There is no arguing the incredibleness of new smartphones. The Apple iPhone is my favorite– it features everything I need in a phone as well as a PDA in a small package. Unfortunately, with more and more features packed into a tiny package, it's difficult to make a really great "phone" feature within the smartphone. Compared to several other phones I have owned in the past, including many Nokias especially, my signal strength is just terrible. In locations where I used to get full service, I may only have two bars with the iPhone. This is especially critical with my iPhone since it's jailbroken and runs on T-Mobile. Unlike AT&T's 850 mhz band, T-Mobile's 1900 mhz band has a much smaller footprint per tower due to the laws of physics. There are places in my town where I have absolutely NO service at all.
When I heard about the Wilson Electronics iBooster, I knew I had to try it. It's a simple design: An iPhone Dock, power adapter, and antenna. The dock mounts to your car either via adhesive or clips which allow you to mount it temporarily to your climate control vents. Besides the bulkiness of the dock and the power adapter, it's pretty compact. The best features, besides the signal capability, are the fact that it both charges your iPhone (through USB, not Firewire!) AND allows for dock connector passthrough. This is especially important in my car where I have an iPod input on my stereo.
I was skeptical at first– I thought that yes, maybe it would boost by one bar or help what would have been a dropped call stay connected. I was totally wrong. This thing was incredible! While playing around with it, I drove with two iPhones into locations where I knew I had no signal before. With one iPhone more than 2 feet away from the dock, and one inside, I watched the signal levels. As one iPhone went down to nothing, the one docked still had 5 bars! I thought that it might be some software glitch so I powered off the dock. Instantly, there was no signal anymore. After powering it up, it was back. 5 bars. Just to make sure it wasn't amplifying static, I made a call and it was crystal clear. Of course, it's hard to hold the phone up to your head while using the dock so I used a bluetooth device.
I thought that the iBooster was so amazing that I packed it up and sent it down to rural Virginia, to be tested out inside Fort Eustis, near Newport News, VA. Inside the Fort, there are many areas where cell signals just don't get to. Deep within the Fort where there was no usable signal, the iBooster was tested again. Yet again, it proved to boost the signal up to 5 bars.
Back in New Jersey, I tested it once again with the iPhone's Site Survey function. It boosted the signal from a -95 dB to -49 dB. It was truly an incredible feat.
If there was one accessory I could recommend for iPhone owners, it would be the iBooster hands down. What good is a phone if all of your calls are dropped and you cannot get signal anywhere. With the iPhone's notorious dropped call issue, the iBooster quickly fixes that and makes it the phone it should have been. When the iPhone sits inside, it's as if it's got an antenna the size of a flagpole. The iBooster and iPhone combination is truly the perfect team.