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Engadget Mobile Reviews the Sprint AIRAVE

Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 11:30 AM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell


I reported recently that the AIRAVE was confirmed for August 17th. Just a few more days to wait for those of you on Sprint who live in a dead zone and don't get a decent signal on your Treo or Centro.

I've been wondering how the AIRAVE would fare and I was happy to see that Engadget Mobile has posted a review today. Engadget Mobile's Darren Murph has done a nice review with some hands on pics.

After talking about the design of the AIRAVE, Darren says that the device requires that a GPS lock is found before it begins operating, and it's required that the lock puts you within the United States. So the AIRAVE will only be useful here in the states.

The AIRAVE seemed to perform very well and did indeed improve the signal strength of the phone that Engadget Mobile used in their test. A Samsung UpStage was tested in a home with awful Sprint coverage. The Samsung UpStage was used in the home for a whole month and only had 0 to 1 bars and dropped countless calls. And like my pathetic signal here in my office where my Centro barely gets one bar, the guys at Engadget Mobile had to go to a certain spot in the house and remain there for the duration of the conversations so they could hear.

Once the AIRAVE was setup and used, the signal strength on the UpStage really improved.

From the review:

It should be mentioned that our signal strength indicator shot up from 1 bar to 5 bars immediately after the AIRAVE was finished with its lengthy boot-up process. We walked around to various nooks and crannies and never saw the bars dip below 3. Remember folks, this is all happening in a house that never saw 3 bars of Sprint service prior to the AIRAVE being powered on. Upon dialing our first test subject, we heard a brief double beep just before the ringing began to let us know that the call was being funneled through the AIRAVE. A nice touch, we must say.
After surviving a few hours of small talk with random individuals deep down in our contact list (did we mention that out loud?), we can pretty much sum up our impressions with this: the AIRAVE makes an unquestionable, unmistakable difference in call quality and reception in homes that currently have subpar or altogether poor Sprint service. To be honest, the calls were as clear as we had ever heard from a cellphone, and we really had to look twice at our UpStage to confirm that we weren't on a landline. And, mind you, this was talking to other cellies on different networks, not just landline numbers.

Sounds like Engadget Mobile was pretty impressed with the Sprint AIRAVE. They weren't too crazy about the $4.99 monthly fees but seemed overall impressed with the AIRAVE.

Now if AT&T would just come out with a similar product for those of us that are suffering with the dead zone syndrome. I'll be one of the first in line for it if and when that happens. ;-) My AT&T Centro has one bar at this very moment. If I were to walk into my living room, I'd have two bars. If I sat on the couch by the window, it might go up to three bars. I would happily buy a product like the Sprint AIRAVE.

Head over to Engadget Mobile and read the full review.

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