Review: Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11

Mobile broadband is on the cusp of being redefined. The advancements between 3G and 4G are similar to those between a standard DVD and Blu-ray. If you are able to get your mobile devices connected to Verizon's LTE network, you will be graced with true mobile broad band that should fulfill nearly all your needs while on the go. 

But what if you are out and about and want to connect multiple devices to Verizon's LTE network? If that's the issue, step in the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11. The devices comes in at 2.3 by 3.5 by 0.5 inches and 2.7 ounces or about the same dimensions as a credit card but naturally a bit thicker. The premise of the device is simple, it will fetch a 4G (or 3G) connection and allow you to share it with multiple users. Verizon's website states that you can connect up to 5 devices to this unit. 

To use the device, you simply turn it on, wait about 35 seconds for it to find a signal and then connect to it like any other network with the password provided by the device. Once loaded, there are 4G, 3G and a Wifi lights on top of the device that let you know the current status. If a 4G signal is found, the 4G light will be lit, same with 3G; when the WiFi light is lit up, the device is ready for use. 

Speed is the big question for LTE, and this device does not disappoint. While speedtest.net figures show exceptional results, it is most likely the result of an unloaded network in my area. Verizon claims that the speeds should average 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink in a real-world loaded network environment.

The battery life on this little device, much like the Thunderbolt, does feel a bit understated. Of course, when using any 4G network device and you are constantly downloading large files, battery life is expected to diminish. During our tests, we were able to squeeze out just about 3 hours on several occasions. Not to bad but again, if you are looking for a work day capable device to deliver your 4G needs, you may want to bring along a separate charger (USB). 

While the device is simple, there is some room for improvement, mainly a battery light indicator would be helpful. The power button will turn yellow when you are below 20% but besides that, you are left guessing when looking at the device as to how much juice remains.

At the end of the day, the device does what it is intended to do. It's a simple device that regurgitates a 3G or 4G network to your devices and for that, it does it well. Don't expect any high end features or functionality, but it is a reliable way to get connected and get your business done. 

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