I met the weBoost people at Pepcom earlier this year and have been sitting on reviewing the product until I had some real world testing to report.
I’m really not happy with my write up here. In my mind I’d expected I could simply drive to a known dead zone, pop my phone into the cradle, make or not make a phone call, and I’d have at least something I could say for the review on the claim of calls being up to 32x better.
Cut to me not being able to make a joke about Sprint as they’ve done massive things in my area. There literally have been no points in the past two months that I’ve not been able to make a call or had data issues anywhere except in one six foot segment of a concrete canyon in downtown Nashville. The weBoost Drive Sleek didn’t fix that that I noticed.
The weBoost Drive Sleek claims to enhance 3G and 4G signals in both directions, is compatible with every band of all but one networks, and the only network they call out for not being able to boost properly and that’s… drumroll… Sprint. That said they claim you’ll see increased performance.
I didn’t. I’ll point out though that in most cases I couldn’t see increased performance because I’m driving. I also don’t make a hell of a lot of phone calls while driving and the ones I do make generally are a pain for one reason or another. My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was on hotspot mode so my kid could watch some YouTube Kids, and it never went out either with or without the WeBoost.
So, this is from someone who couldn’t get a bad signal to properly test with, I’ll tell you what I think about the product’s design as opposed to whether or not it’ll boost (I believe it does).
Paul complains about everything
First off you’re going to run some car wiring. If you’re like me this probably means it’s going to end up either in tripping zone or you’re going to curse that you purchased something with 20+ feet of coax to handle. Still, if you need it, you’ll probably want to do it. There’s also going to be a small brick like thing you’re going to have in your trunk area that handles the logic of cell boosting.
Second thing you’re going to find is that one of your power outlets in the car is now taken up by the booster. While it does have a USB power out on the other side o the plug, you’re going to have to run a separate line to your phone. As the weBoost Drive Sleek requires your phone in a wired cable, this means there are now two lines running to your phone if you want to charge it. Why couldn’t we have one thick line run to the cradle and then break a USB power out of that?
This also requires you keep your phone in the cradle as the boosted signal only goes a couple of inches. Your car phone is strapped in to the booster.
Magnetic vent mounting is OK, but I wish there were something like a suction cup mount that shipped with it. Not that you have to have it mounted.
Should you get the weBoost Drive Sleek signal booster?
I’m really at the point of saying “depends.” Are you out in the middle of nowhere a lot? Does your cell phone have crappy antennas? Is part of your job talking and driving? Are you a first responder?
Does it work? Probably… I read plenty of reviews where it does, I can see signal dB changes when it’s in the cradle. I just happened to pick the wrong network, places, and times to attempt to test this device. After switching from my old HTC 10 to the Note 8 I haven’t had any issues with signal quality in my general area and the areas I knew to be dead are now for the most part not.
Was that a review?
Not really, no. It feels well manufactured, I probably would believe next to anything someone at Pepcom told me as the bar is set very high there. I’ve failed in reviewing this at the moment.
Unfortunately all I can say is this thing exists, does not negatively impact reception, when I locate a dead spot I’ll pull over and slap it in the cradle and see if it’s no longer a dead spot. That said, some dead spots are completely dead so testing will be required if it doesn’t immediately work.
You have 30 days to see if you like it and an additional two year warranty so it might be worth it to test. It should be noted the Amazon link below, the reviews appear to be for the Drive Sleek and some other weBoost products.