Originally Posted by BB8100user
The bars don't mean squat. They're not very accurate, at least.
To measure true cell signal you'd need a signal detector and software to get an accurate read.
I've had cellphone with bars that show 1 bar or no bar but still could connect. I've had cellphones showing 3 bars or more that couldn't call out at all.
You are 100% correct. The bars are horribly inaccurate, same as the battery strength meter, those are inaccurate too. They operate somewhat like fuel indicators on cars and motorcycles. While one can get a general idea of how much gas is left in the tank, one cannot rely on such to get a precise reading.
What I have noticed at times is that when down to one bar, sure enough, the phone loses a signal. Also when there are no bars, I have no signal. So for strength accuracy, yeah, the bars are useless, but they do give some indication as to what is going on. But they often times cannot keep up with a user who is traveling from one cell to another or entering buildings, elevators, etc.
In defense of RIM and others, don't the manuals warn that the bar/meters are only a general indication, that they should not be used as an exact indicator of what is going on?