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Pocket Hotspot ZTE MF60

by Daddydoink on ‎19-08-2016 15:06 (4,873 Views)

 

A couple of weeks ago, a package arrived in the post.  In the envelope was a packet of sweets, a ZTE MF60 Pocket Hotspot and an O2 VR Viewer.  I was expecting one of these items but not the other two.  There is also a bit of paper that says "return these as you got them".  This review is about the Pocket Hotspot.  There's some rambling prologue to this - its below to save you some reading if you want to skip on.

Spoiler

Normally, about a week after a device arrives, I'd get a letter. It usually says something along the lines of "got a problem, need a device, help me out, here's a fiver." Sometimes it has kisses, sometimes it doesn't.  The handwriting is nearly always the same though and is similar to MSO's... should I be suspicious?! It got to nearly two weeks and I was asking myself if  @MI5 helping my usual suspects these days?  Who knows.  I digress, because then my kitchen tap started leaking.

Two weeks on, I'm now fed up.  Tonight, I've just about got the kitchen tap fitted, following a visit to HomeBase for a wrench that will fit around a 25mm nut and then a further visit to HomeBase to buy a hacksaw that will go through copper.  The woman behind the counter in HomeBase seems to think I've got a thing for her now and since it got me a 10% discount on the new hoses for the tap, I'm not overly bothered.  I got nectar points, which is the important thing. She also tried to give me her number.  That was less important.

I'm hot and sweaty, which means I'll need to go and look at the shower next to fit a new hose and head.  It's gone 8PM, so I can't bail out to HomeBase again.  The house is quiet because, as I write this, everyone else in the house is sat out having a fun time in a field somewhere.  Further more, they have the Pocket Hotspot that was loaned to me by @Martin-O2.  They also have my data simcard, which means that'll be depleted for the month.  It resets on the 8th, too.  It really will be a month.

About the device:
inthebox.jpgThe ZTE MF60 Pocket Hotspot is a small black box with a MicroUSB in, MicroSD Card slot, full size SIM under the battery and WPS.  It can handle up to 5 devices at once and give typical speeds of 20Mbps (4G) download. 

In the box is a helpful little "Mobile Broadband" book - worth a read, techno savvy or not.  There is also a charger/usb cable and the battery. (See Image)

I normally like to give you a comparison at this point and since I have other devices to hand, here you go - the Huawei Pocket Hotspot Plus is a device that can handle 10 devices at once, with 4G capability at up to 150Mbps download.  The Device also offers USB, MicroSD and wifi tethering to act as a repeater.

The Situation
starspotting.jpgSo my children and MSO are off out for the night "camping".  They'll be home by midnight, latest.  They've gone "star spotting".   The discussion went something like this:

Me: Why do you need my big camera, the tripod, the wifi unit, the 3 tablets and a laptop?  Hang on, why have you got my big battery too?
8YO: Because we need it all for star spotting.
Me: That doesn't answer my question.
8YO: You just don't get it, do you? You use a website to look up...
Me: [interupting] I'm on to a losing one here, aren't I?
8YO: Yup. And your face.  

Isn't life great?  So they're all out.  I'm sat here with the hacksaw, the old mixer tap, the copper drop pipes and they're off looking at stars whilst I'm convinced I'm seeing stars after hitting my head on the worktop just now. 

Device Setup
tablet-and-hotspot.jpgI set the tablets up with the mobile wifi unit earlier using the WPS button.  To turn on the device, you need to hold down the power button for a few seconds.  Likewise with the WPS button, which then will show up to your tablets or laptop.  The pairing was painless and quick, meaning I didn't need to scrabble about for the password under the cover on the back.  

No configuration required, the device will take you straight to a mobile wifi screen, which enables you to top up if needed and connect to the internet - much like if you use a public hotspot.  The Pocket Hotspot Plus, which I have on contract, doesn't give this mobile screen. I presume it is because it is on contract.

On the front of the device is a little screen with useful stats including battery life, number of connected users, signal and connection status. You don't need much more other than "remaining data" but you get that when you go online each time.  

When the Pocket Hotspot is compared to the Pocket Hotspot Plus, which can also tether to wifi and act as a repeater, this is a far simpler device to set up and connect to.  The Pocket Hotspot Plus, which offers more features, is better if you want more than 5 devices, usually carry some form of recharging around with you or have a contract for a mobile broadband. 

two-devices-sidebyside.jpgBack to my situation though, all the devices were taken from me and they've been out for a few hours now, star spotting somewhere in East Anglia (I think).  I hope they're having the same amount of fun I am with this kitchen tap I'm trying (and failing) to change.  Important point though - I've not had a single phone call asking for help with it.  Just occassional text messaging complaining of cold.

Conclusion

The Pocket Hotspot is a solid, simple device, reminding me of the days when a phone had keys and screen.  It works and doesn't need you to fiddle about with it.  It works when star spotting or just out and about.  The battery life is reasonable and the little screen tells you all the stats you need without having to resort to getting a geek to tell you.  It's not as full of stats as the Pocket Hotspot Plus is (which is a bit more of an expensive device) - it doesn't offer a backup charging unit within either.  You don't want it to, especially if this is an occassional use device.

And it saves having to tether from your phone.  

 

Comments
by gmarkj
on ‎19-08-2016 15:13

Great review, filled with humour as always.

