Some mobile devices display a message on the screen indicating activation status. When not activated, a feature phone may display no access or a roaming signal bar. On some smartphones, an icon may indicate the need to activate, such as a red triangle or an exclamation mark.
Absent of these indicators, other tests can help to identify an activated phone. Some wireless phone carriers require a test call during the activation process, this ensures the phone is activated and ready for use. A customer's account page on the website of his wireless service provider may also provide more information about phone activation status.