This is what the E in the top corner of your phone actually means

What we do know is that it’s annoying.

There’s a reason why people check their phones. But, if ours can’t let us Facebook stalk our ex, give us directions to the pub, swipe right on Tinder, play Spotify, and upload a Valencia filtered selfie, all at the same time, then they are well and truly failing.

That or we have severe phone addiction issues – ever feel like your phone is vibrating but it really isn’t? Us too.

Most of the time whether we’re connected to the wifi, using 4G, or even 3G (ugh), our phones will let us peruse the internet to our hearts’ content.

Most of the time.

But then there are the times when we go back home to visit our parents. We’ll step off the train at the village that has its own jam, try to open Facebook to tag in the location and a cynical, lol-worthy comment, and realise we can’t because the E symbol is showing.

You know the one, it suddenly appears in the top left of the screen, usually where your healthy amount of wifi, or solid 4G stands.

But what does it mean, apart from that you are suddenly disconnected from the world?

Here’s what the tech wizards at PC Advisor had to say:

‘The E stands for EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) can reach speeds between 120Kbps to 384Kbps. This was the original iPhone’s top data network speed. Now it’s met with a sigh because it means where you’re standing doesn’t have a 3G or 4G signal.’

They go onto comparing to ‘asking your neighbour’s child to deliver the mail for you.’

And while E, or EDGE if we want to be formal, is annoying, at least it gives us the glimmer of hope that we might enter the happy territory of 3G soon.

At least it’s not GPRS, which we feel really comes into its own when you’re sitting on a train, having strong and hilarious whatsapp flirt… and then there’s a tunnel.

‘One step up from no data signal at all is GPRS, which stands for General Packet Radio Service,’ explains PC Advisor. ‘Wikipedia defines GPRS as a “best effort” service and “a packet oriented mobile data service on the 2G and 3G cellular communication system’s global system for mobile communications (GSM). All you need to know is that GPRS means you might eventually get a webpage to load or an email or iMessage to send, but it will probably take longer than you have patience for.’

So there you have it, you’re now a complete geek when it comes to poorly working phones. You’re welcome.

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