Monday, April 4, 2011

First Impressions - Verizon’s first 4G LTE Mobile hotspot now available

I personally had been waiting so patiently for a new 4g Hotspot.  My Verizon contract on the 2200 has been up for a while, but I didn't see any need for a change without a big performance gain; aka 4g.  The Samsung 4G LTE SCH-LC11 released on March 31st,

no fanfare, no lines on the first morning of availability, hmm, actually kind of boring non event.  It’s initial release was only through a Verizon store, I would have liked to pick it up at Best Buy to get the points...  The Verizon store reps while nice and charming enough, knew nothing about the device.  I asked questions as they setup the new device to replace my existing 3G model;

1)   Does it need to be fully charged before first use?
2)   Is it configured the via a cable like my 2200 was?
3)   How is the battery life

all answered incorrectly by multiple people including their SME on wireless modems.  After a few hours on the charger, my first use lasted about two hours and then it died.  A bit disappointing since they were promising 230 minutes.  Also, his was with 3g since I don't live in an area that has 4g yet.  After a recharge, I was ready to go again and see what this puppy could deliver.  So today, I am up in Boston and  after an initial problem where the WiFi radio didn't come up, I powered down and powered back up and wow!  It is fast.  I don't typically play video over my modem, but I had to see how fast it was.  Let's put it this way, no buffering issues, in fact if you are watching something you are not sure you want to watch, you may as well watch the whole thing, becuase it will be downloaded before you can decide if it was worth it (ie YouTube clips, not necessarily a full length movie).  I stand impressed.  I am not sure however I like the way you configure the modem or it's choice of a default ip subnet.  These choices, it seems to me, are ripe for conflict.  In fact, that was my initial concern when I couldn't connect to it in the hotel.   Also, the online manual is horrible.  You can not be sure what some of the settings represent as well as whether a change you make will disconnect you from the modem until a hard reset.  Samsung and/or Verizon needs to address this.  Regarding the battery life, i figure a couple of charge cycles are necessary before knowing what the battery will deliver, but it is replaceable so I can always carry a spare for those expected heavy load days.  Oh, and if you're wondering why I wanted 4g if it wasn't available yet where I live; I don't need it for where I live, I need it for where I travel :-)

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