But what you should take away from this isn’t that bars are completely meaningless. They are, after all, there for a reason, which is to give you a “good enough” estimate of your ability to make a call. Just take the bars with a (very large) grain of salt when the service you get doesn’t seem to match up with what the bars tell you, because the relationship between bars and call quality is much more of an art than a science.

Four bars? The disconnect between bars and cell signal.