(Review) Verizon Samsung 4G mifi with iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by pvmacguy, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. pvmacguy, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Jax
    #1
    After a long wait for Verizon to release their first 4G MiFi device, I was finally able to pick one up from work today. So far I have been very pleased and wanted to give you guys a mini review of some kind just in-case anyone has been thinking about getting one.

    The Device

    At first I was a little wary about getting one of these because Samsung is not known at all for producing any mobile broad-band products, and I believe this is their first at the rodeo with the Verizon LTE MiFi. So far I have been very pleased with the build quality and the performance of the device, (far better than the Novatel MiFi 2200 I previously had)

    [​IMG]

    Pulling the MiFi out of the box you will notice that it seems slightly larger than Verizon's MiFi 2200, There are 3 status lights on the device 4G indicator 3G indicator and a WiFi activity light. I will say the lights on this device are bright and visible and not too extreme like on other devices. Materials are a soft rubbery feeling plastic, with a glossy section near the logos and lights/power button.

    [​IMG]

    The back is also the same smooth material and there are no rubber feet or nubs which is somewhat disappointing because it tends to want to slide if you are in the car or on a slick surface but that issue is somewhat minimal. The WiFi credentials sticker is featured under the back instead of directly on the back like with the previous Verizon MiFi which is somewhat of an inconvenience which I will explain later. Another design feature I quite enjoy on this one is the little door on the side that slides open/close to cover the Micro USB power port which is very nice compared to no cover or those dangling pop open ones.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Performance and Usage

    So far Verizon's 4G in my area has been amazing! I was at first skeptical of their 5-12mbps rating but I have been easily getting 10 to an blazing 19 mbps down! Uploads have also been very consistent and equally astounding at an average between 5 to 15 mbps. Verizon touts their ability to achieve these speeds by their low latency which ping have been very low from anywhere 75-100ms.

    [​IMG]

    Battery life has also been pretty darn good considering utilizing 4G does take quite a bit of Juice. The device will easily last me 4-8 hours and the ability to adjust power settings through a browser log in is also a nice touch where you can customize a stand-by time from anywhere between 10min-60min of inactivity which will reduce power consumption. I really like the web-based interface to log into the unit and change the SSID and also the encryption key to what ever you would like. That feature was great because like I said the credentials sticker is under the back so if you can't memorize the default encryption password you have to take the back off every time to read it off to yourself or someone else who you are wanting to connect to the device.

    [​IMG]

    Use with iPad

    Use with my Original iPad was super simple as you would expect, connect to the network and you are good to go. The Samsung MiFi allows the iPad to utilize N-draft wifi which is a nice feature as well. Loading websites on the iPad were great there was no lag and I felt as if I were surfing the web on my home WiFi network due to the LTE average of about 12 mbps. The iPad is also able to open the devices browser settings page so you can change those directly from your iPad no computer required which was also nice. Once downside was the app Verizon had to check data usage from the original MiFi 2200 does not work with the new 4G MiFi. Hopefully they will release an update soon.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    This is a great device and far superior in every way to the MiFi 2200 and also Verizon's 3G data speeds. Yes 4G coverage is limited to about 40 markets right now but it is growing quick and if you are in one of those 40 or so markets this might be a great option for you if you have just a WiFi iPad or want 4G speeds I would highly recommend this device to you.
     
  2. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #3
    Looks nice, but I'm personally waiting for the Novatel 4G MiFi which I'm hoping is any day now. My MiFi 2200 still chugs along perfectly and I've been very happy with it performance-wise and all around.

    One interesting test might be the MiFi 2200 and the new Samsung 4G side-by-side on the *3G* network. Is there any tangible difference performance-wise there? 4G is just too limited to use as the sole metric at this time, and for the foreseeable future.
     
  3. pvmacguy, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
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    #4
    Monthly cost
    $50-5Gb
    $80-10Gb

    Device Cost
    Device online: $99 with a 2 yr agreement
    In-store: $149/$50 mail in rebate.

    Rate plan prices are applicable on month to month, 1 yr and 2 yr agreements. Only thing that changes is the price of the mifi.

    Also: activation fee of $35 for new acts. If your a Verizon customer already and upgrading to one of these no.
     
  4. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
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    #5
    I will run that comparison for you tomorrow when I can grab a demo 3G MiFi 2200. As far as the Novatel 4G MiFi we have no ETA on the launch of that one but I can see where people will hold off for that one.
     
  5. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2008
    #6
    Would be very interested and much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  6. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2010
    #7
    Monthly plan is too expensive. If I were to live in areas with 4g, it may replace home internet. However, $50 for 5 gb is not enough.
     
  7. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #8
    It would be nice if it were not time limited like 5gb for 50 dollars with no time limit. If you were to use 1 gb in one month, 4 gb is wasted.
     
  8. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #9
    Unfortunately the direction all mobile data plans are heading to is a denomination of GB per month. The $50 is in-line with pricing from rival carries AT&T and Sprint which one of the two also offers 4G coverage as well. Their plans are also capped at 5GB and I don't believe either of those two offer a higher GB plan like Verizon does.

    I do understand this isn't an option for everyone but thought I would put a review out for people that are interested in other alternatives on the market right now.
     
