Mobile Hotspot Review: Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L Mobile Hotspot Review
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Easy to connect, amazing 4G LTE speed, online account management.
What's Not: Battery life could still be longer.
Verizon Wireless is expanding its 4G LTE network at a fast pace with now over 74 metro areas running at 4G LTE speed. The company offers two mobile hotspots with 3G and 4G support: the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11 we reviewed back in May and the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 5410L by Novatel Wireless. The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L is a fast 4G mobile hotspot that can connect up to 5 different mobile devices via WiFi to Verizon's fast 4G LTE network. We've gotten some amazing speeds using the 4G mobile hotspot and found it easy to use and the battery life isn't too bad for a 4G device. The Verizon is currently selling the MiFi 4510L $50 cheaper than the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot with an online discount. Data plans remain the same: a 5GB per month plan for $50 and a 10GB per month plan for $80.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L is slightly bigger than the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, measuring 2.36 x 3.74 x 0.53 inches. Unlike the Samsung using LED indicating connections and battery levels, the MiFi 4510L has a small e-ink display on the front that indicates signal strength, alerts and battery level, and an LED on the side indicating 4G or 3G connections. The power button lives on the front, making it easy to turn it on or off. You only need to quickly press the power button to turn the unit on and to press and hold the power button to turn it off.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L has a microUSB charging port on the side, and you can charge it using the included AC charger or USB cable via a computer. The USB cable will also come in handy for firmware updates for the 4G MiFi. The unit has a built-in high performance antenna, but in extreme cases where you need to use an external antenna, the MiFi 4510L also has a connector to plug in the external antenna.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L has a user-replaceable battery behind the battery door and underneath the battery you will find the 4G LTE SIM card. This SIM card is for LTE on Verizon Wireless only, not for using with a GSM phone. The MiFi 4510L is also light, weighing only 3 oz.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L uses the Qualcomm MDM9600 chipset and supports Verizon's 4G LTE at 700MHz and CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A 3G at 800/1900MHz. When you are in a Verizon 4G LTE area, the MiFi 4510L will get on 4G network; and if you travel to areas without 4G coverage, the mobile hotspot will drop down to 3G network automatically. The mobile hotspot lets you connect up to 5 mobile devices via WiFi 802.11b/g/n and works with phones, PC, Mac and Linux.
Unlike with older mobile hotspots and USB modems, you don't have to install any software on your computer to work with the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L. You only need to use your computer to find it and enter the correct password. Connection with PC and Mac were smooth in our tests, and connection features such as auto connect after sleeping and VPN pass-through worked well. If you have the Verizon's VZAccess Manager installed for an older mobile hotspot or USB modem, you should know that the MiFi 4510L doesn't work with the manage. Instead, Verizon offers an online web based manager that's pretty slick: it can see all devices connected to your MiFi, and give you all the usage data, etc. that you used to get via the local Manager. The online manager is a convenient way to track your account without ever having to install anything locally.
We have seen some blazing speeds on Verizon's 4G LTE, and the MiFi 4510L is no exception. The claimed speed for download on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L is 5-12Mbps, and we are seeing 13Mbps to over 18Mb/s. Upload speeds varied more in our speed tests, getting less than 1Mb/s to over 6Mbps depending on the signal strength. Web surfing was fast and video streaming was no hard task for this mobile hotspot. We used IE on a Lenovo notebook watching Hulu videos using the connection via the MiFi 4510L and the videos played smoothly. We also tested the video play on a Mac and using different browsers including Safari and Chrome, and experienced similar fast speeds and smooth video playback.
Speed test with good signal strength:
Speed test with marginal signal strength:
Building penetration is also good thanks to the low 700MHz spectrum for the Verizon 4G LTE. Speeds dropped some inside of large buildings but connections stayed alive and overall speeds were still quite impressive.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L has the same battery capacity as the Samsung Mobile Hotspot, but the battery life is somehow longer than the Samsung. We got about 4 hours of continuous connectivity for web surfing, movie streaming and more, which is nearly 1 hour longer than the Samsung's battery life. The mobile hotspot automatically goes to sleep after 30-minute's inactivity.
It's a no brainer if you travel a lot to metro areas with Verizon's 4G LTE and need a fast connection for your computer, your tablet or other mobile devices. Get one of these 4G LTE mobile hotspot products that give you the fast speeds on a cellular data network in the U.S. We like the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L for its super fast speed, especially if you are in a good coverage area, its small size and better battery life. The MiFi is very easy to use and connects to everything smoothly. The no local software installation is a nice touch, and the Verizon online account tracking is very convenient. The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE MiFi 4510L has great reception and good building penetration, and it's currently $50 cheaper than the Samsung mobile hotspot with a contract and after discounts, though their retail prices are the same.
Price: $49.99 with a 2-year contract after online discount, $269.99 retail.
Web site: www.verizonwireless.com www.novatelwireless.com
Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1500 mAh.
Size: 2.36 x 3.74 x 0.53 inches.
Data: 4G LTE on the 700MHz band. EV-DO Rev. 0 and A on the 800/1900MHz bands.
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