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Huawei Wifi Pocket Router
Mobile Wi-Fi devices don’t tend to cost much, but at just £39.99 with 1GB of data thrown in on Three the Huawei E5330 Mobile Wi-Fi is one of the very cheapest.
It’s also one of the very smallest, which is handy for a mobile Wi-Fi device. So far so good then, but is it good value or is there a reason it’s so cheap?
Read on to find out, as we cover every key aspect of the Huawei E5330 and help you answer the key question: should you buy it?
The design of the Huawei E5330 is definitely one of its high points. Not for a premium build, there’s none of that here, but it does look good, with a curvy shape that almost resembles a pebble, and at 92.8 x 60 x 13.8mm and 80g it’s actually not much bigger or heavier than a large stone either.
That’s great because it means you can easily chuck it in a bag or pocket without worrying about whether it will fit or weigh you down.
The Huawei E5330 is also a very plain, inoffensive device, coming in white and decorated just with Huawei’s name and a small display, showing indicators for key things.
Setup and performance
The Huawei E5330 is simple to setup, with a quick start guide included to guide you through the process, and you don’t have to fiddle around with the tiny device itself, instead you can configure it using a web interface, which is far more convenient.
Once it’s configured the whole thing has one button to operate – just tap to turn it on or off and then connect your laptop, tablet or other device to its network the same way as you would any other Wi-Fi network.
Where it really falls down though is in its performance, as while most devices are now 4G, the Huawei E5330 only supports 3G data, meaning you’ll have a maximum download speed of 21.6Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 5.76Mbps on connected devices.
That’s not very fast at all, and will limit your ability to download large files or stream high quality content. However, for web browsing, emailing and the like the speeds shouldn’t prove restrictive, so whether or not it will be a problem largely depends on what you plan to be doing with connected devices.
The Huawei E5330 Mobile Wi-Fi has a 1,500mAh battery, good for up to 300 hours of standby time or 5 hours of use.
The first of those figures is pretty good, meaning that you won’t have to keep charging it when you’re not using it. The latter isn’t quite so impressive but is in line with most other mobile Wi-Fi devices and should be good enough in most cases.
Given that most hotels, offices and cafes now have Wi-Fi (or at the very least a socket to charge up your Mi-Fi device) the battery life will likely mostly only come into play when travelling, and you’re probably unlikely to need it for much more than 5 hours on most journeys.
You can use the Huawei E5330 to connect up to 5 devices to the internet at once. Some mobile Wi-Fi devices such as the Huawei E5573 allow more (and offer 4G speeds), so if either of those things are important take a look at that – though be aware that the trade-off is that it costs more and isn’t quite as compact.