For years, mall kiosks and independent stores have sold little stickers you can place on your phone to increase the connection to towers, in the hopes that you’d see a signal increase and fewer dropped calls. Unfortunately, most of that was snake oil. The products looked like they could do something but very rarely did they. Until now. WeBoost has taken it upon themselves to change the perception of signal amplifying equipment by bringing products to market that, though not inexpensive, actually work. You’ll just have to determine whether the expense is a solid return on investment for your level of connectivity need.
Now, anyone who has taken the time to actually study cell phones and signal or signal attenuation, knows that what you get in the bars on your phone and the actual connectivity can be two very different things. You’ll need an app on your phone which displays the actual phone to tower connections in dB. When you use that, you’re going to get a much better idea of what kind of signal, or connection, you’re actually getting. With the WeBoost Drive 4G-S cell phone signal booster, I was actually able to see the difference and test the difference and know that the product actually works.
You can watch my video review below, or continue on reading the text review here:
In the box, you get the sled that your phone will connect to, a 4” antenna which will go on the roof of your car, usb cable, cigarette adapter/power supply and mounting bracket. In order to configure things, you’re going to run the cable from the sled, through your car’s door seals up onto the roof, or along the floor of the car, through the rear seats and on to the trunk. The latter is a more inconspicuous way of installing the product. WeBoost claims that you should see approximately 23dB worth of gain when in use and I got close, seeing 20dB gain through a canyon that my wife and I regularly drive. Matter of fact, with our current carrier, we get little or no signal through most of that canyon, so calls are impossible to make while we travel that route. But with the Drive 4G-S we were able to make calls and hold the connection through the canyon. Now, that’s not magic and the WeBoost product won’t magically give you a signal where there are no cell towers. In the case of our successful test through the canyon, there’s a tower in close enough proximity that with the additional gain we were able to connect with it, but without that boost, it’s just far enough that we’re hosed if we just rely on the cell phone’s built in antennae.
The only downside to the 4G-S is this… your phone will get hot during use. A hot phone, generally means a poorer performing phone, and a battery which sees its useful life decreased over time. Now the heat you’ll feel from your phone is different than the heat you’ll find the lug that connects the antenna to the sled emits. That’s actually part of the heat sink and is intended to get warm as it leeches heat off the unit and dissipates it.
At the end of the day, the biggest question you’re going to have about the WeBoost Drive 4G-S signal booster is this, “Is it worth $200 for me?” For my family, I went with T-Mobile because it was a significant cost savings over Verizon and AT&T. But, that decision doesn’t come without it’s compromises. That same canyon where I get no signal with T-Mobile, when I’m testing new phones and they’re Verizon units, I get signal with no interruption. But, if I were to purchase the Drive 4G-S at $200, that one time purchase would still keep me under the cost of switching to Verizon and give me the uninterrupted signal through that canyon. If that were my primary route home from work everyday and I needed to make important phone calls on the way home everyday, then the purchase would be well worth it. What about you? WeBoost does offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you can test the device for yourself and see if you don’t get the boost in signal they promise. They do show on their website that the product may not be for everyone in all cases, but they also have a very active customer support line which will walk you through putting your phone in test mode and checking out your connection, or lack thereof, to your closest towers and seeing if they can get the product to work for you if you’re having trouble.
If you’re in need of a signal booster, and have mission critical phone calls to make, I highly recommend this product. Also, for those of you who drive trucks for a living, this is definitely a product to take a serious look at!
Disclosure: WeBoost provided me with product for the purpose of this review.