The weBoost Drive Sleek is a new accessory disguised as a car mount intended to improve cellular coverage in your vehicle. weBoost used to be called Wilson Electronics. They have been making accessories for improving cellular reception for quite some time. They changed the name of the company and with that, the design of their devices. We previously covered their cellular boosters in an article called Improving Reception with the Wilson Sleek 4G and 3G.
(Disclosure: Unlike most of the products reviewed on MountGuys.com, this one was free from the manufacturer. The review is our honest unbiased opinion of the product and not influenced in any way.)
So let’s move on to our hands on review of the weBoost Drive Sleek and see what’s going on.
What it Does
This new cellular signal booster works on LTE and is what’s needed in today’s environment to improve the signal in your vehicle. The box says it improves the signal up to 32 times. While we don’t have a meter to measure the claim, we definitely saw significant improvements in our AT&T signal.
The premise behind the weBoost Drive Sleek isn’t very complex. There is an antenna that is seated outside the vehicle pulling in the cellular signal. It feeds through your vehicle via a booster that amplifies the signal then onto a powered cradle that your phone sits within. Place your phone into the powered cradle and you have a stronger signal. No apps are needed on your phone to use the weBoost Drive Sleek. It’s a hardware thing.
The weBoost Drive Sleek comes in a box with a small instruction booklet. You can refer to the booklet or the sticker within the packaging. There are five parts and a drawing of where they belong in your vehicle. Each part has a number on it corresponding to the installation step. Now go install it.
Installation of the weBoost Drive Sleek
Installation isn’t difficult but requires some thought before starting out. Most notable is thought around where you want each component to be placed.
First up is the antenna. There’s a cable attached to it along with a magnetic bottom. Choose a place outside your vehicle that is at least 6 inches away from any windows and a foot from other antennas (like satellite radio). The bottom will stick to anything magnetic. If you cannot find a magnetic spot, weBoost includes an adhesive metal disk that can be stuck anywhere flat so that the magnetic bottom of the antenna can be installed. Some may choose a more custom install and route the cable through their trunk then through the interior compartment as this will minimize the appearance of the cable.
The next step is to place the booster somewhere between the end of the antenna cable and the phone cradle. Somewhere under the back seat will probably work best.
Now run the cable from the booster to the phone cradle. Continuing with the magnetic theme, weBoost includes a magnetic vent mount. The back of the phone cradle has a metallic disk and you line up the magnetic mount with the disk. Your phone will be seated within the expandable cradle. The cradle is a bit shallow and some with a very thick case might be challenged in getting their phone to seat securely. Most should be ok, but some very thick cases like the Otterbox Defender on our Apple iPhone 6s Plus might be challenged.
The last part is critical. Power. Plug the included charger into your 12v outlet and the other end into the booster.
There are a lot of cables that lead from the antenna on the roof to the booster then to the cradle. This can be a fast install if you don’t care about hiding the cables. If you plan to have any passengers, you should also plan to hide the cables. Hiding the cables is what turns a 5 minute task into an hour worth or work.
Also, the mount leaves a lot to be desired. Trying to install the weBoost Drive Sleek into a Nissan Murano with the stock mount was impossible. The ledge under the vents gets in the way of the cradle in portrait mode. The cradle would not hold stable in landscape. Had to move the installation into the Kia Sorento where the vents are a bit more level with the dashboard beneath it. A photo of the weBoost Drive Sleek in a Kia Sorento accompanies this article.
The weBoost Drive Sleek could become more versatile with a stronger mount in a different location. If the stock vent mount fits fine and portrait mode is satisfactory, keep using the vent mount. However, the stock mount will render the weBoost Drive Sleek unusable in a vehicle like a Nissan Murano. Fortunately there are other mount locations enabled by alternative mounts for the weBoost Drive Sleek. So if you can’t mount this in your vehicle, don’t despair, just replace the mount.
Now that it’s all hooked up, insert your phone and check your signal. We saw an improvement of one bar. Data transfer was the most noticeable advantage where we experienced a 30% improvement in transfer speed.
The weBoost Drive Sleek is a nice addition in areas where the reception might be sketchy. It’s especially useful for road warriors taking in conference calls on long commutes to work. Also for reliance upon GPS apps like Waze that dynamically refreshes data off the network. You need reliability and cannot tolerate voice or data disruption in either situation. The weBoost Drive Sleek will improve the stability of your connection and minimize call drops and network availability issues.