This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: The Cel-Fi is a great cell signal booster for a price.

About Video Transcript

First Look: The Cel-Fi is a great cell signal booster for a price.

3:06 /

The Cel-Fi is a great device that helps you avoid getting disconnected while having a cell phone conversation, yet CNET editor Dong Ngo still doesn't want it for himself. Find out why!

So we have a long and involved conversation with somebody far away and special, and poof, we got disconnected. It's just another cell phone story. Really. But not as a way for you to save that long distance romance of yours, if it's worth it. I'm Dong Ngo and this is the Cel-Fi from Nextivity. Now, the name is Cel-Fi and not selfie. Selfie, the thing you do in hope to start a romance, and this thing here helps you maintain one. Got it? So what is this? Well, this is a cell signal booster, and it come with 2 units: the receiver right here, or the window unit. Now, you would have put these units where the cell phone signal such as by the window of your top floor. You can see it come with these bars right here to show how strong the signal is. Ideally, you would have put it where there are full bars. But it says 1 bar is enough. The second unit here is the booster or the coverage unit. You want to put this one as far away from the first one as possible, because the farther it is, the larger the coverage is gonna be. But not too far away because then the two cannot synch. So how far is far? As it turns out, the two of them here connect to each other using the same frequency as 5 megahertz Wi-Fi, and that means you can put them between 150 and 300 feet apart. Basically, as long as you this green icon here on the second unit, that means the two are not too far away. Now, note that it takes up 2 feet for these two to synch, so you might have to wait a bit during the setup process. And that's all you have to do to take advantage of the Cel-Fi. In my testing, it actually worked really well and boost the cell signal a great deal. For example, I'm here in the middle of building, actually deep in the ground. And take a look at this. This T-Mobile phone here still show full bars. Very impressive. Now, you know the Cel-Fi works well. But it's not perfect. Far from it, for a few reason. First, is only work with GSM carrier and it's carrier-specific. So in the States, you have to buy either for AT&T or T-Mobile, or buy 2 to work with both. And secondly, while it works really well with voice, for data, it does not support 4G LTE. Now, it's not a big deal because we're inside, chances are you have Wi-Fi. What's the big deal is also my final complain about this one is the price. Is very expensive, costing somewhere between $500 and $600. Now, for an office, it's not a big deal because it actually worked pretty well because it support up to 60 user at a time. But for home, well, you have to really think if talking to that person is worth the investment. Now, for more of the Cel-Fi here, check out my full review at cnet.com. Am I going to get it for myself? No way. Because it's always better to say, "I'm sorry, I got disconnected," when you actually want to hang up on people. Take my word for it, that's because I'm Dong Ngo, and this has been the first look at the Cel-Fi from Nextivity.

New releases

Tech to expect in 2015
2:31 December 26, 2014
The five most-anticipated gadgets we expect to see in 2015.
Play video
Best websites for finding child care
1:01 December 26, 2014
Between holiday parties and New Year's Eve plans, it can be tough to secure a babysitter. In this Tech Minute, CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports...
Play video
What's new on Netflix in January 2015
2:08 December 25, 2014
Find out what you should add to your watch list and what other videos are disappearing in the new year.
Play video
Brian Tong's Viewer Feedback 2014
2:17 December 25, 2014
We read the e-mails, tweets, and YouTube comments from you that have helped us create the best tech videos on Earth.
Play video
XCAR Awards 2014: Best-Looking
1:31 December 24, 2014
The XCAR team has played with some amazing cars in 2014, but which will be crowned the best-looking?
Play video
LG's bare bones oven needs a little more meat
2:02 December 24, 2014
The LG LRE3021 gives reliable mid-range performance, but lacks the features you can find from other brands for the same price.
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 106: Our 'Best of 2014' Extravaganza
27:44 December 24, 2014
On today's show, we celebrate another year gone by naming our (and your) favorite tech stories, pop culture news and video games of...
Play video
The big trends to watch at CES 2015
2:55 December 24, 2014
With CES around the corner, Bridget Carey tells you what to look out for at the tech expo. Expect buzz around the smart home, virtual...
Play video