ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 13, 2008
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im looking to upgrade an old iPad with LTE to a new pro with the most storage.

But I’m curious is cellular even worth it or necessary? iPhones have okay hot spot functionality — and I’ve maybe used the cellular data plan on my iPad twice in the few years I owned it, mainly as a just in case. Curious if it holds any value as well
 

Richard8655

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
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Chicago
I can’t imagine ever buying a cellular iPad. There are so many hotspots these days if traveling with it (I don’t). Maybe during long commutes on public transportation doing work or just have to be connected to the web at all times. But to me it’s an unneeded expense both with a data plan and the additional cost of the iPad.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
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I’ve never bought one simply because I can hook on to public hotspots and if I need to do anything sensitive then I can use my phone to create a private hotspot.
 
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mk313

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Feb 6, 2012
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I think you already have your answer. If you currently have one and have only used the data twice, it sounds like you are better off with the WiFi model. Sure there is probably a small resale benefit to having the cellular version, but it’s going to be less than the $130 extra you’ll pay up front ( not even including mg the time value of money). The only other advantage is the gps included in the cellular models. If you don’t have a need for that, save the money and go for the WiFi version.
 
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AHDuke99

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2002
2,227
42
Charleston, SC
With unlimited cell phone plans with hot spots, it makes no sense to buy a cellular iPad anymore. I can just use my phone as a hotspot and not pay anything extra.
 
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TinyChip

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2015
166
100
California
But I’m curious is cellular even worth it or necessary? iPhones have okay hot spot functionality...

The hotspot function on the iPhone is not just “okay” it actually works very well. When the iPhone hotspot is turned on, you have 3 ways to connect to the hotspot: wifi, bluetooth, or usb.

Option 1: Bluetooth — I never choose bluetooth tether because it is super slow. Option 2: Wifi — I prefer this because of convenience of no wires. Option 3: USB — You’ll see the fastest data speed when you connect the iPad to iPhone using a lightning cable and Apple USB camera adapter ($29).

I have LTE on T-mobile, the data speeds are 60 Mbps (download), 18 Mbps (upload). But when I set up my iPhone X as wifi hotspot, my iPad Pro 10.5 (wifi model) data speeds are 39 Mbps (download), 10 Mbps (upload). Sure, there is a speed reduction, but the hotspot speeds are still better than “okay”. If you want much faster hotspot speeds then you should consider buying the Apple USB camera adapter.
 
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s2mikey

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Sep 23, 2013
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Upstate, NY
I’m probably in the minority here but I wouldn’t buy an iPad without cell support. I really love having the option since I don’t tether my phone and don’t really care to connect to Public WiFi. Also, if we are at a place without WiFi or its bad then the cell connection is a blessing.

You also don’t have to sign any contracts or overpay. Just about every carrier has good value plans for iPads where you kind of pay as you go or as you need data. Works perfectly for me. That’s my 3 cents.
 

mk313

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2012
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I think the iPad with cellular is a good deal and I use mine all the time but if you only use the cellular connection a few times a year and your phone has hotspot capability, the cellular iPad is probably overkill.

As mentioned above, there are some really good deals on cellular data. In the us, t mobile offers a 5 gig 4g data package for $10 that is good for up to 150 days, which is a fantastic value in my opinion.
 

sparksd

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2015
5,085
3,897
Seattle WA
I think the iPad with cellular is a good deal and I use mine all the time but if you only use the cellular connection a few times a year and your phone has hotspot capability, the cellular iPad is probably overkill.

As mentioned above, there are some really good deals on cellular data. In the us, t mobile offers a 5 gig 4g data package for $10 that is good for up to 150 days, which is a fantastic value in my opinion.

I went with cellular on my Air 2 because I wanted GPS but the LTE is convenient when needed - and I opted for the T-Mobile 5GB/5mo package. Worked so well that I again went with cellular when I recently ordered a new 10.5.
 
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lyngo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2007
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It’s not just the cellular that you pay for, the WiFi model doesn’t come with GPS. Cellular includes it.
 
