Smart vs. Globe: Prepaid LTE Home WiFi Comparison
You asked for it so we’re giving it to you — after using and reviewing both the Globe Prepaid LTE Home WiFi and the Smart Bro Prepaid LTE Home WiFi, we compare the two and check out what’s different and which one is better.
Both the Globe and Smart WiFi devices are light and compact, although the latter is slightly smaller in overall size. The Smart router comes in matte black and less conspicuous with a printed logo branding at the front while the Globe router comes in white and uses a poorly placed sticker logo at the front. It’s obvious that the Globe router was hastily packaged while Smart managed to produce a well thought-out design.
In fairness to Globe, Smart had more than 6 months (after Globe went to market) to conceptualize and release their own version.
The Globe device has a single LAN port, just like the one from Smart but the latter also has a dedicated power switch and reset button. Props to Globe for placing a sticker at the back with a guide and manual on how to reload the SIM card while the one from Smart is included in a separate documentation (you need to keep it just in case).
Both devices use a 12V power that plugs into the wall outlet. In fact, the power rating is identical that you can use either cable to power the two devices. This also means you can plug this into the 12V power socket in your car.
Both devices have their our Administration panel which is accessible via the local network (192.168.1.1) although Smart’s added a shortcut to it by going to smartbrosettings.net, which is easier to remember.
Globe’s WiFi Admin Panel
For Globe, all the settings are already pre-configured. The main page will show the status of the cellular connection (and signal strength), router status/information and network information. You don’t need to touch anything here are everything is all set up for you.
We also like that Globe has a dedicated app for this.
The only section that you will have to regularly use would be the built-in SMS feature. This is where you send out text messages to subscribe to GOSURF and SUPERSURF promos.
Smart’s WiFi Admin Panel
In the case of the Smart WiFi router, the administration panel looks the same with almost identical features. We also like the idea that there’s a link to the Data Usage Monitor that directs you to the MySmart dashboard.
Once you load credits, you can also subscribe to either can just subscribe to any of the FlexiTime, SurfMax or GigaSurf plans.
Speed and Coverage
Smart claims their Prepaid LTE Home WiFi has a theoretical speed of up to 42Mbps which is the standard for an LTE connection. On the other hand, Globe has made no claims as to the top speed their Prepaid Home WiFi can achieve but we reckon it should also be 42Mbps.
What we confirmed though is that both devices support Band 28 700MHz LTE frequency which makes it better for indoor use (it can better penetrate buildings and thick walls).
Both Globe and Smart have nationwide coverage but it is best to check first if your home or office has good LTE signal reception. The best way to test this is to buy a prepaid LTE SIM card and try it out with any LTE-capable smartphone. You can do random speed tests during the day and night to see the average downstream and upstream speed of the network.
Globe speed test in Makati and Taguig.
Smart speed test in Makati and Taguig.
As for the speed of the network, this is very dependent on your location. In some areas that we tested, Globe was faster while in other areas, Smart was better.
Another independent research (based on crowdsourced data by users) we can base this is from the B.A.S.S. app (more about it here).
Blue: Globe, Green: Smart, Yellow: Sun Cellular
If we use the BASS app as the reference for network coverage, then we can assume that Globe has faster average speed in most areas as pointed out by the data submissions.
Cost and Data Plans
The Prepaid LTE Home WiFi are both sold at Php1,995 for Smart and Globe. They both have 10GB of free data right out of the box.
The difference between them would be the data plans and promos.
Smart SurfMax 85: Php85 for 2 days at 800MB per day
Smart SurfMax 250: Php250 for 7 days at 800MB per day
Smart GigaSurf 50: 1GB + 300MB video app + unli all-net text for 3 days at Php50
Smart GigaSurf 299: 2GB + 1.1GB video app + unli all-net text for 30 days at Php299
Globe GoSURF50: 1GB + 100MB Instagram + 300MB for app of choice + Unli Allnet Texts for 3 days at Php50
Globe GoSURF299: 1.5GB + 100MB Instagram + 1GB for app of choice for 30 days at Php299
Globe SuperSURF50: 800MB per day for 1 day at Php50
Globe SuperSURF200: 800MB per day for 5 days at Php200
Also worth noting that only Smart offers a Postpaid Plan (see plan and pricing here).
While it’s hard to pinpoint which one is the clear winner here, we have to narrow down to the finer points. Basically, any potential user for these kinds of device will really prioritize good coverage and speed over anything else.
In terms of device quality, we prefer the one from Smart. In terms of data plans, they’re practically tied with each other (not a surprise here). In terms of nationwide coverage, it seems Globe has the upper hand here (based on the BASS app).
Frankly, we’re calling it a tie — just get the one that has better signal in your area.