Having never used a wireless hotspot my interests lay in a few areas: Speed, Performance and Battery Life.
Connecting to the hotspot was surprisingly simple. It lists the SSID (network name) and password on its display. Since the SSID is shared it shows up as an available network on both computers and devices. You simply enter the password and connect.
My stress test for the device was to stream as much video on a HSPA+ “4G” connection as I could without negatively effecting the quality of the stream. For the record LTE 4G, the fastest wireless connection the device supports , is not available in my area.
In this test I streamed a movie from Netflix to my Samsung Focus and television episodes from Hulu to my ASUS 1005HA netbook. Surprisingly, both streams had minimal buffering and very good performance easily comparable with my home internet connection. When I first connected the 2nd device the hotspot restarted on its own, but picked back up within minutes. This happened only one other time while testing the device on a different day. I added an 3rd device to the mix, an additional PC streaming YouTube content. Doing this caused buffering that became a little annoying, approximately once every 5 minutes. I decided to remove the third device after about 20 minutes to see if streaming quality remained high as it did before. It did.
During this test I streamed 1GB of data in a matter of 3 hours and 22 minutes before the battery on the hotspot gave out. Keep in mind streaming 2 video feeds to 2 devices for over three hours is not a normal use case.
The likelihood of you exceeding your data cap is also minimized by the fact the display shows your current total data usage on its screen (see photos).
|FCC Consumer Broadband Test||Full 4G (HSPA+)||7314 kbps||1692 kbps||78 ms||22 ms||In a very good coverage area|
|DSL Reports||2 Bars 4G (HSPA+)||1681 kbps||197 kbps||57 ms||n/a||A spotty area sometimes dropping to EDGE|
|DSL Reports||2 Bars 4G (HSPA+)||972 kbps||185 kbps||57 ms||n/a||A spotty area sometimes dropping to EDGE|
The only current data plan available for hotspots is the 5 GB plan which is currently available for $50 per month.
The device itself is $69.99 with a two year contract and $269.99 with no commitment.
I enjoyed my time with the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G. The device is a nice size, somewhat solid feeling, with a soft rubber case. Connecting to the device was simple. Connections took little time and besides the 2 random reboots mentioned above, were reliable. I was very impressed with the speeds over HSPA+. I wish I could have had the chance to test it over 4G LTE. Battery life was good, given my stress test, yet I wasn’t sure if it could meet the 5 hours listed in the specifications. Charging is accomplished via a micro usb cable and the device also has a button lock and 2 external antennae connectors. The 1800 mAh battery is removable so you could easily carry around a spare for extended time. My overall impression with the hotspot was positive and I believe the device would serve anyone looking to connect multiple devices on the go, assuming you are in an AT&T coverage area.
- 1800 mAh Lithium Ion
- Use time
- Up to 5 hours
- Size (inches)
- 3.8 x 2.2 x 0.7 inches
- 3.6 ounces
- Expandable memory storage up to 32 GB
- Memory format microSD
- 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- HSDPA, 850/1900/2100 MHz
- 4G LTE Speeds
- 4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ (with enhanced backhaul) or LTE, where available
- Display size
- 1.77 inches
- 160×128 pixels
- Color LCD
I am an AT&T mobile and UVerse internet customer. AT&T is not compensating me for this review. My opinions expressed above represent my true thoughts.