Most helpful positive review
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
A value solution to mobile broadband
on 13 October 2012
I bought my girlfriend a Huawei E586 MiFi unit for work - it was so good that I decided that I'd like to have my own MiFi for use with my iPad (WiFi) version. I looked at this unit in locked form on the 3 Network and functionally there is very little difference between this and the more expensive E586. This E5331 MiFi is the "value model" in Huawei's range, and, in my opinion, its broadband performance is as good as the E586 which costs around £30 more. The main difference between the two units is that the E586 sports an OLED display which displays the amount of data you've used, and, therefore, you get plenty of warning when you need to buy another SIM card. However, you can easily navigate to a web page with the E5331 which gives you all the usage information you'll need, although, it isn't displayed on the unit itself. There are, however, LED indicators for battery power, broadband signal, wireless on and email on the unit.
Battery life is good lasting around 5 hours and a mains charger is supplied together with a USB lead which can recharge the unit from a PC, albeit, more slowly than from the mains charger. You can connect up to 5 wireless devices and connection is simple, you just enter the security code from the unit when prompted, and, that's it - you're connected. Of course with PAYG if you lose the unit your loss is limited to the amount of credit remaining on the card.
One thing that is certain is that it is cheaper to buy a new SIM card on the 3 Network at Amazon prices rather than to top up the expiring SIM card. The two main 3 Network options available are 1GB to be used within a month or a 3Gb card valid for 3 months. There is also a 12GB option valid for a year. I have found coverage to be very good but not perfect - I mainly use the device when travelling from the South Coast to London. If you are momentarily out of range as soon as reception picks up again your mail will be sent or your web page loaded. It's very convenient. Unless you are watching TV or videos even a 1GB data allowance goes a long way in terms of emails and surfing etc.
Overall, a very useful device, and, together with the very good prices for SIM cards on Amazon a good purchase. Recommended.