Review: Smart Bro Rocket WiFi Plus
Smart recently launched the Smart Rocket WiFi Plus, a mobile wiFi device that can connect to HSPA+ networks. This means faster speeds versus your usual 3G. Smart is claiming that it can go all the way up to 20 Mbps but we weren’t able to reach that yet. So far the fastest we’ve hit while connected to HSPA+ is around 8-9 Mbps which is still considerably high.
I’d like to highlight two things with this review: Smart HSPA+ and the convenience of the Rocket WiFi Plus modem.
Product Design & Usability
I’ve tried the older mobile WiFi devices made by Huawei and offered by the different networks before. If there’s one thing I hated about them is that they felt so analog in a very digital age. Yes they had an display but it just showed crappy icons and no actual useable information and data. Operating the older mobile WiFi devices really felt like using 1990’s cellphones.
The Rocket WiFi Plus (also made by Huawei) is the evolution of the mobile WiFi device. It’s beautifully made, feels good in your hand, and it has all the information and data you need with the display.
You can find the battery level, number of devices connected, signal, what kind of network (3G, HSDPA, HSPA+) you’re connected to, as well as data consumption on the display. That’s basically everything you need to know at any given time. If you want to check your credits (load) all you have to do is access your account information via the Smart website or you can just connect it via USB to your laptop and access a control panel via the web.
You can connect up to 5 devices to the mobile network. I usually end up connecting my laptop, iPad, and smartphone to it when I’m on-the-go. In fact the Smart Rocket WiFi Plus is turning out to be the ultimate coffee shop companion because it can turn your favorite table into a mobile office!
Smart HSPA+ and Packages
Smart has the widest HSPA+ network coverage. They have more than 1,500 sites already and I usually end up connecting to an HSPA+ network in different parts of Metro Manila. In terms of speed I’ve never reached the advertised 20 Mbps DL speed yet and I usually just get around 2-5Mbps in the afternoon but that’s already okay in my book since I don’t download or torrent with the Rocket WiFi Plus anyway. It’s main purpose for me is to give me good and stable internet connection while I’m outside the office. For those who like downloading though you might want to do that later in the evening during off peak hours. I usually hit the 8 Mbps up after 12 midnight while connected to an HSPA+ network.
As for the costs here are the various packages you can avail of:
Smart Bro Prepaid Lifestyle Packages
Prepaid Lifestyle 450 – 35 hours of internet time for Php 450. Valid for 25 days
Prepaid Lifestyle 350 – 25 hours of internet time for Php 350. Valid for 18 days
Prepaid Lifestyle 250 – 15 hours of internet time for Php 250. Valid for 12 days
Smart Bro Per Minute Packages
P150 Smart Bro Per Minute Package – 7.5 hours (equivalent to 450 minutes) valid for 7 days
P100 Smart Bro Per Minute Package – 5 hours (equivalent to 300 minutes) valid for 4 days
P60 Smart Bro Per Minute Package – 3 hours (equivalent to 180 minutes) valid for 2 days
Smart Bro UnliSurf Packages
P100 Smart Bro Unli Surf Package with unlimited internet browsing valid for 2 days
P200 Smart Bro Unli Surf Package with unlimited internet browsing valid for 5 days
P50 Smart Bro Unli Surf Package with unlimited internet browsing valid for 1 day
*To continue enjoying these services, please maintain P1 load balance at all times.
Smart Bro Volume Data Packages
ALWAYS ON 995 (with 2000 MB)
ALWAYS ON 750 (with 1000 MB)
ALWAYS ON 500 (with 500 MB)
ALWAYS ON 300 (with 250 MB)
ALWAYS ON 200 (with 180 MB)
ALWAYS ON 30 (with 50 MB)
ALWAYS ON 20 (with 25 MB)
ALWAYS ON 10 (with 5 MB)
Just pick your poison. I usually end up using the ALWAYS ON plans since I don’t regularly use the Rocket WiFi Plus. If you’re a heavy user you might want to avail of the Unlimited Data packages.
The Smart Rocket WiFi Plus is now an indispensable part of my tech arsenal. It will always have a place in my bag because it can be a lifesaver at times. With HSPA+ it’s much more easier to send and receive heavy e-mails, stream videos on Youtube, or download big files.
Pricing and Availability
You can get the Smart Rocket WiFi Plus from Smart Wireless centers for Php6,495. You can also order it online via the Smart website (click to go to the site).
If you’re going to invest in the Rocket WiFi Plus here are two tips on how to maximize it:
- Locate several areas that you frequent that are covered with HSPA+. If you need a mobile office then go there with the Rocket WiFI Plus. Make sure it has a plug nearby so you can charge your devices. One tip I learned from a couple of blogger friends is to have an extension chord in my bag. Kinda useful.
- Monitor your data usage. Pick the plan the suits you best. Light users stand to gain a lot with the Data Plans. You can actually save a lot of money that way.
If you take these two tips to heart then you can really maximize your investment on the Smart Rocket WiFi Plus. Cheers!