So it was nearly a a year ago that I tested the Wilson Electronics iBooster with an iPhone. The product worked as advertised by boosting the signal on my handset but at $249, I felt it was bit pricey. Since the unit plugged into my car for a charge and mount, it was also a little bulky. But that was last year and this is CES week. Wouldn’t you know that Wilson Electronics addressed both of my concerns with a new product called the Sleek?
I got a chance to see the new Sleek at the show, and the name is fitting. It looks more like a standard car charging solution for a phone rather than a charging solution and signal booster. I can’t emphasize enough how much thinner and smaller it is over the iBooster — the new unit measures in at 4.25″ x 2.5″ x 2.25″. And the company says that it boosts a cell signal many more times than the old model — the Sleek is now up to 20 times more powerful than the cellular radio inside your phone. The best part? That $249 price tag is slimmer too — the new Sleek hits retail in February at an MSRP of $129. And the Sleek works with both GSM and CDMA phones that use either the 800 MHz or 1900 MHz band. In fact, the universal nature makes the product more compelling than the phone-specific iBooster line of last year. Instead of offering different models for different phones, the Sleek is universal. That means I can use it with my iPhone 3GS or my new Google Nexus One. Without specific docks, the Sleek has an extra micro USB port for handset charging.
I’ve lined up a review unit for the Sleek, so once I get back to familiar roads I’ll pop it in my car and give it a whirl.