Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
When you're driving through rural or mountainous regions where cellular coverage is weak, the weBoost Drive 4G-M is your best bet for making sure you have bars on your phone. It features a 50 dB amplifier and five frequency bands of coverage, making it the most powerful cell signal repeater allowed by law. It provides 4G, 3G and 2G data enhancement. It's wireless, which means passengers also benefit from it. The antenna is small but effective. For these reasons, it has earned our recommendation as the best overall cell phone booster.
The Drive 4G-M resembles the Wilson Mobile 4G, and for a good reason – Wilson Electronics is now called weBoost. This change resulted in an update to the Mobile 4G's color and name, but it's the same device, with the same signal amplifier and frequency coverage.
The Drive 4G-M has an amplifier with a 50 dB maximum gain, which is the maximum gain the FCC allows for mobile cell phone boosters. As such, all the best cell signal boosters max out at 50 dB. What sets it apart from other cell signal repeaters is the five bands of frequency coverage – bands 17, 13, 5, 4 and 25. This essentially covers 700MHz to 2100MHz, which means that it has a much broader reach than most cell phone boosters, giving you the best opportunity of a reliable signal on many different types of phones and cell providers. This results in fewer dropped calls and a longer battery life, because your phone doesn't have to constantly search for a signal.
Another great feature is the 4G LTE data enhancement. It also boosts 3G and 2G, but 4G is the most recent generation of cellular technology. Most cell phone boosters still only boost 3G and 2G frequencies. With 4G data, you can download data faster and experience better voice quality.
The Drive 4G-M has only a few installation requirements, so you can install it by yourself. There are two antennas – a low-profile inside antenna and an outside antenna. The outside antenna has to be placed in a perpendicular position, ideally in the middle of your car's roof. It uses a magnet, so you don't have to worry about drilling holes or damaging your paint job. If you don't have a metal roof, you'll have to install it on the trunk. The inside antenna easily installs onto the side of your driver's seat or middle console. The signal amplifier is small enough to fit almost anywhere you want.
The only installation concern is hiding the cables. The outside antenna uses a 10-foot coax cable, which is the standard length. It runs along the top of the car, down the inside of the doorframe to wherever you choose to place the main unit, which is usually beneath the passenger seat. The inside antenna comes with a 14-foot cable, which is too long for most cars and trucks.
Another reason the Drive 4G-M is among the best cell phone boosters is its versatility. You can install this cell phone signal booster on all types of vehicles. It has the range to boost cell phone signals for passengers in sedans, trucks, vans and RVs. In addition, while you're still required to register your booster with your cell phone provider, all the major providers have given blanket consent to use it.
As mentioned earlier, the Drive 4G-M consists of two antennas, a low-profile inside antenna and a 4-inch outside antenna. The outside antenna is among the smallest we reviewed, which has advantages and disadvantages. The antenna is thicker and more durable than the longer ones other cell signal boosters use. This also makes it look as though it belongs on the car.
The downside of the outside antenna is the lower gain. With only a 2.62-dBi gain, it doesn't have the range of other antennas we reviewed, some of which, like the SureCall TriFlex2Go or SmoothTalker Mobile X1 have a 5-dBi gain. However, a higher dBi isn't necessarily better. It depends on your circumstances. An antenna with a longer range has a narrower focus, which means it has a longer forward range but a much smaller peripheral range. It's like comparing binoculars to a telescope – a telescope allows you to see further, but it also narrows the viewfinder.
The weBoost support system leads the industry. All of the cell signal boosters come with a two-year warranty. You can contact support through phone, email and live chat. The live chat feature is exceptional. You can find the live chat tab on every page. The staff is knowledgeable and quick to provide answers. You can also access all the necessary manuals for installation, specifications and FCC regulations. You can read blog entries on the website, which is a great educational resource. There's also a FAQs page for quick access to common questions.
With five bands, the weBoost Drive 4G-M has the widest frequency reach of any mobile cell phone signal booster available. It boosts 4G, 3G and 2G signals, which enhances voice and data downloads and prolongs your phone's battery life. The installation is easy enough to do by yourself. The antenna is among the smallest available, with an average gain of 2.62 dBi, which is ideal for mountainous terrain. The Drive 4G-M is clearly the best cell phone booster for vehicles.