Uncategorized - 28 April 2012
Author: Jim Szymanski

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Browsing the Lumia 900 threads over at XDA-Developers last night I picked up a tip that might be of interest. We already know about ##634# which launches the Diagnostics app on your L900. If you haven’t tried it yet you should do it now. It loads a Nokia tool that you can use to check; for dead pixels, verify all your buttons function, proximity sensor, battery drain/charge numbers, and lots more. Just open your dialer and enter the above digits and tap Call. The utility is already on your phone. It’s just hidden from view.

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Cubanaso over at XDA found another little trick. Typing in ##3282# opens the Data Field Test utility which includes a lot of stuff I don’t even want to know about. But by tapping the three … at the bottom of your screen

you can tap and open Settings. Change the Network type from from 2G or 3G only to Automatic. NOTE: You can play with the other two settings “at your own risk”. Tap the Back button once to go back to the Field Test menu. The next step is critical so pay attention. Tap on the last option on the screen; Toggle ENS (REBOOT). When it opens tap Start. A few seconds later tap Stop. After a slight pause your phone will reboot (soft reset). If you simply back out of the Field Test menu, “the change you made will not stick”.

Now go to Settings>Cellular on your phone and you will have an option to select E (Edge), 3G or 4G as your highest connection speed. I tried all three and they definitely disconnect you from the AT&T network and then reconnect to a new signal. Edge will show E or G (see the screenshot above), while 3G will show 4G on your phone. If you are in an LTE area, selecting 4G will show LTE. Otherwise I assume it will show and work over 4G.

I tried getting a speed test over Edge, but both Bandwidth and TestMyNet (Microsoft) timed out after a period of time without displaying any results. But I did open IE and navigated to Mobility Digest, and refreshed the screen a couple times, without much delay. I was getting a full 5 bars of G/E while standing out in front of my house at midnight. Set at 3G, my phone displayed 4G and I got what appears to be 4G speeds; 6.44Mbps Down / 0.78Mbps Up. I got similar speeds last week when my phone automatically switched from LTE to 4G a few times. Selecting 4G displayed LTE on my phone and displayed  14.23Mbps Down / 5.23Mbps Up, which is typical. I have experienced speeds up to 20Mbps Down, but it’s hit and miss. These settings have stuck through two soft resets, so unless you go back to the Field Test menu, you are good to go.

I am currently testing battery drain on my phone, with Wi-Fi off all the time, and relying 100% on my LTE connection. Results have been interesting (more on that next week). Next though, I may try an Edge connection with Wi-Fi on 24/7, as I am close to a good Wi-Fi connection 90% of every day. Saving LTE for those days when I am away from work and home.

Tried to do this simple task to disable 3G on my Surround for over a year, but after making the change in Settings, it would not stick when you opened the Cellular menu. Apparently this was an AT&T feature (restriction), as other non-AT&T users had success disabling their 3G. My signal was so crappy in the house (never over 1.6Mbps Down) I knew that the change would improve battery performance, but never got the chance to try it. Thanks guys.

So if you are only using your Data connection for background tasks and rely on Wi-Fi for the heavy lifting, this might be of interest. Or you might just want to tinker. Enjoy.









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(24) Readers Comments

  1. Wish I could ever get this to work on my Focus. I work in a building where the 3G signal stinks. I used to help my Fuze get longer life by switching to Edge + WiFi. I still can’t fathom why at&t insists on blocking this simple feature.

  2. Actually I thought Samsung devices had the ability to do what I describe above through a background menu. Not sure if it uses the same ##3282#, but maybe someone can chime in with the specifics.

    And I agree. Only reason the option is blocked is greed. Plain and simple. But they should be tickled pink if I am paying for a $30 Unlimited plan but choose to not tax their network. Go figure.

    • @Jim Szymanski: Yeah, I scour the xda posts once in awhile but I’ve never found a method that works. The ##3283# offers the same settings options, but no restart function to lock it in.
      I’m convinced that some IT egg head is convinced that customers will accidentally switch to lower speeds, forget about it and return the phone complaining that it’s too slow. Even though, if you make it as far as finding that feature, you probably know enough to flip it again when you want faster speeds!

  3. Odd side effect. If you have a microcell tower which kills the hell out of battery life, doing Edge disconnects you. Makes perfect sense I suppose due to it being a “3G Microcell” but it still sort of sucks eggs, right?

  4. @Steve: That is a little lame, but then again the 3G signal from the MicroCell should be stellar. Too bad there is some kind of firmware issue that’s eating up the L900s battery. Hope they can get it corrected, sooner than later. Unfortunately, that problem is out of Nokoas hands.

    @Eddie: Guess that’s one way to look at it. I figure that as more users are pushed into tiered plans, Carriers will do all they can do to push you to use more data, despite their WiFi hotspots and other data saving recommendations. Go over your limit and get hit with a fee. Draining batteries is not their problem. It’s ours.

  5. ##3283# on GS2. It tries to send a ussd code but comes back as an error. On AT&T network.

  6. @Jim Thr battery drain was happening on my Focus S too The only way to stop the battery drain is to either turn off cellular data — which by the way disables MMS and Visual Voicemail and that I learned the hard way, or unplug the Microcell, which also sucks eggs. Sure the phone reception is good, but I hate keeping any phone constantly plugged in.

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  8. on the htc radar with T-mo us have the field test menu pulls up but there is no reboot option but the change u make does stick you can only change from 2g to 3g or automatic i wish this was in the cellular menu like the htc hd7 no complaints though the htc radar battery life on automatc 2g/3g works fine…

  9. Yes, true for T-Mobile. But AT&T has taken it up upon themselves to protect us and prevent this change from sticking. Up until now that is. So much for all the testing they do.

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  13. Very interesting read!

    This should come in handy too when you want to preserve your battery and have wifi and do not require data at all.

    I do not have a data plan since there’s WIFI everywhere I go, and my Nokia X7 is set to never go to 3G (unnecessary battery drain).

    Is that also possible on WP7? Completely avoiding 3G and just sticking to GSM for voice?

  14. If you follow the steps above, theoretically you can set your Lumia 900 to Edge and leave it there. The setting survives a Power off/on cycle. I was never able to get a true speed test using Edge, so not 100% certain,but I was definitely connected to Data and an “E” or “G” were displayed on the phone.

    Switching to Edge is going to be one of my future “Truths” tests. As noted, whn the phone is asleep I am not sure if you would save much power as the cellular radio drops down to a very low power state, but when awake I expect that there would be energy savings. While I always have Data turned on, basically for background tasks, I am usually using WiFi when the phone is awake.

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  18. Why don’t I see the toggleENS :(

  19. why i dont see the toggleENS :(????

  20. I also don’t see toggle ENS. AT & T unlocked , India.

  21. Hmmm… interesting.
    I want to see the full list of diagnostics codes.

  22. Can’t find Toggle ENS either.

  23. Fix to “Unable to Dial ##3282 after Phone Update” Nokia Lumia
    Watch solution to ##3282 field test problem in the following youtube video: