Thursday, September 26, 2013

Smart LTE Pocket Wifi Review

LTE has been the must-have nowadays when talking about mobile internet connectivity. Currently, phones that can connect to the LTE network has a premium price tag attached to it. On the average, popular branded phones with LTE costs more than 20,000 and those not so branded like ZTE (don't confuse it with LTE) costs around 13-17k.

Last year, when Smart launched their LTE service, they already have a few non-mobile phone gadgets that can connect to the LTE network, including LTE dongles and LTE mifis. Just this year, I decided to get one for myself since I don't want to keep tethering the LTE data connection from Smart from my iPhone 5.

The device I have is the ZTE MF93d. Here's what's included in the package:
-(1) ZTE MF93d Mifi
-Wall charger
-USB data cable/ Charger
-Manuals

The Good
With 3000mah, the battery could stand heavy usage and last around 8 or more hours! That is pretty impressive considering my old pocket wifi can only last an hour or so.




Also, you can attach an external antenna to it and this could be very useful if you have signal problems where you stay. For just 500 pesos, this omnidirectional antenna turned a room in my house from no signal to full five bars!

Comparing it to older mifis, this can accommodate up to 10 devices and of course, the best thing about getting this device is the constant LTE signal you'll be supplying to ALL 10 of your gadgets! This will depend where you are but worry not as Smart is the network here in the Philippines that's reliable and has the widest LTE coverage! Smart covers almost all the major cities I went to in Metro Manila (if not all) but some selected areas might have limited coverage.

The bad
You have to lug around an extra gadget that might be as big as your current phone. If you think about it, it's a small sacrifice to get all your gadgets connected to the LTE network. Imagine waiting for a video to load that keeps on buffering or needing to send something and waiting forever to send. Sometimes, time is of the essence.

Another problem I can see is that if your internet connection is bundled with the number you are using to call and SMS people. When you put that sim inside the mifi, you can still receive sms but you cannot get calls. Other than diverting all calls to another mobile number which will cost you more, just get a Smart prepaid LTE sim to put in this mifi.

Although you can sms using the mifi's control panel, it wont be as convenient because you need to go to 192.168.1.1> login > click on sms > send or read sms compared to when using your mobile phone, you just go to messages and so your thing.

More ZTE MF93d photos:
WPS Button / MicroSD card slot / Sim slot (Regular sim)
Dual-antenna ports
Dual antenna ports when covered


Apart from those mentioned above, I can see that the benefits outweigh the negative side of it. This is why I highly recommend that you invest in one because in the end, you can save more money rather than getting a connection for all your devices AND, you can save time by having as much as 40x faster internet connection! Think of it as spending that money to buy time. You can't buy time, can you? Well, here it is. Sometimes you can. To reserve your unit now, go to: http://www1.smart.com.ph/bro/prepaid-lte-pocket-wifi-reservation

Update: Smart has now a Smart Bro Dashboard so you can easily monitor your usage. More details here: http://smrt.ph/brodashboard

More info? Check out:
Smart LTE coverage
Smart LTE plans and packages
Smart LTE pocket wifi

Cheftonio
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2 comments:

richard lapesigue said...

Good day,

I'm interested in that omnidirectional antenna you're using. Where can I get one?

Thanks

winnie said...

You need TS 9 connector for ZTE MF93D, refer to: http://www.smart4gwifi.com/dual-4g-lte-external-antenna.html