What is it?
The Wi-Ex zBoost YX510-PCS-CEL. Simply put, it’s a cell phone signal booster that works with every carrier that isn’t Nextel. It retails for $399.99.
What’s in the box?
Inside the box you’ll find, an instruction manual, the base unit, an antenna, power supply, 15 feet of coaxial cable, a signal receiver, and a mounting unit.
The best part of the unit is that it does what it sets out to do. It boosted the cell phone signal to my Verizon LG VX8300 excellently. In the one area of the house where my service continually cut out, or stayed at around 1 bar, the zBoost gave me a steady 3 bar signal, which is not bad at all.
The zBoost managed to boost the signal through the walls of a finished basement that contain exclusively metal supports, which was likely the cause of the reception issue.
The major issue with the zBoost is that it has very strict limitations as to where the device has to be placed. The signal receiver has to be placed in a spot where you get the most signal, possibly even outside. If that location is outside, you’ll need to find someway to run the coaxial cable from the receiver to the base unit.
The base unit then has to be placed where you want the reception, but don’t have any. However, the base unit shouldn’t be within 2 feet of any other cords, metal objects, or wireless routers. This makes for quite an annoying setup, and in some (if not most) cases, it can be very difficult to meet all the demands the manual lays out for you.
However, despite the very strict limitations, there really is no need to follow them exactly. For example, the placement I had for my device has the signal receiver laying on the top of bookshelf (I didn’t find the need for the mounting device), with the coaxial cable stretched across the floor to the base unit that sat on an unused metal-frame futon. It may have interfered with the signal, but I was still able to get a steady signal from the device on both a Verizon VX8300 and T-Mobile myTouch 3G.
While the Wi-Ex zBoost YX510-PCS-CEL certainly worked as advertised, it can be difficult to recommend unless you absolutely require it to get any sort of signal in your house or apartment. At $400, it’s not cheap, but should be worth the price if most of your home (or office, or wherever you need signal) is virtually a dead zone.