Samsung 4G LTE Hotspot [Verizon] Review
Just about a week ago I picked up a hot (no pun intended*) new device from my Verizon Wireless contact. It’s the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. Or as I like to call it: The SCH–LC11. Not really. We’ll stick with ’4G Hotspot’. This is one of two 4G LTE hotspots now available on Verizon Wireless.
If you’re not familiar with what a ‘mobile hotspot’ is, allow me to give you a quick lesson. Basically, a mobile hotspot works like the wireless internet in your house. A data connection comes in and a WiFi connection is spit out. However, instead of being connected to a cable modem, the data connection is a cellular connection. The WiFi part works pretty much the same. The big difference is that you can only connect up to 5 WiFi devices, BUT you can connect ANY WiFi device; Laptops, iPads, mobile phones, game consoles. Also, it wouldn’t be very ‘mobile’ if it weren’t battery powered. Sometimes these devices are called MiFi.
Mobile hotspots have been around for a couple of years now. The latest incarnations now pack 4G technology. This Samsung hotspot is rocking Verizon’s 4G LTE, but it’s also compatible with their 3G towers. This gives you awesome coverage in and out of 4G service area. The first night that I had the device, I was in St Cloud, MN. St Cloud is not a 4G city, but I was able to connect the company iPad to Verizon’s 3G network and check email, update some apps, and test one of our client’s apps. During my trip back to the Cities I was able to stream a comedy special on Netflix. All 3G. All the way. In fact, even when I reentered 4G airspace, it didn’t automatically switch over. Once I turned it off and back on, it was on 4G just fine.
During the work week, I had a mission: Use the 4G hotspot for an ENTIRE day of work. Mission successful. I did this for two days, last week. For the purpose of testing the connection, and not the battery, I had the hotspot plugged into an outlet. As you can see from the test results below, the 4G data connection is just as fast as our office connection. Granted, there are 10 other people using our office connection. There were some random service interruptions. All I had to do was reset the modem and continue on. I came back from lunch one day and had a mini freak out because I couldn’t connect. What I didn’t realize was that the hotspot shut itself off to conserve power. All I had to do is boot it up, and connect again.
Verizon 4G LTE Connection
This particular hotspot is very compact. It’s about the size of a deck of cards, only thinner. All of the surfaces are soft-touch, so it doesn’t slide around if you use it in the car. There is a single micro USB port on the side and a single power button on the face. Your connection status is indicated with 3 LEDs, also on the face; One for 4G, one for 3G, and one for WiFi. I wish there was a small LCD display to give you more feedback about your connection and battery. The LEDs only indicate that you have a 3G or 4G connection; not the signal strength. Also, there is no way to see how much battery you have left. Although, I have seen the LEDs turn different colors. Maybe there’s a decoder ring that can help identify what they mean. The power button also has an LED. Under the battery cover there is a reset button and the 1500 mAh battery.
The Samsung 4g LTE hotspot is available now from Verizon Wireless or Best Buy for $99.99 (new contract and what-not). If you want to spend a little less, you can pick it up from Amazon Wireless for $19.99. There are two plans available: 5GB for $50/mo and 10GB for $80/mo.
All-in-all the Samsung 4g LTE hotspot is a great mobile hotspot. It’s small. It packs Verizon’s 4G LTE technology. It’s relatively inexpensive. I would like to have some more indicators for signal strength and battery. With many new mobile phones coming with some sort of hotspot/tethering option included, this device may not be for everyone. But if you want to maybe save some money on your monthly internet connection, you can get a hotspot, use it at home, and then take it with you when you’re out and about.
- 4G LTE Mobile Broadband and Mobile Broadband capable
- Connects with up to Five Wi–Fi® Enabled Devices
- Chipset: MDM9600
- Slim, durable and compact design
- 4G SIM Card compatible
- Service Status Indicator (LED) –4 Color
- VPN Compatible
- Auto Connect
- CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. 0: 800/1900 MHz
- 4G LTE (700MHz)
- WiFi802.11b/g/n connectivity
- One Type A USB Port – FOR CHARGING PURPOSES ONLY with included Wall/USB Charger
- Dimensions: 2.32”(H) x 3.54”(W) x 0.45”(D)
- Weight: 2.7 oz.
- Battery: (1500mAh)
- Usage: Up to 216 mins.;
- Standby: Up to 9hrs.
- SAR:1.13W/kg – Body
*pun totally intended