With all of the technological advances in cellular radios, much of the country is still subject to a lack of consistent cellular coverage. One thing that consistently happens when an accepted standard has weak spots is that third party companies look to fill in the gaps to provide a solution that benefits customers. We’ve seen this niche targeted with such products as Cell Ranger’s Stix products, which are designed to amplify the available cellular signal into something that is more usable for your phone.
Wilson Electronics has been in the RF industry for decades. Wilson’s product catalog includes everything from amplifiers to antennae. At CES Wilson announced a new product, dubbed Sleek.
The Sleek is actually a kit of several products. First is the magnetic mount antenna, which is designed to be attached securely to the roof of a car. Second is a USB based power adapter which uses the included cigarette lighter adapter. Last is the actual amplifier, which is integrated into a phone cradle.
I was also provided with several accessories for the Sleek that are worth mentioning. The Home/Office Accessory Kit provides a power adapter for indoor use as well as a suction cup based bracket to mount your antenna to an exterior window. Also provided were a pair of USB charging cables (the Sleek amplifier has a second USB port which can be used to charge and power your device), and a higher quality suction cup based mount for your car (the included mount uses an adhesive to attach to your dash).
Installation is a piece of cake. The antenna and power connections both plug directly into the Sleek amplifier; the hardest part is finding the optimum position for the antenna and running the appropriate cables where they need to go.
The Sleek reportedly offers up to 20 times more output power when in a vehicle. Determining how much of a performance increase you actually get is a difficult thing to put your finger on. From the standpoint of signal strength, I received up to three additional bars when using the Sleek with my Tilt2 (from 2 to 5 bars). While this sounds amazing, I didn’t get a significant boost in voice quality or data speeds; don’t expect this to triple your throughput.
The Sleek is one of the first signal boosters that I have tested where I can confidently say that it actually does perform the job for which it is designed. The external antenna and amplifier combine to give you much better range and help eliminate dead areas. An additional benefit is that your phone isn’t working as hard to try and maintain a signal, therefore extending your battery life. If you are looking for a signal booster that performs admirably, hit up Wilson Electronics for more details.