REVIEW – If you are interested in cell phone boosters you might have read my recent review of the weBoost Installed Home Complete Signal Booster Kit. If you read that review you already know there was a certain amount of angst around my household when we changed cell phone carriers. I won’t belabor that here since I already pounded that subject into the ground in my previous review.
I will, however, mention (only this one time) that the same complaints made about the new carrier in our house were ultimately lodged against her cell phone signal on the road. Yes, I needed a cell phone booster for her car and the SureCall Fusion2Go Max looked like it might be the solution to her (and by definition our) weak cell signal problem in the car.
What is it?
The SureCall Fusion2Go Max is a cellular signal booster for your car. Its purpose is to improve call, text & data service. It is designed to work with all cellular devices, all North American cell carriers, and boost signal for multiple devices simultaneously.
What’s in the box?
- Magnetic-mount antenna
- Signal Boost amplifier
- Multi-device inside antenna
- Power adapter
Maximum gain: 50 dB
Supported standards: CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+, EVDO, LTE, and all cellular standards
DC Power: 6-15V
Maximum output: 1 Watt EIRP
The Fusion2Go Max comes with a simple 4 step set of installation instructions.
Step 1. Place outside antenna on the vehicle’s roof
Step 2. Install inside antenna.
Step 3. Place Booster and connect cables.
4. Connect to power.
We tucked the cables away to make the installation look a little neater.
The installation was uneventful (read relatively easy). We opted to avoid opening up dash panels, removing trim pieces, pulling up carpet, etc., which resulted in cables being visible here and there. Overall it still looks pretty good and I have the somewhat finicky car owner to vouch for this. The amplifier is hidden under the driver’s side seat, and the power cables can be tucked away out of sight when not in use. This also allows us relatively easy to transfer the SureCall Fusion2Go Max system to my car or a rental if we were traveling in a vehicle other than Annette’s.
Annette only uses the booster when the ambient signal is insufficient. If she were going to leave it connected all the time we would have to get some kind of adapter to split her cigarette lighter port (should we really even call it that anymore?) into at least two ports to allow for charging phones on the road. As it is not necessary for signal boost all of the time, we are not bothering with that purchasing a splitter at this time. It would have been nice if the SureCall Fusion2Go Max plug had an opening for another device built into the power adapter.
Overall we were very happy with the simple instructions and relative ease with which we were able to install the SureCall Fusion2Go Max and get it up and running. Start to finish we had about 30 minutes in the job.
About decibel readings
Note — I copied this section over from a previous review I wrote for the Wilson Amplifiers weBoost Installed Home Complete Signal Booster Kit with a minor edit.
A quick excerpt I found on signalboosters.com — a website that sells cell phone boosters — including Fusion2Go Max units from SureCall.
dB gain is a unit of measurement that defines the power of amplification. So a +10 dB gain is stronger than a +7 dB gain. However, dB gain is measured exponentially meaning there’s a big difference between a +7 and +10 db gain.
How much of a difference?
It’s double the power! For every +3 dB gain translates to doubling the signal strength. For every +10 dB is 10 times the signal strength. +20 dB gain? That’s approximately 100x more powerful.
Once we got the SureCall Fusion2Go Max installed in Annette’s car we took it out for some road testing. Annette had already identified a few spots in areas she travels on a regular basis where she frequently lost signal.
Note — I took the signal readings using the Network Cell Info Lite app — the free version of WILYSIS’ cell phone signal analyzing application for android running on my Pixel 2 cell phone. The Network Cell Info Light had a secondary reading meter and several different tabs with additional information, but for the purposes of this review I cropped down to the main signal strength meter.
The following pairs of signal strength readings will be shown with the unamplified signal on the left (before) and the amplified signal on the right (after). The readings were all taken in Southern Indiana.
In all of the cases shown here where Annette had previously noted dropped coverage, the signal boost was the difference between unusable cell phones (on the T-Mobile network) and fully functional cell phones. The decibel gain ranged from a low of +15 dB to a high of +34 dB. Using the SureCall Fusion2Go Max, neither of our phones was in a nonfunctional state during the 130 mile drive through Southern Indiana. The drive included several rural areas and sparsely populated regions. We were both able to maintain sufficient signal for cell phone calls and Mobile data LTE at all times.
The Acid Test
We decided to visit our new grandson in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Because our daughter’s household, as well as our own, maintains a pretty strict policy of Covid-19 avoidance — including a total lockdown in the two weeks leading up to our visit — we felt pretty good about the risk level.
The drive from Columbus, Indiana, to Greensboro, North Carolina, winds through long stretches of very low population zones, mountain ranges, and a few tunnels carved through the mountains. We have made the trip several times and, before switching carriers from Verizon to T-Mobile, we had found the cell phone coverage to be pretty decent, albeit with a few dead zones.
Annette had made the trip alone twice after we switched carriers to T-Mobile and found her cell phone to be totally worthless over long stretches of the drive.
On this trip, I carefully monitored signal strength along the way. This was made easier for me because Annette drove. For some reason, her driving is better for both of our nerves, but we won’t dig any further into that here. I am happy to report that along the entire 560 mile route (one way) in both directions we only lost cell phone signal twice. Both of these outages occurred deep inside mountain tunnels. We actually maintained signal even inside the smaller tunnels along the route and all through the mountain range we crossed.
This was a dramatic improvement and I will certainly feel better about Annette when she chooses to make this trip without me in the future.
What I like
- Simple Installation
- Less than an hour to install and begin using the device
- Visible components look good
- Very effectively boosts an unusable signal to a usable decibel level
What I’d change
- Provide a port in the power adapter so that other accessories can be used when this device is plugged in
While this review is relatively brief, don’t take this as a sign that I am not excited about the product. It is not a device with settings or bells and whistles. It is a simple device — at least on the surface — that consists of an external antenna, internal antenna, and amplifier. It takes less than an hour to set up, you plug it in and it just works. The SureCall Fusion2Go Max just does its job very effectively.
I highly recommend this booster for anyone who struggles to maintain a good cellular signal on the road.