Your conversation with the 8YO fills me with dread - mine is only 4 and has that attitude already. I'm doomed...

Sounds as if this is more rough and ready, and can do what you need for a smaller group size.

If you need more speed (and who doesn't?) or more users (hence the more speed I suppose) you would get the other. Assuming you can set it up anyway...

 

PS. Give up with the tap. Get a plumber. At least, get him to cut the pipe and fit a screw fixing to it!!

by Beenherebefore
on ‎19-08-2016 15:18

Flexibles !

 

http://www.screwfix.com/c/heating-plumbing/flexible-hoses/cat831572

 

Good review........try the 8YO's version next time, could be a winner if you've described them accurately LOL

by jonsie
on ‎19-08-2016 15:41

Great review @Daddydoink, I must say your SOH is quite a feature of your reviews and makes them all the more enjoyable.Smiley Very Happy

I think you should get over here on the next flight, I need a good night out and a few laughs, God knows I deserve it originally.gif

by Community Manager
‎19-08-2016 16:07 - edited ‎19-08-2016 19:24

Fantastic work as usual @Daddydoink! I hope your plumbing woes are short lived. Smiley Wink

by jonsie
on ‎19-08-2016 16:46

Nothing worse than plumbing problems....Smiley Tongue

by Beenherebefore
on ‎19-08-2016 17:00

@jonsie Nothing worse than plumbing problems....Smiley Tongue......we must be of a similar age Grumpy

by Cleoriff
on ‎19-08-2016 18:10

Excellent review @Daddydoink. Amusing and well written. I think I could manage to use one of those pocket hotspot devices (surely I could if it was easy for your 8 year old?) By the way one question remains unanswered. Did you ever give your phone number to the sales assistant at Homebase? You cleverly skipped over that bit...Happy Dance

by blissgirl
on ‎19-08-2016 18:23

Good review @Daddydoink  liked all the pics you posted and the humour Happy Dance

by Daddydoink
on ‎19-08-2016 19:17

Thanks all for the comments.  @Cleoriff she was trying to give me her number and I declined - she said she wasn't any good at plumbing.  

 

Also, the mystery of the sweets (they were Starburst) was solved - it appears they belong to the 6YO twins... sorry @Martin-O2

by Community Manager
on ‎19-08-2016 19:24

@Daddydoink Ahh good I didn't want people to start expecting sweets with every TTT delivery. 

by Cleoriff
on ‎19-08-2016 19:26

 @Cleoriff she was trying to give me her number and I declined - she said she wasn't any good at plumbing.  

 

Oh well....that's no good then...a woman who is no good at plumbing? .....Dance

by jonsie
on ‎20-08-2016 06:07

Most women here are very good when it comes to handling plumbing LOL

by Fellwalker
‎22-08-2016 12:43 - edited ‎22-08-2016 12:44

@Daddydoink @jonsie @Beenherebefore I was enjoying this till you mentioned plumbing. My magnaclean developed a leak at the top nut yesterday, and Homebase was only just open to get a pack of 3/4" washers.  Out comes the box of plumbing tools. Regrettably on closer insepection, the magnaclean uses shaped washers, so my fix hasn't worked and I need a "proper" plumber.  The only positive thing is that on cleaning the magnaclean, there was not much in the way of metal filings attached to it, so I have a fairly clean system.

 

 

Thanks for the review - presumably it just automatically connects to the mobile network?  How good a signal does it get - comparable to a mobile phone, or (hopefully) better?  What sort of wifi range does it get?

I have a friend setting up a new business, and rather than get a dedicated land line for occasional visits to the office where he will need to use his computer, I had thought such a device might work for him. He can also then carry it around.

I'e also wondered about such a device for use abroad so that MSO and I could share a data plan, and use O2's TuGo .

by Daddydoink
‎22-08-2016 16:58 - edited ‎22-08-2016 16:58

Hello @Fellwalker

 

1) Your plumbing woes are your own problem - I've had enough of pipes for the month!  Good luck with them :-)

2) The wifi range is close - 10m max I'd say.  It's designed to be on the desk by your computers, not half a Km away :-)  It does auto-connect, too.

3) I'd recommend the Pocket Hotspot Plus for a business - the addition of USB is helpful for shared data space.  

4) Make sure your device isn't locked and you get a good deal on the data plan!  Also - MSO has told me she's not YSO and therefore I shouldn't get confused.  Never the less, you might want to confirm to yourself that you're not me.... ;-)

 

thanks for the comments to you all :-)

by Community Manager
on ‎22-08-2016 17:05

Lovely job here @Daddydoink, you have a unique way with words Smiley Very Happy.

 

If we obtained some more dongles, would you like to try others? If anyone else would like to, PM me any time.

by Fellwalker
on ‎22-08-2016 18:53

@Daddydoink

1. Plumber coming back Wednesday

2. Mmm, would cover one office, not a building.  Not like a standard internet router then.

3. Sounds good. Shared files is great, shared backup might be a better use.

4. Data only plans are NOT good value IMHO.  They don't compare to phone plans really, tehy are competing against fixed line broadband.  Local network coverage and capacity is also an issue.

 

ALSO.  I confirm I am not you, but am I me in two places?  Whatever, MSO is not YSO, nor is YSO MSO. They are just each S to each of us; neither (so far as I know) is S to both of us.  Confused?  You won't be after this week's episode of SOAP"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BHQT3Omqtw