HANDS-ON Review: SureCall Fusion2Go Max Vehicle Cell Booster

This year, we have started to see some of the most powerful vehicle cell boosters available. Improvements in electronics have helped, and the good relationship that manufacturers have with the FCC certainly plays a part. This year’s entry from SureCall is the Fusion2Go Max. Will it beat our sky-high expectations?

How a vehicle cell booster works

Like all cellular signal boosters, a vehicle booster works by eliminating the blocking effect you get while inside. In this case, inside the vehicle. Cars aren’t designed to give you good cell service. There’s a lot of metal, and even the glass is treated to repel all sorts of radiation. It’s pretty common to have at least one less bar inside than outside. In areas where cell reception is spotty, this can be the difference between having reception and not having reception.

Advanced boosters like the Fusion2Go Max take it a step further. They use a large outdoor antenna that works better than your phone could. Then, using advanced electronics, they actually provide better reception than you could get otherwise. With a powerful booster it’s not impossible to go from one bar outside to 5 bars inside.

Looking at the Fusion2Go Max

If you’re familiar with SureCall’s product line, you won’t see anything new here. Every piece looks identical to the older Fusion2Go 3.0. The difference is inside in the electronics. But, for those folks who haven’t seen one, let’s take a look, starting with an unboxing video.

SureCall generally does very nice retail packaging. Of course everything you get at Solid Signal is shipped, but the extra effort doesn’t go unnoticed. This is sturdy packaging that will make sure that you get everything in perfect condition.

The booster itself looks like it means business. This isn’t some sort of imitation. You get solid metal here and bolted on connectors. The mounting points are nice and thick, This booster is designed to last the life of the car.

The outdoor antenna is a shark fin design which will look good on any vehicle. It has a built in magnet for steel roofs. If you have an all-glass roof which is more and more common today you have your choice of mounting on the trunk or using industrial adhesive to hold the antenna in place.

The indoor antenna is a panel type which looks like it will hold up better than the monopole type used in other boosters. It also should mount easily to a dash. I found the best performance when the logo was facing me.

You also get the power adapter with a lighter socket (utility socket) connector. In the past I’ve found SureCall’s socket connectors to be a bit too tight. Also they don’t come with a USB passthrough. So, you’ll be unplugging and replugging this booster unless you get a splitter or something. If you don’t get a splitter I’d recommend getting a short socket extender so that there won’t be any damage from unplugging and plugging in that tight connector.

Installation

This is as easy as it comes, but it does vary from vehicle to vehicle. The booster itself is designed to mount to the floorboard, usually under the seat. If you don’t want to mount it permanently, industrial velcro should keep it in place. Secure the outdoor antenna to the highest possible point on the vehicle and mount the indoor antenna on the dash in such a way that the logo is facing you.

From there, snake the cables under the carpet if you want and you’re all set. Be sure to leave enough slack to plug in and unplug the lighter socket adapter if you don’t thing you’ll use it permanently. If you do want a permanent installation you can wire directly to the car’s 12 volt system but I would put an inline fuse in there just in case.

Performance

SureCall says that this booster has double the power in the low bands, which is where most data signals are. They also tout their extended range technology and say that the booster has better Signal-To-Noise Ratio than last year’s model. That’s always important with digital signals because it determines how much amplification you can use effectively.

I tested the Fusion2Go Max against last year’s Fusion2Go 3.0 booster. Both boosters were installed as similarly as I could, and I kept the distance from the indoor antenna to the phone the same in all tests, about one foot. All numbers are in dB of gain over the same tests with no booster. Results were gathered using a professional cellular signal meter. Here are the results:

As you can see the Fusion2Go Max outperforms last year’s model by a large margin. I found the most improvement in the 800MHz band where the Fusion2Go Max had a scorching 20dB boost.

Any improvement in signal is going to help you but when you’re seeing in the lower bands especially is that you’re getting at least 8dB gain. This can easily be the difference between no bars and usable bars.

Conclusions

No question in my mind this is a powerhouse booster. If you talk on the phone for business, you’re going to want something really industrial like this booster. Unlike cradle boosters it gives strong boost for the whole car. Your rideshare buddies will appreciate it and your customers will too. Get the SureCall Fusion2Go Max now at Solid Signal.