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ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 13, 2008
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Thanks, forgot about GPS which is what used when using it the few times. still liked the 9” form factor 10.5 isn’t bad
 

KiwiAdventure

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Dec 7, 2010
607
304
New Zealand
Never rely on hotspots they are dangerous.
If your reason is not to do with cost then go with LTE and if its cost wait until you can by the LTE.
I would not be without our 2 iPad Pros LTE & GPS.
 
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Jinkst

macrumors 6502
Oct 11, 2008
389
111
London via Sydney
Bought a cellular iPad Mini a few years ago, put a pay as you go SIM in it and don’t think I ever actually used it. To each their own, but if you have a data plan on your phone that would cover both devices when outside WiFi then WiFi only with a hotspot option if needed would be (is) my direction, especially with the no extra cost on data when traveling to a lot of places in Europe and back to Australia now for myself.
 

Cobalt50

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2015
126
60
I have wifi + cellular. When I drive to unfamiliar places I use the GPS with Maps an awful lot. It has helped me many times.

Otherwise, I don't have much use for it. But in an unfamiliar city or road system it has been valuable.
 

Richard8655

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,425
941
Chicago
My cell phone has GPS with full directional mapping without a cellular data plan. So my thinking is only needing a WiFi iPad, and using free GPS on the cell phone when out and about and needing directions.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
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Never rely on hotspots they are dangerous.
If your reason is not to do with cost then go with LTE and if its cost wait until you can by the LTE.
I would not be without our 2 iPad Pros LTE & GPS.

Why is a private hotspot dangerous?
 

baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,833
792
This question has been covered previously in years gone by so I will repeat my response. Public wifi is inherently risky. A sharp computer major sitting at the same coffee shop as you can see everything on your computer in real time. Stick with cellular.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
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This question has been covered previously in years gone by so I will repeat my response. Public wifi is inherently risky. A sharp computer major sitting at the same coffee shop as you can see everything on your computer in real time. Stick with cellular.

In that sense the person doesn’t really need to be that sharp.
 
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bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,470
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The Village
As others have said, it really depends on you and how you use it.

Personally, I use Cellular on my iPad all the time - sometimes even over free Wifi (my LTE is generally faster).
Some of the disadvantages of a "hot spot" for me:
  • You're depleting the battery of both the phone and the iPad. Again, this isn't bad if you don't use it often or for long periods of time.
  • Connection time - you still have to go through the action of connecting to your phone. It may be only seconds, but it's still more than just taking out the iPad and doing what I want to do immediately. Add to that the extra time it takes when it "fails to connect" (which happens all too often).
  • You can only use connected apps when it's connected to a hotspot (or WiFi). This seems like it would be obvious, but there are a lot of things the iPad can't do when it's off-line.
  • Hot Spot Data - don't know about anybody else, but Verizon limits Unlimited HotSpot data to 10 GB (again, not a huge problem, especially for "light" iPad users - but if you use your hotspot for other devices, it can add up).

In the end, it all boils down to what you want to do with it. I would never want to use an iPad with a hot spot. Personally, I would rather have cellular connectivity on my iPad and no phone rather than trying to do a hotspot. When I travelled overseas, Verizon allowed me to use all of my regular LTE data at the cost of $10 per line, per day - so I chose to activate only the iPad data with cellular because it was more useful than the phone and trying to hotspot every time i wanted a connection.

Just a personal experience, but to me Hot Spots are only for people who might only want to use cellular data once or twice a month and are in the mindset of connecting (i.e. it's more than just checking mail or other "quick" data uses).
 

The Game 161

macrumors Penryn
Dec 15, 2010
25,833
14,581
UK
im looking to upgrade an old iPad with LTE to a new pro with the most storage.

But I’m curious is cellular even worth it or necessary? iPhones have okay hot spot functionality — and I’ve maybe used the cellular data plan on my iPad twice in the few years I owned it, mainly as a just in case. Curious if it holds any value as well
Honestly not sure I will ever buy an ipad again without cellular. Perfect for my usage and needs when at work and on the go,
 
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