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Background:
I recently bought the Padfone X, and have been attempting to get it on my network. Part of this effort has been verifying information I have found online which claims that it supports LTE band 4.

4G-LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 17

My network operator claims to support most phones that support AWS, specifically phones that operate on the 1700/2100 spectrum (which I believe corresponds to 4G-LTE band 4 / AWS 4 / etc.)

Problem:
Because I can't trust what I have read, I have been trying to answer this question: How can I find out what bands my phone supports just using Android / Apps?

What I have tried:
I have looked at this question asking about the current frequency band, which led me to try the two "secret codes" listed in the answers:

  • *#*#0011#*#*: Recognized as a code, but does nothing.
  • *#*#4636#*#*: This brings up phone information, but I don't see anything that looks frequency related. Screenshot here.

The device is rooted, so I can use adb shell to muck about if need be, but I don't know where to look.

  • 1
    Relatedly, if there is a way to change the band on the phone, that would be good to know. – NT3RP Aug 7 '14 at 4:11
  • 1
    The band should auto negotiate and change automatically. I'm not sure about any apps to find the frequencies supported, but I do know that your phone does indeed support Band 4. – IAmTheSquidward Aug 7 '14 at 15:49
  • Have you ever find the solution to your question? – Suncatcher Apr 16 at 19:16
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Phones based on Qualcomm Snapdragon, like the padfone X, have their band settings stored in NVRAM, in a field called rf_bc_config. This will be set in the factory to match the band choices embedded into the hardware (radio components in the RF front-end on the device).

The value can be readout using Qualcomm service tools like QPST or QXDM, but it is not a human readable value, it is a bit-field and the bits are not in the order one might expect.

I do not know the mapping of the bitfield, but have seen people speculating on xda forum.

There are no apps to retrieve this information, because it is kept inside the modem software and never offered up to the application processor. The only information ever offered up to the android processor is the current connected band info.

It is possible to change these values in the NVRAM, and many people have, to try and force extra bands to work on their handset - of course, this is unlikely to result in useful performance on the new band, since the hardware support is not present.

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I don't know of a user interface in Android to enumerate the radio frequencies that the device handles. However, to give you the direct answer you were looking for, the Padfone X lacks UMTS 1700/2100, which is different from the LTE 1700/2100 that it supports.

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    I appreciate the research; after having a friend assist, it looks like you are correct regarding the Padfone X. I'm still curious how one would obtain the information without having a spec. – NT3RP Aug 7 '14 at 23:10
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You can find the frequency of a device (as long as it was sold in the USA) by searching the devices FCC ID. This is a unique identifier used for authorizing the device to transmit at licensed frequencies.

The Padfone X has two FCC IDs, so you will have to figure out which one applies (try checking under the battery cover): MSQT00S, MSQT00D

  • And what about other countries? – Suncatcher Apr 16 at 19:08
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You could use the MTL engineering mode app.

The app on android can be used in checking which 4G bands your android phone supports and it worked for me.

Just download and install, tap on MTK settings, band, select sim and you'd see them.

  • 2
    That would only work on mediatek devices – Syakur Rahman Jan 10 '17 at 23:08
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I found this(below) very helpful, also the app on Google play "network cell info" you will get all the details about what bands your phone uses, AND if there are cells compatible with it around you. Not all mobile operators are created equal... Big differences are to be expected.

https://www.frequencycheck.com/carrier-compatibility/51zw4/vodafone-greece/devices?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q%5Bfull_name_cont%5D=nexus+5&q%5Bdevice_brand_id_eq%5D=23&commit=Search

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For those having rooted snapdragon-based device there is an easy way to obtain LTE bands supported by radio hardware. Free app found at https://t.me/ru_fieldtest_modemcaps/5 could show you explicit list similar to the following:

LTE Bands : B1 (2100 FDD) B2 (1900 FDD) B3 (1800 FDD) B4 (2100 FDD) B5 (850 FDD) B7 (2600 FDD) B8 (900 FDD) B13 (700 FDD) B17 (700 FDD) B20 (800 FDD) ... As well as some other handy details.

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