Sprint's MiFi 3G/4G Hotspot: Gadget Review

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sprint's ( S) new MiFi mobile hotspot by Novatel Wireless works on both its EV-DO/3G and WiMax/4G networks and provides speedy wireless service for up to five devices.

  • network: EVDO 3G, WiMAX 4G
  • size: 3.54" by 2.36" by 0.52"
  • weight: 3 ounces
  • usage time: Four hours (60 hours standby time)
  • OS compatibility: Windows, Mac and Linux
  • WiFi connectivity range: Up to 33 feet
  • device support: MicroSD slot for up to 5 connected devices
  • price: $79.95 with new, two-year data contract
  • arrival date: April 3 (via DirectShip), April 17 (in stores)
  • TheStreet tried the new Sprint MiFi hotspot under real working conditions -- while we were covering last month's CTIA Wireless 2011 trade show in Orlando.

    We found the device's speeds to be very fast -- a drop faster than what our favorite Sprint 4G phones provide -- plus, we were getting super-strength signals wherever we roamed, indoors and out.

    Sprint's new MiFi is a little thicker than its older, 3G-only model, but it's still small enough to slip in a shirt pocket. The device can also be connected to a laptop via USB to get devices online when the MiFi's battery is low.

    Sprint is pricing the MiFi 3G/4G at $79.95 with a new, two-year data service contract. Sprint says its data plans start at $50 per month.

    --Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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    Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.