Sprint is announcing their new Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot. It is a mobile wireless broadband router which connects to their 4G network offering faster broadband speeds to eight other devices like a laptop, tablets or other wi-fi gadgets. Our own Chuong Nguyen was able to get an early look at the device and ran a few speed tests.
The upgrade over the previous Overdrive adds 4G capability. But in an early test the speeds were not as strong as Chuong expected. As you can see the first test showed a fairly slow 1.97Mb/s download speed and only 1.01Mb/s upload speed. In a second test it was slightly faster downloading data at 2.1Mbs but had a slightly slower upload speed of .99Mbs. He also got much higher speeds in one area that has a faster connection than the one he did. It was closer to 4Mbps.
One of the complaints with these devices is battery life. The older version of this one got 4 hours. Sprint isn’t claiming any more than that but Chuong reported that he saw close to five hours in his test. That is a hopeful sign.
The Mobile Hotspot will offer Wi-fi access to other devices on the 4G network. It also is compatible with 3G networks for those areas not yet covered with the faster wireless broadband. Other significant upgrades include:
- A promised 35 percent improvement in power-up and power-down times
- An integrated LCD screen showing things like:
- signal strength
- battery life
- number of devices connected
- 45 percent larger than the previous version for a wider viewing angle
- smaller device size
- additional screens accessed by double-pressing the power button
The device will be available for $49.99 after a $50 rebate, bringing the out-the-door cost of over $100 with tax. That brings with it a two-year contract requirement.