Wrong! You cannot "boost the radio" to get better reception. Reception is a function of the receiver and not one of output power. This is dictated by the gain of the antenna and receiver sensitivity. Depending on the band in use, that would be around -103 dBm TIS (Total Isotropic sensitivity).
Of course, this is an average in free space measured in a sphere. There will certainly be angles at which the performance is poor relative to the peak sensitivity.
True, the phone cannot "boost the radio" to get better reception. But the phone is a bidirectional device and also has a transmitter. The phone will boost the transmission power to maintain contact with the cell tower. That will manifest itself as heat and a decrease in battery life.