  9. jbiz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #10
    looks kind of large.. not sure i want to lug that around too, plus a power adapter..
     
  10. Torq macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #11
    Sprint's 4G equivalent (via the Sierra Wireless Overdrive) is $59/month for unlimited 4G (only 3G connections have a 5Gb/month cap).

    That said WiMax, which is what Sprint's 4G is based around wasn't originally designed for mobile devices (where as LTE specifically IS) - it's a last-mile solution. Consequently if you're actually moving Sprint's 4G plays hell staying connected.
     
  11. lionqueen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #12
    Great review, thanks :) btw, just fyi, "weary" means tired. I think you meant "wary", which means careful or watchful :)
     
  12. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #13
    No problem, glad you liked it. And yes I did mean to use wary... Changed. Thanks :)
     
  13. jomo25 macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #14
    Thanks, I was strongly considering getting one of these also. Even though I have JB'd iPhone 4 which I can use a hotspot, I was thinking this could be worth getting. In the end, I decided to hold off. I couldn't justify the extra expense at this time.

    I just ordered a WiFi only iPad2, so I will need some way to tether to enable the iPad to be used anywhere. I always have my phone with me, so, I don't need the 3G in the iPad. But I wondered if the 4G speed might be worth it (amazing speeds BTW). Or if AT&T continues their witch hunt for unofficial tetherers and I got pinched, then I'd consider this again instead of opting for the official Hotspot feature stuck at 3G speeds and losing my unlimited data. Furthermore, I figured having both AT&T and Verizon data capabilities would give me even more coverage in the most places since I'd always have 2 networks to choose from.

    But like I said, I'll hold off for now, but will reconsider later if the prices drop on the device, since I'd likely only want to go month-to-month instead of signing a 1 or 2 year commitment.

    Thanks again for the review and details!
     
  14. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #15
    As I've stated before, LTE with data caps is pointless. Until carriers build out networks that can handle the traffic 4G is a gimmick to bend people over for thing like $80 for 10gigs. The iPad on LTE could literally hit the data cap in a few hours streaming video. Sling player will pull up to about 1.2mb on ATT 3G which eats up right around 800megs an hour. LTE is great when I am stuck somewhere and wanted to pass the time on Hulu or Netflix but the data caps make it an impossible situation.

    It's a money grab for now, and one I'll be passing up. Mobile 4G data and all the hype they advertise is pure ******** to me. Here is your 700 HP Ferarri, oh but you only have 2 miles of paved road to drive on. Have fun...
     
  15. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #16
    +1! The only 4G service I'd ever consider is Sprint's 'real' unlimited service. Then again, that might be gone before the dark blue on the map moves 30 miles north of Cincinnati :(
     
  16. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
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    #17
    I think you've missed the point of a device like this, these are great alternatives to built in 3G modems in devices because A. This device offers fantastic 4G speeds that sprint and their wimax network beg to achieve, and also allows sharing your connection to up to 5 devices. B. I feel you are thinking this device is to replace th dedicated landline connection which it is not, it is to complement it and be able to use this out and about for example frequent travelers this is a great tool for them to utilize. And if you think these plans will ever go to unlimited I feel your dreams are far fetched, I mean look at smartphone data plans, most of them are turning to a capped GB amount. These MiFi devices and air cars have had data caps for years now.
     
  17. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #18
    Good review. Thanks.

    Does anyone else feel we are getting torn a new one with these data plans? It seems as unlimited plans go away, owning this stuff keeps getting more and more expensive. I would love to buy this but the 1 or 2 year comittment plus the data cap is just too much for me. The only way these companies are going to take notice is if we vote with our wallets. I sure as heck will be voting with mine.

    Heck, at least give us a prepay option. I would at least go for that. But just don't shove a long term dataplan down my throat and then tell me I can only use is up to a certain point per month.
     
  18. techiegirl macrumors 6502a

    techiegirl

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    #19
    I'm using HTC Thunderbolt with Verizon's free hotspot until 5/15. It's unlimited LTE data. My hotspot speed is faster than my cable modem at home.
     
  19. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #20
    Verizon does offer a prepay data plan for a 3G USB modem and it's $80 for 5GB! Which that is completely insane!

    How is your battery life on your thunderbolt?
     
  20. techiegirl macrumors 6502a

    techiegirl

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    #21
    About the same as it was with the Evo. I have 4g service at work and at home and have hotspot on all day while I'm at work. I use 2 batteries a day. Thanks goodness for spare batteries.
     
  21. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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  22. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #23
    I know about that plan but nothing for this device?

    Agree that $80 is too much but at least its not a long term plan. For the business traveler or the occasional family traveler, it's a bargan especially when you can feed up to 5 devices.
     
  23. pvmacguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #24
    Yeah that plan is only for one specific device which is the Novatel USB 760 PPD modem. You can't get that $80 for 5gb on the 4G hot spot or any of the 4G USB modems.
     
  24. kvizzel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #25
    Wouldn't sacrificing LTE for ATT's 3G be a better deal?

    Purchasing an unlimited data sim off ebay... I know they are expensive, but if your data heavy, that's a better thing to consider.
     

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