What is IMEI number?
IMEI number aka International Mobile phone Station Equipment Identity number is a special 15 or 16-digit identity number assigned to mobile phones with a GSM, UMTS or LTE modem. The number includes info on the origin, model amount and the unique serial number of the device. The initial 8 digits comprise of details around the origin and model number while the rest of the digits are determined by the device manufacturer.
IMEI is attached to the modem in the device, so if a mobile phone features dual SIM functionality, it'll feature two distinctive IMEI amounts for the dual modems used. Along with IMEI numbers, there are other identity specifications for mobile devices like ESN and MEID, so let's have a look at how they are different:
IMEI vs MEID vs ESN: What's the difference?
The common ground between IMEI, MEID (Mobile Products Identifier) and ESN (Electronic Serial Number) is the fact that they are all device identifiers. Chances are, you haven't heard of ESN and that's because it has been phased out a long time ago, with its last assignment being back in 2010. ESNs were previously used with AMPS and TDMA gadgets together with the occasional use on CDMA devices.
Coming to MEID, it was developed to be a superset to IMEI and as a replacement to ESN. MEID and IMEI are very similar identifiers and generally, MEID is IMEI with hexadecimal 14 digits. However, MEID has catered mainly to devices using a CDMA modem, while IMEI to GSM gadgets.
Different ways to find IMEI
There are various different ways to find your device's IMEI number. The method remains the same on different smartphone platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry etc.) and feature phones, except for a few exceptions. So, here are the different ways:
Dialing *#06# brings up the IMEI number in all function smartphones and phones. Just go directly to the dialer, enter the USSD code and the IMEI amount should pop up. However, this method does not work on Windows Phone gadgets.
All the platforms let you look at your device's IMEI amount in the Settings page. On Android, you will find the IMEI details in Settings-> About telephone-> Status-> IMEI details. On an iPhone, you will find the info in Settings-> General-> About and on Windows Phone, the IMEI information are located in Settings-> About.
On the Phone's back or Battery
If your device has a removable battery, you may be sure of locating your device's IMEI amount printed on the battery. Also, some smartphones like the iPhone come with the IMEI amount engraved on the back while most other devices come with a sticker on the back, which has IMEI info printed. Moreover, some devices like the iPhone have the IMEI number published on the SIM tray also, so you can check out there too.
You may be assured to have your device's IMEI number printed on its retail box and the bill as well. So, if for some reason, you are not able to find your device's IMEI amount, looking at the costs or the retail container should be a good idea.
Using Google Dashboard (Android only)
For those who have an Android smartphone, you can check your device's IMEI amount online over at the Google Dashboard page. Simply login with the Google account you utilize on your smartphone and tap on the Android section, that will list all devices connected to your account along with details like IMEI amount.
How is IMEI useful?
The IMEI number of a your smartphone or feature phone is unique for a reason. It can be used to identify your device as yours uniquely.. Here are some ways IMEI numbers come to good use: IMEI Tracker Online and Track IMEI Number Online.
Suppose, you send your mobile device for a repair and it returns all dead and bricked. Then, how will you know that the device that has returned is yours and not some other device. Well, you get it, right? The IMEI amount should then help you identify if the device is yours or not.
When you are planning to buy an older smartphone, the first thing you should do is check the device's IMEI amount. If the IMEI description on the phone says “Bad IMEI”, then the GSM modem of the phone is most probably broken and the device won't be able to connect to a network. So, the IMEI amount comes convenient when buying an older phone, as it represents if a device's cellular services are fine or not also.