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Huawei 4G Plus MiFi review

29th July 2020

Huawei 4G Plus MiFi

Overview

Pros

Cons

Fast 4G speeds

No 5G

16 simultaneous connections

Some rivals are even faster

Good value

 

Verdict:

The Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is a great all-round mobile broadband device, delivering on speed, connections, style, battery life, and price. It's not perfect, but nor does it massively lack in any area.

Huawei 4G Plus MiFi deals

  • Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

There are a number of mobile broadband devices to choose from, but – in the world of 4G ones at least – the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi aims to stand out, through its performance, number of simultaneous connections, and design, and it largely manages to.

With download speeds of up to 300Mbps it instantly has most rivals matched or beat, and its 1,500mAh battery is also reasonably impressive.

But the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi isn’t a perfect mobile broadband device, so for a full rundown of what it does well and where it needs work, read on.

Design

We highlighted the design of the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi above, but don’t get too excited – while this looks better than many rival devices, it’s still ultimately quite plain.

The design highlight is simply that it comes in black, where most alternatives (such as the Vodafone R219) come in white.

Still, that colour helps it stand out from the crowd, especially as it’s nicely contrasted with a muted silver frame. And while it stands out from the crowd, the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi also manages to fade into the background, as a mobile broadband device probably should.

Beyond the looks, it’s small and light at 108 x 62 x 16mm and 95g – which is also important for a device designed to be carried around with you.

That said, it’s actually slightly larger (albeit slightly lighter) than the Vodafone R219, as well as being larger and heavier than the likes of the Huawei E5573bs-322. Still, it also offers better performance than those devices.

Setup

Most mobile broadband devices are simple to set up, and the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is no exception. Just pop a SIM card in, charge the device if necessary, switch it on, and you’re almost ready to get your devices online.

The box comes with a predefined SSID and Network Key, and it will use its SIM card to connect to a mobile network and broadcast the signal as a Wi-Fi network for other devices.

It’s all pretty straightforward, you then just need to connect to it as if you were connecting to any other Wi-Fi network with the devices you want to get online.

Performance

Here’s the highlight of the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi: it supports 4G download speeds of up to 300Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps. We’ll get to exactly how that compares to rival devices below, but in short it has most of them matched or beat.

Of course, while those speeds sound good the reality is that in the real world you’re unlikely to get it going that fast – those are peak speeds, and the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is limited by whatever network you’re connecting to, but it means it will still have those rivals matched or beat, and be reasonably future-proofed, though notably lacking 5G.

The Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is also able to get up to 16 devices online at once, which is a great number for a portable device, and again beats most rivals, with the majority limiting you to 10.

We can’t think of many situations where we’d even need to connect 16 devices to the net at once while away from home, but if you’re travelling with a group then this one gadget should be able to keep everyone connected.

The Huawei 4G Plus MiFi also supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, which is handy as not all gadgets support both, so with this you should be able to get anything online. And for things that do support both you can choose between the typically higher speeds of 5GHz and the longer range of 2.4GHz.

You can also broadcast both Wi-Fi bands simultaneously, or forget the wireless part and plug the 4G Plus MiFi into a computer for an even faster wired connection – while still connecting to other devices wirelessly if desired. So it’s extremely flexible and versatile.

If you are plugging it in there’s support for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (excluding Windows RT), MAC OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 and 10.12.

Battery

There’s a 1,500mAh battery inside the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi. Now, that’s not a particularly remarkable size, but it does allow for very respectable life of up to 6 hours in use, or up to 350 hours of standby time.

That’s identical to the Vodafone R219, and better than the Huawei E5573bs-322. It’s also enough that the 4G Plus MiFi should be able to keep you connected through most journeys, or any other extended period where you’re far from either a Wi-Fi network or a socket (to charge it back up).

Alternatives

If you’re buying the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi through a network, then you’ll probably be buying it from Three, as that’s the only one that stocks it at the time of writing, and it doesn’t have any real rivals there.

But if you’re open to other networks then one alternative is the aforementioned Vodafone R219, which matches it for battery, but not for performance, with top download speeds of 150Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps. It can also only get up to 10 devices online at once (compared to 16 here).

Then there’s the Huawei 4G Wi-Fi 2 on EE. This has a similar name and comes from the same company, but actually beats the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi in some ways. For example, it has a big 3,000mAh battery that lasts for up to 12 hours of use.

It also matches the 4G Plus MiFi for maximum download speeds, but it’s a fair bit heavier at 125g. That’s still not much, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you plan to carry it around a lot.

Plans

Three offers the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi on a wide range of plans, giving you a choice of a 1-month, 12-month, or 24-month contract.

Data meanwhile varies from 2GB to unlimited, and prices start as low as just £10 per month with no upfront cost (if opting for a 24-month plan with 2GB of data).

So the Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is very affordable and there should be a plan to suit everyone – even the heaviest of users.

Alternatively you can buy it SIM-free (where it may be marketed as the Huawei E5783B), for around £70 at the time of writing, which is also very reasonable.

Conclusion

The Huawei 4G Plus MiFi is an affordable, fast 4G mobile broadband device, with decent battery life, a fairly stylish design, and the ability to get lots of devices online at once.

As such, it comes highly recommended, with the caveat that there are better performing devices – especially if you venture into 5G, which this doesn’t offer. But they also typically cost more, so this strikes a good balance for most users.

Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 108 x 62 x 16
  • Modem: 4G
  • Battery capacity: 1,500mAh
  • Colours: Black
  • Download speeds: Cat 7, up to 300Mbps
  • Upload speeds: Cat 7, up to 100Mbps
  • Wi-Fi specs: Dual band 2.4/5Ghz
  • Launch date: Out now

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