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Summary:

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 […]

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.

  1. Cripes! Looks more like a converter to satellite phone than just a standard signal booster.

    20x signal improvement in a smaller device than previously (or not), surely ‘Sleek’ isn’t the first thing that comes to mind? Surely ‘back to the future’ – how long will it be until the CES is showing off car phones again?

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    1. I’m assuming you didn’t look at last year’s model to compare – this is much smaller and not that much bigger than many standard in car charging cradles but with the added benefit of a signal boost. That’s a win-win in my book.

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  2. Hi Kevin,

    I work on an Army base in Virginia. On the outskirts, even my Verizon phone has trouble, and I’ve heard that the signal from At&T is too low to work.

    I want to buy the new iphone this year hopefully from Verizon. If Verizon doesn’t carry it, I’ll need to go with AT&T. What signal booster will improve the signal significantly, wearing the iphone on my person, not in a car. It needs to be reasonably “sleek”.

    Does the “i-tena 3G” work, or is it just a sham? They have a video on their site, and on YouTube. If not the i-tena, what will work. Apple, or somebody, needs to fix this or it’s going to hurt them. (I’m amazed that Apple or AT&T didn’t up the signal at CES, so they wouldn’t be so embarrased.)

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  3. I’m interested in your upcoming review. Especially the wattage boost equivalent to 20 times.

    Our solution borrowed from motorhome users – who use their phones on the road and while parked onsite.

    We have a small cabin in a remote area that can rarely get cell reception. We use our Verizon phones with a product made by Smoothtalker — which is a 3 watt signal booster. You thought the old Wilson product was clunky … to use the setup not in the car, we attach the magnetic antenna to a 20 inch steel frying pan sitting on our outdoor deck. High tech meets outdoor tech. It works.

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