Wiwander international portable hotspot review
Much cheaper than most roaming charges, but can't beat having a local SIM for value.
- Preconfigured to work in multiple countries
- Cheaper than most roaming fees
- Slow 3G speeds in some 4G areas
- More expensive than some local SIMs
If you're going to a single country then a local SIM can be cheaper and faster. However, this provides internet access without local shopping and is cheaper than roaming fees.
Price$ 5.00 (AUD)
The Wiwander is a portable mobile hotspot that comes preconfigured to work across various countries. You connect to it via WiFi and it provides internet access over the local mobile phone network.
We tested it on a trip to Taiwan. We turned it on when we landed at Hong Kong and sure enough, we had 3G internet speeds. In Taiwan, again, it worked on landing and when we were out and about at a conference - with 3G speeds.
However, the 3G speeds can feel a bit slow these days. Furthermore, on landing at Taipei’s airport we popped into the telco shop which is right by the Arrivals gate and bought an 4G SIM with unlimited data that lasted a full week for just $500NT – that’s just over $20 Australian.
Data on the WiWander isn’t unlimited – you’ll get shaped (slowed down) if you break the (rather stingy) Fair Use policy (which is described as approximate in each case): Unlimited for Singapore; 1GB per day for China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan; 500MB per day for Europe, Hong Kong, USA, Thailand.
Prices can be seen here and vary between $5 per day and $25 per day depending on where you go. You order the device at least five days before travel with delivery costing a not-insignificant $14 to $28 depending on where in Australia you live.
Wiwander does list that 4G speeds are available but it’s not clear where. We were stuck with 3G throughout our travels and subsequently relied upon our separately-purchased 4G SIM card’s data.
The device itself is quite bulky at 145 x 83 x 16mm and it weighs 200g – it’s basically like a very chunky mobile phone without the screen. Much of the weight comes from the battery which is rated to six hours – less if multiple devices are attached.
Ultimately, it’s a far better bet buying a local SIM card when you land (or use services like Vodafone’s $5-a-day roaming) – for most people. However, some travelers, especially those passing through multiple countries, won’t easily be able to do that. Furthermore, if you (or your employees) usually just turn on their Australian phone, on landing, and get stung with massive roaming charges, this will make things feel a whole lot cheaper.
If it consistently used 4G speeds and had better data allowances it would be a better bet for most people, but as it is, it’s a pricey, convenient way to quickly hook up to a foreign network without too much hassle.Read more: Review: HTC One X9 and OPPO R9 - mid-range Android phones
- Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- How to find the cheapest flights
- Roving Rachel's best crowd-funded travel products that are online right now
- Incase City Backpack
- Cosmic Watch app review
- Moto 360 2nd gen. smart watch review
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- One reason why you should wait before buying the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7
- Linksys Max-Stream AC1900+ WiFi Range Extender RE7000 review
- WiFi review: Does MU-MIMO currently make a difference?
- Linksys AC600 MU-MIMO WiFi USB adapter review
- AC5300 Router reviews: Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear Nighthawk X8 vs. D-Link DIR-895L
- Which is the best travel SIM for Japan in 2016?
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Android device updates: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are finally getting Nougat
- HTC's U Ultra flagship attacks the high end with a glass back, an AI companion, and a second screen
- The iPhone turns 10: Apple CEO Tim Cook promises 'the best is yet to come'
- Nokia returns to smartphones at long last, but you can't buy it (and probably don't want to)
- Google releases Android 7.1.1 images for Pixel and Nexus devices
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- FTSenior Project Manager - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager - Queensland TerritoryQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager - Vendor Transition - ApplicationsNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCPeoplesoft SpecialistACT
- FTRegional Sales Manager - Telco/ICT - Employer of choiceQLD
- FTSystems Engineer - SCCM & Lync/Skype for BusinessQLD
- FTNetIQ Development & SupportNSW
- FTLinux Systems EngineerQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2 Help Desk SupportQLD
- CCSenior Murex DeveloperVIC
- CCWeb Architect - Ruby, Python, Java, Open sourceNSW
- CCTester (6 month contract) FinanceNSW
- CCIT Risk Specialist (Assurance) - TelcoVIC
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTSenior AEM Consultant - Public SectorACT
- TPIDAM ArchitectVIC
- TPProject Manager - SAPQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTApplications Sales ExecutiveWA
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD