Surecall N-Range 2.0 is a single user car cell signal booster. Best part about SureCall N-Range 2.0 is that it works with all North American cellular service providers.
Smartphone usage these days isn't just confined to home or office. Increasingly we use our phones in our vehicles for directions, music, and calls. And there are times we wish that the cellular signal in the car was a bit stronger. This is where Surecall N-Range 2.0 comes in.
SureCall claims that their patented Extended Range Technology (ERT) and 2XP technologies provide twice the uplink power, downlink gain, and higher Signal to Noise Ratio (SINR). So the amplified cell signal should in theory provide a meaningful gain in performance in challenging signal environments.
Cellular signal near my home is actually quite poor so I was curious if the N-Range 2.0 would help me stay connected whilst in the car.
Installing the N-Range 2.0 is quick and easy
The N-Range 2.0 box contains a large fin antenna with a really strong magnet and the cradle. Mount the antenna on the car and run the wire inside the car. Attach the cradle to a vent and plug in the lighter port. Next, connect the cradle cable to the antenna cable and you are good to go. The power plug has an on/off switch to prevent the N-Range 2.0 from draining your vehicle's battery.
While the antenna cable is quite long – 15 feet it might take a few tries to get a clean looking cable route. Also, I suggest that you tape the wire to prevent it from flailing around whilst driving. But overall setup is extremely quick and easy. Apologies for the pictures with a bunch of lint and dust – cold dry weather means lots of static.
Using the N-Range 2.0
As you can see you basically mount the phone on the cradle and that's about it. You will see that it takes a second or two before the power light turns from red to green. It is good to keep the phone at a level slightly above the green power light to ensure that there is signal amplification in the vehicle. I had no issues with my various smartphones (Realme 7, Pixel 4a 5G, and S20 FE) fitting in the cradle.
So how good is the actual performance of the N-Range 2.0?
According to SureCall the N-Range 2.0 supports bands 2/4/5/12/13/17. So that gets you coverage on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. But there is one glaring omission. If you're in an area that primarily has T-Mobile's band 71 (600MHz), which is the case in many rural areas then you are out of luck not just with this device but any other signal booster in general.
Now in my area, this unit boosts bands 2, 4, and 12 which are the main 4G LTE bands for T-Mobile in Southern California. Let's see a quick comparison using Network Cell Info Lite app in terms of signal boost.
In my particular case for Band 12 on T-mobile, the signal goes -104dBm to -84dBm. Keep in mind that for signal strength, a negative number closer to zero means a better signal. So in this case the signal saw a boost of 20dBm which is quite a decent boost.
But here's the catch. This improvement in signal didn't necessarily always translate to big jumps in data download speeds. After a few tests in different spots where I know that signal is weak, it hit me that the improvement is dependent on band and location. In some cases the jump in data speeds was significant. And in some cases, it was marginal at best. So keep in mind that actual results for each user will depend on a lot of factors. Another thing to note is that there was also no consistently big improvement in upload speeds in my use case scenario.
Basically, a boosted signal is better than a weak or no signal at all. So in that regard, the N-Range 2.0 is a good single-user cell signal booster. It is extremely easy to install and also easy to remove and for the most part, improves the 4G LTE cellular signal in your vehicle.