Follow us

Devices Tutorials

Understanding Data Symbols on your Nokia Lumia 800

Published by Mike Browne July 04, 2012

Understanding Data Symbols on your Nokia Lumia 800

Published by Mike Browne July 04, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 800 has to be one of the best looking and well thought-out Windows Phones on the market today. Everything from the shape and build quality to the Metro UI are designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Here we give you a rundown on those pesky data symbols and what they mean on your Nokia Lumia 800.

When you pick up your Nokia Lumia 800 and start to move around the Live Tiles it’s easy to overlook those odd symbols and little squiggles that appear along the top of the screen every now and then.

Top 100 free Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone apps

The thing is, once you understand what these data symbols mean, you’ll have a much better understanding of the kind of tasks you can and should be attempting with your Nokia Lumia 800, or whether you should just hold off until you get to that Cafe Wi-Fi hotspot.

For example, if you have an HD video clip lined up for streaming, you might want to check that your phone’s showing H rather than G. Here are all the data symbols explained.


Stands for GPRS, or to give it its full title: General Packet Radio Service. This is the base level of data-capable mobile networks, and in this context it generally refers to what we know as 2G. In other words, email and light tasks should be fine, but hold the video.
Means EDGE, which stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. This is an improved take on 2G, but is still pre-3G, so people sometimes call it 2.5G or 2.75G. Fine for most internet-based tasks, but response might not be instantaneous – especially with data-heavy tasks.
Now we’re talking – 3G is the third generation of mobile network, allowing the kind of data-rich smartphone applications we have today. If you’ve got a decent 3G connection, you should notice a big improvement in mobile browsing speeds.
H is short for HSDPA, or High-Speed Downlink Packet Access. This is actually faster than 3G, and is currently the fastest network connection we can get in the UK until 4G arrives. Often dubbed 3.5G, HSDPA can stream HD video with relative ease.
Connected to a Wi-Fi network. If this symbol is animated, it means your phone is in the process of connecting to a Wi-Fi network.
You have Wi-Fi turned on, but there’s no valid or authorised Wi-Fi connection in range.
You have a Bluetooth device paired with your phone, whether that’s a speaker dock, a hands-free headset or your laptop.

Those are all the data symbols you’ll encounter on your Nokia Lumia phone here in the UK. Just remember that H is the best mobile network connection we can get right now, and to save those data-intensive tasks for that or a 3G signal.

While the above cover every day symbols you can expect to see, there are others that are a little less common, be no less likely to throw a curve ball should they pop up on your Nokia Lumia 800 when you’re out and about.

Call forwarding icon Call forwarding is turned on. To activate this option go to Phone>More>Call settings, then turn on Call forwarding. In the Forward calls to box, add the target phone number and Save.

Roaming icon Means that your Nokia Lumia phone is roaming – in other words it’s not using your home mobile network. You’ll probably see this  when using your phone abroad, provided you have Roaming turned on.

Your Nokia Lumia phone is in Vibrate mode. You can activate this either by turning the volume right down or by hitting the volume button followed by the bell symbol.
The phone is in Silent mode. This happens when you turn off Vibrate in the Settings menu, then turn the volume right down.
An app is accessing your phone’s current location information. Each app that does so will have asked for you permission the first time you opened it up.

So those are some of the weird and wonderful symbols you might find when using your Nokia Lumia 800. For more help on these and more symbols, check out one of our previous guides, or head on over to the Windows Phone website


comments powered by Disqus