Most Powerful Cell Signal Booster with Simplified Install for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile Devices
There is nothing more annoying than being on a phone call with a service provider and having that call suddenly drop. I’ve had that happen to me more times than I can count. The worst instances are when it literally took an hour to get a hold of a human agent only to have the call end without warning. In this day and age, landlines are thing of the past. Very few households still have them and so most people utilize their cell phones as their main option for voice calls. A few years back, I lived in a dead zone. I had monthly calls to our mobile provider about the issues and the only thing they did was provide a cell phone signal booster (femtocell base station) for the house. Back then, the only way to get a signal booster of that sort was through the service provider. Now, there are companies like SureCall who make it possible for consumers to get a full-service booster unit for their homes without any hassle. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to test out the FlareDB+ from SureCall to see how well it would work for our house and the surrounding property.
The FlareDB+ is designed to boost voice and 4G LTE data speeds for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile devices. SureCall has the claim on the product page that it’s the “most powerful cell phone signal booster of its kind.” It is designed to have a simplified installation for mid-size (up to 3,500 square feet) homes. The FlareDB+ package includes SureCall’s powerful outdoor yagi antenna and the indoor signal booster with omni-directional antenna in one housing. This design allows for more coverage than traditional booster designs. The one-piece base unit is meant to be placed on and open tabletop or shelf for easier installation. SureCall features US-based customer support. The FlareDB+ has a 3-year warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee, and is FCC approved.
- Boosts voice & 4G LTE for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
- Improves cellular connectivity inside any home, cabin or small building in 2-4 rooms, up to 3,500 sq ft
- 2XP technology delivers twice the uplink power when compared to the closest competitor to maintain connectivity in the weakest signal areas
- Reduces missed and dropped calls and increases 4G LTE data speeds
- Supports multiple simultaneous users
- 5G Phone Compatible – Boosts voice and 4G LTE data signals on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile 5G devices
- FCC-approved booster system with one-time simple DIY install & no recurring fees
- Assembled and tested in the USA
|Part Number: SC-FlareDB|
|Uplink Frequency Range (MHz): 698-716 / 776-787 (Bands: 12, 13)|
|Downlink Frequency Range (MHz): 728-746 / 746-757 (Bands: 12, 13)|
|Donor/Server Port Impedance: 75 Ohm / 50 Ohm|
|Maximum Gain: 72 dB|
|Noise Figure: 7 dB|
|Supported Standards: CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+, EVDO 4G LTE and all cellular standards|
|AC Input: Input: AC 110 – 240 V, 60 Hz ; Output: DC 5V / 3A|
|Maximum Output Power: 1 Watt EIRP|
|Cable: RG-6 (50 ft)|
|RF Connector: F-Female|
|Power Consumption: <12W|
|Weight: 1.81 lb|
|Dimensions: 5.125″ × 7.25″ × 5.625″|
The FlareDB+ comes in a fairly nondescript brown cardboard box. There is an identifying sticker on the outside that lets the consumer know what product they are getting, but other than that, it’s pretty plain. The manual provides extensive instructions on how to install the system in your home. The first step is to mount the outdoor antenna. This should be done at the highest level possible. For most people, it will be their roof. The FlareDB+ is designed to be attached to a pole or pipe (not included) and they provide all the hardware for that type of installation. SureCall provides 50 feet of coaxial cable to allow for you to run the cable from the outside to the inside of your home. For me, this was the most difficult part of the installation – figuring out where to mount it. We do have satellite TV as a service so we ended up installing it on that pole along with the dish.
The next most difficult part is running in the cable. The instructions suggest that you place the antenna and the booster at least 25 feet apart and the example provided in the instructions has the cable routing through the roof, attic, and around the borders of walls in the example home. I know from my experience watching cable installers that properly hiding coaxial cable involves drilling holes through floors, walls and ceilings. My point in saying this is to be prepared for some moderate construction when installing this booster.
In order to be able to mount the antenna outside, you have to attached the mounting bracket to the bottom of the casing. The bolts to attach the bracket come pre-installed in the antenna case. The provided u-bolt and bracket wrap around poles and then the bolts tighten onto the mounting bracket. After the antenna is mounted, you are instructed to connect the coaxial cable to the extension on the antenna case and run it to the place where the booster will be located. The booster should be in a central location in your home and able to connect to the coaxial cable from the antenna to it. We chose our kitchen table because it is located at the center of our house. It’s suggested that you connect the coaxial cable to the booster prior to attaching the power cable.
Once you power the booster on, you will see a series of LEDs that indicate the status of the FlareDB+ system. The chart from the manual below indicates what each LED represents.
So, how do you know if the FlareDB+ is working? The user manual states that “bars are not always a reliable measure of signal” and that the best way to confirm a signal is to be able to place and hold a call without being disconnected. The manual also suggests putting a phone in field test mode and check the number of decibels (dB) a phone is receiving. These are the three areas we tested the FlareDB+ with.
BARS: We have Verizon as our wireless carrier. For the most part, bars on our iPhones (iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max) are at 100%. There are times, however, that the 11 Pro Max drops a bar or two depending on where it is in the house. With this in mind, we were hoping the Booster would provide a more consistent signal. Before the booster was installed, the iPhone 11 Pro Max had a 2-bar signal. This was out of 4 bars. After the booster was connected it gained one bar.
HOLDING A CALL: This is another area where we’ve never really had an issue inside the house unless the other party drops the call. After the booster was installed, signal was still consistent and we made several calls without any issues.
DECIBEL SIGNAL: This is the method of testing that is most recommended by SureCall as well as other booster companies. Cell Phone signal strength is measured in decibels (dB) and when a phone is in field test mode, a user can access the phone’s actual signal strength. The number is expressed in a negative integer so the lower the numeric figure the higher the signal. According to signalboosters.com, “Usually -50 dB represents great signal (full bars) and -110 dB is virtually no signal (dead zone).” When you view the field test mode, there are a lot of abbreviations listed. In order to judge the strength of the signal, you want to look for the rsrp0 figure. “rsrp” stands for Reference Signal Received Power and the “0” references the primary cell tower the phone is connected to. There is also a rsrp1 listed. That is the next closest tower.
With that in mind, I took several screenshots at various locations throughout the house. I have included the screenshots below in order of when they were taken. You will notice that the figures bounce around from line-to-line and so I compiled the data into a graph for easier analysis. At the point where the graph reaches -59 dB, that is when the signal booster was activated. Shortly after that, we deactivated the booster to see if the signal would drop again. And as you can see, it did.
I was in complete shock about how poor our signal actually was in our house. I had never put my phone into field test mode before and so, I assumed (incorrectly) that our full bars and non-dropped calls was an accurate representation of our signal strength. Now that I know otherwise, I’m glad that signal boosters are an option for consumers without having to go to your cell provider to get them. Even though the installation takes some leg work, I think the FlareDB+ from SureCall is an easy system to work with. After the outdoor antenna is installed, your phone automatically gets the new signal and there is very little you have to do at that point other than make sure the booster is getting power. At the time of this article posting, the FlareDB+ retails for $207 on sale ($249 regular price).