What is an IMEI number and How to find Yours

You might be wondering how manufacturers identify cellphones that they manufacture. Is there some sort of serial number that differentiates two phone apart? Actually, there is.

What is an IMEI?

An IMEI, or International Mobile Equipment Identifier, is a unique identifier for each phone. Basically, it allows manufacturers to trace which phone is which, especially since there are multiple iPhones or Samsung Galaxy phones in the world.

An IMEI usually has 14 digits, with a 15th digit that makes sure that the string is correct. The numeration system is pretty straightforward. There are some IMEI variations that has a 16th digit, though. But for most smartphones, it’s just the 15 digit variation that you’ll see. With more than 4 billion smartphones around the world today, it’s important to know your IMEI, or at least know where to find it.

This pays off especially when you get your phone repaired. You might be surprised to find that your “repaired” phone is not the same one that you were using before (for better or for worse)! And to that end, I’ll help you in finding out what your IMEI is through your phone.

So grab your device, and we’ll be doing a bit of settings browsing to find your IMEI. Please note that since there are a lot of different phones, and each would have different steps. I’ll try to be as comprehensive as I can, but generally, the way to find your IMEI would be the same. It’s just that the names and placements are different.

How to find your IMEI

Simply Dial *#06# to get your IMEI number.

Other Methods

Oppo F5 (And other Oppo phones)

Let’s start with the Oppo F5, which is a very popular phone right now. Most Oppo phones have a common layout (which is similar to an iPhone’s) so the steps here will most likely apply to both Oppo phones and iPhones.

  1. To start your IMEI trace, go to your phone’s Settings. It’s the one that looks like a gear icon
  2. Once you’re in the settings screen, you might need to scroll down until your find About Phone
  3. In the About Phone Screen, you might already see the IMEI, however, for the Oppo F5, you’ll need to scroll down and find Status
  4. Once you’re in the Status screen, you’ll see the IMEI of your phone. If you have a dual sim enable smartphone, then you’ll see 2 pairs of IMEI numbers
  5. Take note of your IMEI for future purposes.

And that’s how easy it is to find your IMEI. It might be different for other Oppo models but the essence would be the same. Just explore and discover your phone.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime (And other Samsung Smartphones)

For the Samsung Galaxy series, it’s somewhat of a longer process compared to the Oppo phone. However, you’ll still need to access almost the same settings. Let’s start!

  1. Go to your device Settings
  2. In your phone settings, scroll down and look for About device
  3. Tap on Status
  4. Depending on your device, you might already be seeing your IMEI information. If you don’t see it yet, click on IMEI information
  5. Now you should be seeing the IMEI information of your phone. For dual sim enabled devices, you’ll see two IMEI numbers.
  6. Take note of the IMEI information that you see

Samsung devices almost have the same UI so the steps above will not change drastically. As I’ve said, simply explore your device and you’ll see the settings in no time.

Other Devices

For almost every other device, you’ll still need to go to the Settings. Once you’re in the settings, you’ll need to look for About device or Device information. There are variations on this, but you’ll simply look for Status or IMEI information. You’ll be able to see the settings easily just by browsing your settings.

For all cell phone manufacturers though, they usually put a sticker containing the IMEI of the phone on the box itself. Sometimes the IMEI information will be inside of the box. But as a rule of thumb, there would be a physical copy of the IMEI somewhere on the box, aside from the information inside of the phone itself. Keeping your box might be a hassle but nevertheless, it is important to keep a backup of your IMEI. Why, you ask? Here are the benefits.

Benefits of Keeping a Backup of your IMEI

So you might be asking, “I have my IMEI. Now what?”. Well, just simply keep that number safe and sound. If you’re into modding your device, you might reach a point that your IMEI information might be deleted from your device. If you have a backup of your IMEI number, then restoring it back on your phone would be easy.

An IMEI on your phone is important because, without an IMEI, your phone will not be able to register to a network. That means you won’t be able to take and receive calls. The IMEI is what helps cellular network companies trace and identify your phone to set it aside from other devices. If your IMEI matches with another phone, you’ll have a very difficult time.

Lastly, the IMEI lets you keep track of which phone is which. If you’re ever in a group of people with the same phone as you, you won’t have any difficulties finding your phone. Remember, the IMEI is a unique identifier so no one will share the same IMEI details as you.

Final Words

An IMEI sounds like a trivial concept, and you might be able to live your life without finding out what an IMEI is or what your devices IMEI is. However, it does pay off to know the inner workings of cellphone networks. It helps you know a unique serial number that is only on your phone and you won’t have any difficulties identifying your phone from the billion others that are around the world today.

And it’s actually a pretty cool conversation starter if you want to break the ice at parties!

Did this guide help you? Let me know in the comments!


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