What Do the Icons on a Cell Phone Mean?

By Melissa Lowery

The icons on a cell phone provide vital information about your device and its performance. All cell phones have a set of similar icons which represent standard features. Your cell phone's user manual contains the device-specific icon definitions.

Battery

The battery symbol is usually located at the top right corner of the cell phone. It indicates the amount of battery life currently available. When charging, the battery icon will either light up, show an icon, such as a lightening bolt, through the battery or display the words "Charging" on the screen.

Network

Cell phones will display the current network tower your device is operating from. The most common network is 3G but other network icons are E for Edge and less commonly, 0 for GPRS.

Service Indicator

Cell phones have a service indicator which appears in a bar graph shape, usually containing five bars. This icon is normally found at the left top corner of the display screen. The bars indicate the amount of service currently available in a specific area. The smaller amount of visible bars indicates less service while a larger amount of bars indicates better service.

Sound

The music note displayed at the top of your cell phone screen indicates the ringer type for the phone's call alert. The music note means a melody will play when an incoming call occurs. A music note that is crossed out with a line indicates a silent ringer. A music note followed by lines indicates ring and vibrate.