Three Value MiFi Review
The new Value MiFi from Three does essentially the same job as its predecessor, also made by Huawei, just without all the bells and whistles and with slightly less impressive specs. That said, if you need a mobile broadband hotspot then this one serves its purpose perfectly.
The E5331 Value MiFi will allow you to connect up to five devices, ensuring a stable connection for you and your friends when required.
Clearly being 'value' the price comes into the equation. The question being: is it worth the price tag?
Find out below
What's in the box:
- Plug with USB port
- USB charging cable
LED screen with clear icon display
One button connection
Up to 21.1 Mbps technical standard Download (HSPA+)
Up to 5.76 Mbps technical standard Uplink (HSUPA)
4.5 hours battery life
There isn't a massive amount to say about the Value MiFi to be honest. The whole concept has been around for a few years now and I think this is the third or fourth MiFi that Three have released. I mentioned at the start of this article 'bells and whistles"'. What I meant by that the display on the Value MiFi isn't as technical or useful as on the higher model but it gets the job done.
The Three Value MiFi is lightweight (82g), smooth, curved and feels perfect both in the hand and also slung in a pocket. With only one hardware button on it using the device is as simple as you would expect. Just press that button on the front and it turns on and connects.
The screen will display when you have signal, when the MiFi is actually transmitting data and will also show you a battery icon. Peeling of the back cover reveals the eight digit WiFi key you will need to enter into new devices when you connect them for the first time. After that, the key will be retained by your phones, tablets, laptops etc. So getting set up is a piece of cake.
I have owned a Three MiFi since day one and I wouldn't be without it. Not because I rely on it all the time but I love to have a back up. We all know that whatever mobile network you are on there will always be places you don't have signal so connecting to the MiFi will at least give you data if the Three signal is available.
The other benefit to owning the device is for use with laptops and tablets. With the tablet market booming and many not offering a sim slot, having the ability to be connected to the Value MiFi will give your tablet a data connection. Also, a cheaper option that buying a 3G version of the iPad (plus data sim)for example.
In terms of speed tests, where you are will clearly affect the results. I am situated on the outskirts of London and on the numerous tests I performed I would say that the average download speed came out at about 5Mbps. It does fluctuate though. That is fast enough for me and also faster than tests on other networks in my location.
Back to the question of is the Three Value MiFi worth the price tag. I would say it is. There are three options available to you:
- One-off upfront cost of £29.99 on a one-month rolling contract at £15.99 per month for 5 GB of data.
- From £49.99 on Pay As You Go with 1GB of data.
- From £59.99 on Pay As You Go with 3GB of data valid for three months.
Which option you choose really depends on your needs. As I only use my MiFi as back up or on the occasion that I need to connect my MacBook to it I favor the PAYG choice.
The Value MiFi may not be a snazzy as Three's 'premium' MiFi and its battery is not as good (4.5 hrs of use is still pretty decent), but it is cheaper and that is the whole point.
The E5331 Value MiFi from Three does exactly what its name says. It offers value and value is what I like best.
You can order the Value MiFi online from Three.
Reviewed by: James