Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit review: Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit successfully boosts your cell phone's reception in areas with fair or poor signal coverage. It also uses a convenient wireless connection to your phone.

The Bad The Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit has a somewhat clunky design, and it can take a lot of effort to arrange the various parts. It's also on the expensive side, and it won't support Nextel's iDEN network.

The Bottom Line If it works with your cell phone, and you'll use it enough to justify the cost, the Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit is a great tool for boosting your cell phone's reception.

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When we reviewed the Wilson Electronics SignalBoost Cellular Amplifier earlier this year, we were impressed with how significantly it boosted our cell phone reception in areas with patchy coverage. Where previously, we struggled to get a consistent signal, the SignalBoost made it possible to make a call. Yet as useful as it was, we didn't love how we had to use a wired connection from the amplifier to our phone. Though that wasn't a huge problem when using the device in the car, it wasn't so ideal when using the product at home. Nothing takes the mobile out of mobile phone like a wire that anchors your handset to one place.

Fortunately, Wilson's engineers corrected this issue with the company's most recent product, the Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit. Designed for use in a car, the Cradle Kit delivers the same performance as the previous model but with a more convenient wireless connection to your phone. The arrangement is still a bit clunky, and you'll need a lot of room in which to set up the various parts, but the Cradle Kit delivers on its promise of boosting cellular signals for both GSM and CDMA carriers. All that functionality comes at a high price tag, however. The Cradle Kit is $459.95.

Like its predecessor, the Cradle Kit consists of four parts: the main amplifier, a power cable, an external antenna for catching the cell phone signal, and an internal antenna for transferring the signal to your phone.

In the product that we reviewed, the internal antenna is integrated into a phone cradle that holds your phone in place. You can secure the cradle to that dashboard or an air vent using one of three included connectors, and the cradle adjusts to hold just about any device, including larger smartphones, such as a BlackBerry. It's a great arrangement, particularly if you're making hands-free calls while driving (as you should). Alternatively, if you're hoping to use the amplifier product in your home, Wilson Electronics sells comparable models that instead use a more traditional antenna.

The blue amplifier measures 5.6 inches by 3.6 inches by 1.7 inches, and it has a utilitarian design and solid metal construction. It's quite sturdy, so you don't need to worry about banging it around, but it's also a tad heavy, at 1.44 pounds. We prefer to rest it under a car seat, but since it tends to grow quite hot, we were wary of cramming it next to seat fabric.

This time around, we were glad to see that Wilson put a series of indicator lights on the amplifier (the previous product had only a power light). They indicate the amplifier's status and whether it's receiving a signal.

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Wilson Electronics Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit

Part Number: 801213
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • CE Product Type cellular phone antenna signal amplifier