Things little explored by Android users about their phone.

Smartphone have become as integral part of our body as liver kidney or heart (if not more). However many of us are not aware about very basic information of our phone.

Since Android OS is currently undisputed market leader in Smartphone category this article will focus on Android phones only!!

Phone basic information is stored under "About Phone" section. Different phones and Android versions have different path to this. In Moto G5 on Android 8.1 path is Setting --> System --> Android Phone. In many phones this tab is directly under Setting --> About Phone.

About phone contains many Useful information regarding phone. Most of it are technical in nature and hence little explode by general users.

Software Channel

Software channel is a terminology for patch management. There are various software channel available which signifies phones from given geography or sold through a specific channel. RETIN in above screenshot refers to Retail India. Key software channel for Android phones are;

  • ATTMX = AT&T Mexico
  • BELLCA = Bell Canada
  • MOVLA = Movistar Latin America
  • MSTCL = Movistar Colombia
  • RETAPAC = Retail Asia Pacific region
  • RETASIA = Retail Asia
  • RETBR = Retail Brasil
  • RETEU = Retail Europe
  • RETCA = Retail Canada
  • RETIN = Retail India
  • RETLA = Retail Latin America
  • RETMX = Retail Mexico
  • RETUS = Retail USA
  • RGRCA = Rogers Canada
  • TIMBR = Tim Brasil
  • TKPCA = Telus Canada
  • VZW/VERIZON = Verizon Wireless USA
You can get more information from this link.

Android Version

First commercial version of Android mobile operating system was released on 23-Sep-2013. There was no codename attached to it. Second release was unofficially named Petit Four. Then onward every release was given an official code name based on a desert name. A giant mock-up of desert is put on display in Google campus to celebrate release of every new version.

Build Number

Under every android version, there are multiple update that is done. Every software update is called build. A build version helps in keeping track of current software update on phone and its history.

Kernel  Version

Every operating system has a kernel. Its key job is to connect system hardware with application software. It makes application designing easier.

In absence of kernel, both music player and video chat application will have to write an inbuilt program to control volume. Same is the case for every other action. If we consider all phone hardware and possible set of events (actions), the application programming will become highly complex and unmanageable without kernel.

Baseband Version

Every Android phones has two processors.

a) Communication Processor: All radio communication have to follow high-level of certified standards and regulatory guidelines. These includes voice and data call, Near Field Communication(NFC), Wi-Fi Communication, Bluetooth Communication etc. All these are thus controlled by a separate processor named CP(Communication Processor). Baseband is the software running on this processor.

b) Application Processor:  Controls all other activities except communication. Android  and Kernel version relates to software running on this processor.

About phone --> Status 

Status is first tab under about phone. Some of the information like Battery Status, Battery Level, Uptime (total time elapsed since last restart) etc are self explanatory. Other than this it contains some status and unique identifier for phone.

Any Android phone has at least 5 unique identifier.

About phone --> Status --> SIM Status

SIM status has very basic information like network operator name, type of network, phone is on roaming or not, handset is connected to network or not. Any smartphone user is well versed with these parameters. However signal strength is one parameter which needs little explanation!!

Signal Strength

Signal strength is nothing but total power transmitted through waves. It varies widely between 100kW (1 kilowatt =10^3 watt) to 56 yW (1 yocowatt =  10^(-24)) for different type of transmission. Visit this link for more details.

Thus for ease of representation it is expressed in two different scale.

dBm(decibel below 1 milliwatt)

dBm is a logarithmic scale with base 10. It can simply be converted into watt by below formula.

x dBm = 10^(x/10) milliwatt
ASU(Arbitrary Strength Unit)

In case of GSM/GPRS/EDGE(2G):              1 dBm = 2 ASU – 113
In case of UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA(3G):           1 dBm = ASU – 116
In case of LTE(4G):                                  1 dBm = 2 ASU - 140

That summarizes everything that you need to know about your phone. Next time your friend shows his/her new phone check this parameter and impress them with your knowledge.