Gadgets & Gear

Review: Wilson Electronics Sleek 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster

I do a lot of traveling around the country in an RV. In addition to this blog, I am a travel writer, freelance journalist, and I have to constantly be connected to the Internet.

Many of the places I go have marginal cellular coverage. That’s where the Wilson Sleek 4G Cell Phone Booster comes in so handy.

This is the Wilson Sleek 4G amplifier cradle. The phone or data card fits between the arms. Yes, it even holds my iPhone 6 plus.

Now there has to be some sort of cell service for this to work. But I’ve often gone from zero bars showing on my mobile phone to three or four bars.

Below is a demo video I shot while in the remote Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had zero bars showing on my iPhone.

I was just too far from the nearest cell tower.

When I put my iPhone in the cradle, which contains the power booster, I  had coverage – three bars, in fact. Not bad.

I use the booster not just for my mobile phones but also for my Mi-Fi data cards. It boosts your voice and data signal on any carrier. There are many times when I’ve been in the middle of the woods, miles from the nearest town, and been able to access the Net. It also increases 4G LTE  data rates in weak signal areas by amplifying your cell phone’s power up to 20 times more than the phone alone.

The package comes with a cradle and a small stubby little magnetic mount antenna that you can slap on the roof of your vehicle, running the antenna coax line into though a window or around the door frame. The antenna plugs into the cradle, as does a cigarette plug power cable.

I bought this $21 antenna to use instead of the very stubby little one that comes with the Wilson Sleek 4G Cell Phone Boster kit.

I dumped the stubby antenna and instead bought a this larger, more rugged external antenna. It costs $21 and does a much better job of pulling in those weak signals.

The Sleek is compatible with all U.S. cellular providers for voice and data services, excluding WiMAX and iDEN/Nextel. The kit supports CDMA, TDMA, GSM, and AMPS cell phone technologies, as well as data protocols such as LTE, HSPA+, EDGE, GPRS, 1xRTT, HSDPA.

The links I have included here are from Amazon. I get a small commission when you buy from them.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.