Pros / It has a low noise figure of 3 dB.
Cons / It lacks 4G compatibility.
Verdict / The weBoost Drive 3G-S is an effective dual-band cell phone signal booster, but the cradle design limits its functionality.
With the change from Wilson Electronics to weBoost, the Drive 3G-S is the updated version of the Wilson Sleek Cradle Booster. The only significant difference is the name and the shape of the holding arms, which are bigger and sturdier. Unlike most cell phone signal boosters, which boost the signals into a wireless coverage area that covers a car's interior, the coverage area is limited to the cradle. You can't freely use your phone as you normally do, which means you have to take calls using the speakerphone or a Bluetooth connection. However, the advantage of this design is the lower cost. Cradle signal boosters are much more affordable than other cell phone boosters.
The Drive 3G-S has the signal amplifier built into the cradle. It has a 26 dB maximum gain, which makes it one of the weakest cell phone signal boosters available. However, since the coverage area is limited to the cradle, you'll still receive five-bar reception in areas where you only get one bar without it.
One of the best features is the amplifier's low noise figure. Whenever you amplify a frequency, unwanted noise created by the antenna, unwanted frequencies and powered components increase. This can present itself as static within your phone calls. With a noise figure of 3 dB, your call quality is comparable to that of the best cell phone boosters available.
The downside to the Drive 3G-S is the lack of 4G compatibility. 4G offers better voice quality and faster data downloads. However, 4G coverage isn't as comprehensive as 3G and 2G yet, because it hasn't been around as long. This means that you're less likely to find 4G in rural areas, which is where you'd need a cell phone booster the most.
The 4-inch antenna uses a magnet 3.5 inches in diameter and vertical polarization, which means that it requires a vertical installation for the best results. It uses a magnetic mount and a 10-foot coax cable, which runs into the car and connects with the cradle. Since the cradle acts as the inside antenna, you don't have to install a second antenna next to the driver's seat. However, you do have to find a place on your dashboard for the cradle, which uses an adhesive.
- Max Gain
- Noise Figure
- Frequency Bands
- Outside Coax Cable Length
- Inside Coax Cable Length
- Antenna Height
- Antenna Gain
The weBoost Drive 3G-S is an effective cradle signal booster, which makes it more affordable than other boosters but requires sacrifices in how you normally use your phone. The 26 dB amplifier is one of the weakest for a cell phone booster, but this doesn't mean much, considering that the coverage area is limited to the cradle. The biggest downside is the lack of 4G compatibility, which may not be relevant in many rural areas.