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February 1, 2016 — by TAYLOR WHITESHARE ARTICLE
It’s been somewhat of a struggle to review a product meant for those without proper 4g coverage as a native resident of the bustling metropolis that is Los Angeles. As the name suggests, weBoost Drive 4g-S is a 4g signal booster for your motor vehicle of choice. The device works with all carriers, boosts voice & data including 4g LTE, amplifies the signal while your phone is in the cradle, and extends the battery life of your device by up to three hours of talk time (if you choose not to charge it in your car for some odd reason).
We’ll be testing the weBoost Drive 4G-S with my LG G3 and a 2014 Mazda 3 as the vehicle of choice. While the concept of a 4G signal booster is quite appealing to anyone not living within a high-coverage area, there’s definitely a few things that could use improvement with the design of the 4G-S which we will cover further below.
I always love a nice black cradle. The weBoost features a sleek black design without too many bells and whistles for a clean, professional finish.
The “arms” that cling to your device can be adjusted for height and the package comes with two width variations for phones with large cases or those resembling small tablets. Sadly, the weBoost does have a problem with excessive cabling. Due to a charging issue for newer phones, you’ll need to run two cables to your cigarette lighter power output if you plan to keep your phone powered and good to go. Another third cable needs to run outside your car’s window to the top side of your vehicle in order to have the device running at full efficiency.
I’m honestly not crazy about having a loose cable dangling from the front of my dash all the way to the back window of my car as my dog does love to chew on these, in addition to people who’ve tripped over this cable when walking into the car. I wish that the weBoost came with some options for cable management when it comes to the exterior antennae. Better yet, an integrated internal antenna would be absolutely ideal.
Full setup of the device took only a few minutes and can be done even by those who aren’t very tech-savvy.
Stick the cradle to your dash after peeling off the adhesive retaining film, run two cables to your cigarette lighter charger (one from the DC port of the cradle and one from your phone as normal), and the antennae (from the cradle) to the back window of your vehicle, then stick the thing to your roof via magnet. The 3m adhesive patches are quite durable and if torn off for some reason can be replaced with a quick visit to Home Depot or most other home improvement department stores.
The major issue I have with the weBoost Drive 4g-s is that you need to run a cable out from your window and magnet it to your roof. While most wouldn’t understand why I’m having this problem, it’s also the downfall of living in a large metropolis. This thing is just asking to be stolen or destroyed if your vehicle is parked in the wrong area. It sticks out quite a bit and, in my opinion, looks distracting on any vehicle that isn’t colored black.
So here’s where I’m torn between the aesthetics and general design of a product to its actual use. Also be warned that some carriers will apparently not allow the use of signal boosters, and you’ll have little use for the weBoost outside of a $200 adhesive phone cradle that doesn’t actually charge your phone. What the weBoost is meant to do, it does quite well. Traveling out into the desert a bit, I found that areas where my phone wasn’t cradled were now fully covered with a blissful full bar signal and 4g LTE like never before.
The weBoost Drive 4G-S has a few crushing quality of life flaws that need to be addressed in its next iteration, but as a device for improving cell coverage in otherwise “dead” areas, it gets the job done with pesto.
Read more at http://nerdreactor.com/2016/02/01/weboost-drive-4g-s-review/#gGoTtRW3LzSBErLc.99
TAGS: drive 4g-s, mobile, nerd reactor