Quality cell phone signal amplifiers tend to be more expensive than most phones, but the cost might just be worth it really need the enhanced coverage. If you live in a city, you probably don't need one, but if you reside in a rural area then you should at least consider the option. Wilson Electronics offers some of the best options that we've reviewed, but the CM2000-WL from Cellphone-Mate is a solid choice as well.
The CM2000-WL's design is similar to the Amplifier Cradle Kit from Wilson Electronics. It consists of four main parts: the main amplifier, a power cable, an external antenna for catching the cell phone signal, and an internal antenna for transferring the signal to your phone. It supports CDMA, TDMA, GSM, and AMPS networks, but it will not support Nextel's iDEN.
The amplifier measures 4.3 inches by 4.5 inches by 1 inch and weighs 9.4 ounces. Its silver metal casing gives it a solid feel in the hand and an industrial look. Like with the Wilson product, the CM2000-WL is easy to set up, but the finished arrangement can be bit clunky. First, you must find a place for the amplifier box. If you're in a car, we recommend stashing it under one of the front seats. Otherwise, if you're at home you can put it almost anywhere.
The CM2000-WL's outside antenna measures six inches and is composed of a sturdy but flexible metal. It has a strong magnetic base so it should stay it place on your car's roof even at high speeds. You'll need to run the connecting cable through the car door or window and attach it to the amplifier box. The wire stretches an ample 10 feet, but keep in mind that it can be a tricky process to thread the wire into your car or home while keeping it out of the away.
We also found it rather difficult to place the outside antenna in just the right spot. According to the CM2000-WL's user manual, it is only for outside use and it must be at least one foot clear of other antennas. What's more, a rather ominous "Warning" clause in the manual advises that the antenna should be placed at least three feet from any vehicle occupants. Depending on the size of your car, it may be difficult to follow all of the advisories to the letter.