The HSPA+ network of Smart and Globe are continuously growing and getting wider coverage around the country. Devices like the Huawei E586 maximizes the speed of the HSPA+ network (just like the ZTE MF60). Check out our full review after the jump.
This newer model, the E586, supports HSPA+ networks with speeds up to 21Mbps. I’ve used this device in a lot of the foreign trips I had this quarter (Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China) and it has worked flawlessly each time.
The package comes with the pocket WiFi, a removable battery, micro-USB cable, a wall charger and manual. The design of the device is pretty much almost the same from the previous models of the E5 we’ve seen before. The most noticeable improvements would be the LED display and the use of a micro-USB port instead of the mini-USB port (following the universal standards in charging ports).
The SIM card tray is still found inside the battery compartment, behind the 1500mAh battery. The power button and the WPS button are on the right side of the device while the microSD card slot is found on the left side.
The LED display now indicates a whole lot of information and device status, including:
â€¢ Signal strength of the cellular network it is connected to
â€¢ Connection type of the network (H, 3G, E, G)
â€¢ WiFi status + number of connected devices
â€¢ Internet connection status
â€¢ New/unread SMS + number of messages
â€¢ Battery life indicator
â€¢ Name of network
â€¢ Data volume consumed
â€¢ Total time active
These information displayed on the LED provides you a whole lot of data you need to know about the device and the network without logging into the web admin panel.
For users who are on volume-based charging, the “total traffic data” is very useful when you want to monitor your bandwidth usage.
Huawei E586 HSPA+ Pocket WiFi:
â€¢ HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS 2100/1900/900/850 MHz, EDGE/GPRS/GSM
â€¢ HSPA+ download data service of up to 21 Mbit/s
â€¢ HSPA+ upload data service of up to 5.76 Mbit/s
â€¢ HSDPA download data service of up to 14.4 Mbit/s
â€¢ WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and WPS
â€¢ Built-in DHCP Server, DNS RELAY and NAT.
â€¢ Built-in UMTS and WLAN high gain antenna
â€¢ microSD card slop, up to 32GB
â€¢ Li-Ion battery 1500mAh
The device works with most networks automatically and from experience with other networks abroad, the device often detects the settings and plugs it in. For the most part, the E586 is practically plug-and-play. Tried it with Globe, Smart and Sun and the auto-configuration works. Same thing when I was using it in Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong.
To access the Web Admin panel, you connect to the WiFi hotspot of the device and log in via the local IP (192.168.1.1). Even the welcome page of the Web Admin already shows you some very useful information like connection and WiFi status, currently connected devices and bandwidth used. It even shows if the battery is being charged or not.
Logging into the Web Admin Panel provides you with the complete configuration options for the Wireless LAN, Encryption, Firewall, Network settings and more. Access to the built-in SMS feature is also available here.
The E586 limits the number of connected devices to a maximum of 5 which is a bummer especially if you have more than 5 devices with you.
The Web Admin also has a mobile version if you log in via your mobile phone or tablet. The mobile version has limited features though. Fortunately, you can always switch back to the classic version anytime via a link at the footer of the page.
While speed tests are more of a measure of a network’s performance rather than the device, we’re still curious just how fast the E586 can do given the right conditions.
The fastest download I’ve seen via Speedtest.net is about 9.26Mbps on a Smart Bro Postpaid account at 3AM here in Makati. While it is not consistent, at least it showed us it can handle those speeds pretty well.
On normal days, I’m seeing between 2Mbps to 4Mbps on our local network (both with Smart and Globe). The speed tests carried out here measures the bandwidth from the client to the ISP’s network and does not really reflect real-world speeds. In any case, it gives us a good perspective when we see the same speed tests are done on other devices, line or network. What’s more interesting though is the impressive latency times, most of which at under 100ms (great for gaming?).
Battery life is really tricky to measure since it heavily depends if the device is actively connecting or in idle mode. My closest estimated is in the vicinity of 4 hours but degrades significantly on the type of activity and the number and type of devices connected to it.
Just to be sure, I always use a extra portable battery that charges the E586 all the time giving me an almost all-day, walking hotspot service.
If you’re always on the road and carry multiple devices with you, the Huawei E586 with it’s HSPA+ capability gives you the most optimized connection while mobile.
However, please remember that the device is only as good as the network it is connected to. The ideal set up is to get an unlocked MyFi and carry multiple prepaid SIM cards with you just to make sure you can switch networks anytime, anywhere.
The Huawei E586 retails for just under Php7,000 in online stores and independent sellers. It’s still expensive but if you’re on the road most of the time, it certainly is a wise investment.