I’m relocated into the Phoenix area from Dallas, and found myself with very little internet at my disposal. Big deal, most would say! Just go to Starbucks, check your mail, or whatever else… then go home and do your normal stuff. Guess what? I’ve found my life so tied into the internet that the very idea is a little disheveled right now. My AT&T plan on my iPad Mini wasn’t handling it since it was 2 Gb only. After bouncing it up to 5 Gb (for $50…) I noticed they tagged it as being next months package. In other words, the one you have for this month is this months and tough if you go over, you’ll pay extra. Since I’m using it as a personal hotspot, of course data goes fast! So, since I’m in the Phoenix area T-Mobile works pretty well. I went over to their store and picked up the newest coolest hotspot they had… the Samsung LTE Mobile Hotspot Pro.
The model is SM-V100T, but they gave it that long name to make it sound awesome I guess. I’ve used other hotspots through the years, and honestly most fell short. Not so much with the Samsung SM-V100T, it actually functions nicely for my use. I’ve been using it for 2 days now in normal field use. It’s been in one of my pockets, or on my office desk, not plugged in. I have my iPad Mini connected via wifi to it continuously as a replacement for the AT&T sim built-in, and it’s surprised me.
I use Google Voice over my iPad for telephone, and with T-Mobile it’s actually sounding more clear and crisp then when it went over the AT&T built-in sim which surprised me.
The only downside that I’ve found is the web interface being very slow when your administering it. Now, it’s not often you go in to administer it so that part is minor in my opinion. The front screen is pretty much minimal, and only shows for 5-10 seconds after pressing either the WPS or power button once. It displays the number of wifi connections (up to 10 at a time), the number of messages (texts) that have come to the telephone number attached to the hotspot if your into that kind of thing, along with the number of gb left. With T-Mobile it’s technically unlimited so it displays that, but basically it’s only 2G (edge) speed after the ceiling of the plan you’re on. I personally have the 8.5 Gb plan, which I have used about 2.5 Gb so far.
There is a default hibernation of 30 minutes for the wifi if it isn’t used, and pressing the WPS or power button will re-activate it. The battery lasts a long time with that setting, but it interrupts the wifi connection life which to me is a not-so-good idea. I went into the interface and turned hiberation off so my iPad mini wasn’t interrupted through the day and it lasted for about 10 hours of use. Not too shabby, and that’s for an internet connection that is being used through the day. If you connect a micro-usb cable to a laptop or computer and charge it, the life is obviously longer.
A huge upside for people with phones that charge by micro-usb cable is the feature this hotspot has of being able to charge those phones. The red item on the lower right side pulls out and unhinges a red cable that goes around the device to pull out a micro-usb cable. You connect the USB connection to the hotspot and the other end’s micro-usb connection to the phone, and the phone charging begins. It’s a nifty feature for those looking for the occasional hotspot but the definite need for a battery backup for their phone. I personally don’t use those phones and I haven’t tested it, but it seems pretty easy.
The ability to put Micro-SD cards into this device and work as a wireless file server is a nice feature, as well. In the web configuration, the feature of usb tethering or file sharing from the micro-sd are options, and by default USB tethering is enabled. This will need to be changed in order to use the micro-SD card over the network.
That’s about it! I wanted to share my brief use with the Samsung SM-V100T hotspot. It may be priced a little steep for some ($150-$170) but the features and battery life are the selling points. Just for the record, I’ve connected my laptops and my desktop along with the iPad Mini to it without any problems.