Bought a Sapido 3G Mobile router last year as a possible replacement for my SmartBro Share-It. So I’m just waiting for my 24-month contract to expire so I could completely move up to this set-up in the car. But then, the local distributor met up with me early this week and showed me their whole new Sapido line-up.
The device is actually small (smaller than the Apple Magic Mouse) and has a couple of LAN/WAN ports at the back as well as a switch to make the Sapido an access point (AP), a DSL router or 3G/4G/WiMax router. The WiMax is still untested since we don’t have any commercially available WiMax dongle around (update: Wi-Tribe has one but we don’t have any available). However, this will work with your DSL modem at home, your Smart/Globe/Sun and even BayanTel (CDMA) 3G dongles as well as the Tonino Lamborghini Tattoo stick.
I am told this could also tether your smartphone as well although that seems a bit redundant since Android and iPhone devices can already serve as WiFi hotspots on their own. This should only be useful when you have an old 3G device (or older Android OSes) that doesn’t do WiFi tethering.
I have to admit though, setting up this Sapido router isn’t a walk in the park. First, you have to hook it up via LAN cable to your PC before you can gain access to the admin panel. Then, you’ll have to set up the APN settings of the device you are hooking it up with and you’ll have to change it every time you plug in a different device (I think the Huawei E5 does that automatically already).
But I guess that’s what you get if you want a device that can do a whole lot of things and support a host of other 3G/4G devices.
This unit does not have a built-in battery so you’ll have to really plug it in the socket or the USB port of your laptop (a portable battery will also suffice). I am told there are other variants of this that has built-in batteries which can last up to 8 hours. It’s also WiFi 802.11n compliant though so you get up to 150Mbps along your local network.
This Sapido router (Mobile Hotspotâ€§Mini USB Power Supply Pocket N+) has a suggested retail price of Php1,900 and I’m thinking it’s a good alternative router at home that can be both a DSL and 3G router at the same time (3G is mostly as back-up when your DSL is down). Or you can bring it in the car and hook it up to your smartphone (it charges it at the same time, btw) or 3G/4G dongles while on the road.