Hands On With a Sleek Universal Cell Phone Signal Booster

15 Comments

[wpvideo l0Y9a3Ht w=600]

The Sleek Universal Cell Phone Signal Booster from Wilson Electronics debuted last month at the Consumer Electronics Show. I took a brief look at it then, but recently received a review unit. Unlike a similar model I tried last year, this new version is less expensive, smaller and works with a wide range of phones and carriers. That’s all great on paper, but how does it actually perform? I use an iPhone (s aapl) to test the signal boost in this video and show how to put your iPhone into Field Test mode for a more accurate signal measurement method than counting bars.

Although the Sleek is geared for automobile use, you could use the optional power adapter to gain a signal boost at home as well. Overall, I’m impressed with this $129 amplifier solution. Folks that travel in and out of coverage areas should definitely consider the Sleek due to it’s universal nature, multi-band frequency support and smaller size.

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15 Comments

jkljkl01

Note that your mag mount antenna is only half of the antenna. It relies on the metal body of the car for the other half (ground plane). If you are going to use it in the house you want to mount it onto a metal surface, such as a filing cabinet. A steel cookie sheet also works well.

Will

The lower the number the better. Without the device you got -87 and with the device you got -65. I’ve been out of school a long time, but isn’t -87 lower than -65? Assuming the device works, then at least part of what you said has to be backwards.

Kevin C. Tofel

Mathematically, you’re absolutely correct. In trying to keep the explanation simple, I ignored the negative sign and focused solely on the numeric value.

Oliver

Sleek? I am too lazy to look at the previous model, but I wouldn’t call this thing “sleek”.

Jalapeno

Kevin, I think at home you are better off installing a Femtocell, my provider, Sprint gave me one for free when I complained about my signal. Granted, this is not a “universal” solution.

HSK

ATT has one in selected markets right now. I wish they would get it rolled out quicker as I am waiting on one. All the major carriers have these now (well, at least they will when ATT rolls out nationally) and I personally think they are good solutions. I would prefer this solution over a repeater/signal booster.

Hans

Does the phone have to in the cradle? What I really want is something that will boost the signal to my phone while its in my pocket.

Regards,

Hans

Kevin C. Tofel

This solution won’t likely help in the scenario you described. It’s not creating a “bubble” of increased signal coverage like a femtocell in your home would. While I haven’t tested that use case, I would imagine that any benefit would quickly degrade as the phone got further from the cradle & internal amplifier.

HG

Great review Kevin! I think if only they could start the price at $79.99. But then again if you really need it, it’s a way to improve your signal.

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