal. For my case above: -74 is a pretty good signal.
You can toggle between the number and signal bars by tapping on the top left corner of your screen.
This is relatively useful to test whether the iPhone casing you’re using is actually reducing the efficiency of your iPhone’s antenna. For most parts, your iPhone casing shouldn’t interfere with the operation of its antenna.
Now for more technical stuff, when testing it in a LTE or future 5G environment, it is possible to determine the frequency being used by selecting: UMTS Cell environment, then select UMTS RR info.
The screen displayed will list the Uplink and downlink Frequency in code form.
Uplink frequency on the 850 MHz cellular band will list an Uplink Frequency code between 4132 and 4233 and a Downlink Frequency code between 4357 and 4458. If you are operating on the 1900 MHz spectrum the Uplink Frequency code will be between 9262 and 9538 with the Downlink Frequency code being between 9662 and 9938.
Kinda neat, huh? How’s your iPhone’s signal strength? Do share…
The guys and girls of Genius Bars at all Apple Stores worldwide use the same technique for troubleshooting or testing.
When they see a panic.plist entry, they would usually arrange for a phone replacement, if you’re eligible.
Do you have the panic.plist entry on your iPhone?