The Sleek Cell Phone Signal Booster from Wilson Electronics offers a simple design and easy setup.
Kent GermanFormer senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Our problem with Wilson Electronics' cell phone signal boosters has never been their performance--they actually work quite well--but rather with their complicated and clunky setup. Though the company's Mobile Professional Amplifier Kit from 2008 was relatively compact, we're more used to products like the Wireless Amplifier Cradle Kit that involve a few parts.
Luckily, Wilson continues to evolve. At CES, the company showed its new Sleek Cell Phone Signal Booster that offers a compact, easy-to-use design for in-car use. It consists only of a small cradle with adjustable arms, a power adapter for your car's cigarette lighter, and a tiny antenna that affixes to your car's roof via a magnet. Setting it up looks quite easy, and the cradle should hold a variety of phones.
We haven't tested the Sleek yet, but if our experience with previous Wilson's products holds true, it should perform well. Wilson promises that it should boost your phone's signal strength up to 20 times, though keep in mind that it works only with the 800 and 1,900MHz cellular bands. While that covers both GSM and CDMA networks in the United States, it isn't compatible with Nextel phones or GSM networks abroad. The Sleek is $129 and is available now.