Just because you need a stronger cellular signal in your home doesn't mean you have to settle for a drab black box with a nearby antenna jutting out. The SureCall Flare handles the boosting task with style, housing the parts you need for a stronger signal in a silver tower that looks like something Frank Gehry might have sketched if he had turned his attention from architecture to networking gear.
You can have SureCall Flare out in plain sight without it clashing with your decor. More importantly, because the Flare houses both the antenna and the booster in a single case, you're cutting down on the parts you have to put around the house.
Availability: The SureCall Flare ships in February.
Key Specs: SureCall's Frankie Smith says the Flare can boost signals from all carriers to up to 2,500 square feet, with the ability to support 8 to 10 users at the same time. The Flare has a maximum gain of 72dB.
What's New: It's the design that sets apart the Flare, to the point where SureCall says it has a patent pending. Combining the indoor antenna with the signal booster simplifies setup, and SureCall says combining the two doesn't compromise the ability of the Flare to boost signal strength.
Outlook: Given the Flare's ability to handle multiple users at once, you might think the signal booster was geared toward small offices. But Smith says it has consumer appeal, particularly among the DIY crowd. At the very least, it's networking gear that you won't feel the need to tuck away somewhere.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.