Pros / It can boost 4G.
Cons / It has a weak amplifier.
Verdict / The weBoost Drive 4G-S is the best cradle signal booster because it's 4G compatible, but it lacks the power and range of the best cell phone boosters available.
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.
Before Wilson Electronics changed its name to weBoost, the Drive 4G-S was known as the Wilson Sleek 4G – the only 4G-compatible, five-band signal booster with a cradle design. It doesn't have the versatility and range of the best cell phone boosters we reviewed, but it boosts the most important frequencies at a fraction of the cost, which is great if you don't mind keeping your phone in a cradle.
The Drive 4G-S boosts five frequency bands – bands 12, 13, 5, 4 and 25. This essentially covers 700MHz to 2,100MHz. Only one other cell phone booster on the market – the weBoost Drive 4G-M – has such wide coverage. Most cell phone signal amplifiers only boost 800MHz and 1,900MHz frequencies. This means it boosts 4G, 3G and 2G signals. Only three other cell phone boosters are capable of that.
Another great feature is the low noise figure of the amplifier. At just 3 dB, there's very little unwanted noise amplified within the desired signals, which means that your call quality is excellent. However, this doesn't account for the unwanted noise inherent in using the speakerphone or a Bluetooth connection, which is required when your phone's in a cradle.
The biggest downside to the Drive 4G-S is the weak amplifier, which is why it's much more affordable than the best cell phone boosters. Since the amplifier is built into the cradle, it's much weaker than most signal boosters. The amplifier has a max gain of 23 dB, which is nine times weaker than the strongest cell phone boosters we reviewed, such as the SureCall TriFlex2Go. This means that only one phone can benefit from the boosted signals at a time, and the wireless range is limited to the cradle. However, you'll still receive five bars in an area where you'd only receive one bar without it.
You only have to install a 4-inch magnetic antenna, which connects to the cradle with a 10-foot coax cable. The antenna is small and has a shorter range than the best car cell phone antennas available, but it's more durable and looks more like a native part of your car. The average forward gain is 2.62 dBi, which means that it has a shorter-range ideal for mountainous terrain.
The weBoost Drive 4G-S features five-band coverage that boosts 4G, 3G and 2G signals, which is comparable to the top cell phone boosters. The amplifier's max gain of 23 dB is the weakest available, though, which is why the range is limited to the cradle. It's easily the best cradle cell phone booster available.