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WeBoost Eqo review: This cellular signal booster couldn't improve our in-home coverage

Florence Ion | July 7, 2016
Unless you have strong reception to begin with, the weBoost Eqo can't do much for your smartphone experience at home.

The Eqo comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but who wants to deal with returns? Really, there’s only one legitimate use case for the Eqo: Boosting a sufficiently strong signal from the edge of your home to the middle of your home—like, say, an interior room or a basement where you experience a lot of dropped calls. Now, that’s a fine use case. But Wilson should be much more up front about what the Eqo can and cannot do.

6pcomparo weboost 

On the left are the measurements of the Nexus 6P’s network connections without the Eqo booster turned on. On the right, you’ll see that signal improved only incrementally  for both EVDO and LTE with the Eqo turned on.

I tested the Eqo at my suburban home in the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area with a Nexus 6P on Verizon Wireless. I typically hover between -81 and -90 dBm for Verizon’s EVDO coverage, and see in the neighborhood of -101 dBm for LTE. I get spotty call quality toward the back of my house, and because my reception is so bad to begin with, the Eqo hardly helped. The booster managed to increase my signal by a few decibels—up to -79 dBm on EVDO and -98 dBm on LTE. But that was upstairs, and I wasn’t seeing the full five bars of service like the box advertises. Elsewhere in the house, I didn’t see any improvement.

I tested the Eqo again with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active on AT&T, and then with the Sony Xperia X Performance on T-Mobile. The results were even worse. There was absolutely no change in coverage with AT&T, while the T-Mobile device went from -101 dBm to -97 dBm for HSPA coverage. LTE coverage didn’t improve whatsoever.

OK, so that was my experience. Our editor-in-chief, Jon Phillips, also tested the Eqo at his home in San Francisco located in a T-Mobile dead zone. Here’s his report:

Like most houses in my neighborhood, I have homes directly adjacent to the left and right. This means I only have two windowed areas where I can put the main booster unit: In the very back of the house (where I get -98 dBm at best) or the very front (where I typically see -112 dBm). I’m starting out with horrible coverage, and the bottom line is that the Eqo did absolutely nothing for me. I saw zero improvement.”

Is it worth the money?

I originally wanted to situate the Eqo facing my office space so that I’d have better service while working from home, but the booster simply didn’t work downstairs. It did work better upstairs—giving me one extra bar of service so I could take calls in the bedroom—but overall the product didn’t deliver on its promises.

 

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