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Sprint Overdrive

2 Ratings: 4.5
A wireless device that connects mobile devices such as laptops to the internet via 3G or 4G networks.

Sprint Overdrive product page on Sprint website:   http://www.Sprint.com/Overdrive       Sprint Overdrive press release (CES 2010)   http://newsreleases.sprint.com/phoenix.zhtml...newsroom&ID=1372203   … see full wiki

1 review about Sprint Overdrive

Sprint Overdrive Review

  • Mar 10, 2010
Rating:
+4
Sprint has unveiled the Overdrive at CES 2010, a 4G (WiMax) and 3G mobile broadband HotSpot that creates a WIFI bubble for up to five wireless devices. Sprint sees it as a potential replacement for low-end DSL connections, and certainly a replacement for dial-up connections. We have tried it in both WiMax and 3G modes.

Specifications
  • Sprint 3G EVDO, WiMAX 2500 MHz
  • Share your connection with up to Five WIFI devices
  • integrated GPS
  • 128 × 228 pixels, 1.4" monochrome LCD
  • micro-USB port (charging and tethering)
  • microSD card slot
  • 1830 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 3.14 x 3.14 x 0.61" and 4.51 ounces

Usability
The Overdrive is supr easy to use: you turn it on, it connects to WiMax or 3G, and creates an instant WIFI bubble around you. Your access is protected by a simple code that is visible on the LCD display. It's not CIA-secure, but it's good enough for most situations. There's no need to install drivers and it works on everything that can connect to a WIFI network. Mac, PC, Blackberry... it doesn't matter.

The other device of this kind is the Novatel MIFI (Novatel also makes the Overdrive hardware for Sprint). It works similarly, but on 3G GSM networks. I own one as well and I found the Overdrive to be more practical because it has an LCD display that tells you what's going on. Also, MIFI requires you to use a MAC* filter, which is less convenient than a password (*MAC is a unique hardware ID for network devices).
"Easy to connect, easy to use": I have to give that one to Sprint. This is the easiest broadband modem/hotspot to use.
 

Connectivity

WiMax is still not available in many places, but even in 3G mode, I found that the Overdrive keeps all of its usability. 4G Coverage has been the main complaint that I found on various forums and websites. The good news is that it can only get better overtime.

Note that in WiMax mode, Sprint offers "true" unlimited uploads and downloads. However, if you connect in 3G, there's a limit of 5GB in (down) and 300MB (up) that you need to be aware of.

Battery Life
The Overdrive has its own lithium Ion battery and you can charge it with most micro USB phone chargers. We got about 3 hours of battery life, while watching TV shows with Hulu. I consider this to be very good, and the only option to make this longer would be to make the box and the battery bigger.

Storage
There's a MicroSD slot that allows you to create a shared Flash Storage for you and your friend. If you work as a team, it might be handy - I just did not have a use for it at the moment.

VPN
I've heard people having VPN issues with the overdrive, but I have not tried it, so I'm putting it out there: if you need to use VPN, you might want to do further research. I'll post an update if I happen to test that.

GPS
I have not used the GPS at all, because I didn't "need" it on my laptop. What would you have done with GPS? Let me know and I might try if I have time.

Price
As of now, the street price for the Overdrive is $50 (on Amazon) with a new two year contract of $60/month. This is on-par with other wireless broadband offerings.

Conclusion
The Overdrive is an excellent wireless broadband device that is much easier to use than any USB or PC Card modem. It is inherently easier to use because it is a self-contained unit that communicates with WIFI to any other device (Laptop, PSP, iPod Touch…). By doing so, it is also compatible with much more devices than a regular broadband modem could ever be. While WiMax was not "10X" faster for us, it was significantly (4X) faster and it almost felt like "being home". We named the Overdrive a "Best of CES 2010" and after weeks of use, we can confirm this choice.

See the complete review on Ubergizmo.com:
http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/03...t-overdrive-review.html
 






Sprint Overdrive Review

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April 06, 2010
I'd love to see the monthly fee for this thing drop. It seems like a great compliment to a WiFi-only iPad.
 
March 10, 2010
Thank you so much, Eliane! I once worked for Sprint ten years ago and have been to the Kansas headquarters a couple of times. We (notice the 'We', LOL) used to have the best mobile phones, but that is no longer the case. Nonetheless, I have remained with Sprint because their network works very well-I am in Metro NYC (Northern NJ and NYC primarily). I am/was planning on getting the iPad and getting the Sprint Mi-fi; looks like should I get this instead...? I currently use the Sprint 3G/4G USB Modem U300 and have absolutely no complaints....of course, I will be delirious when 4G comes to NYC later this year! :D I have tried Sprint 4G in Philadelphia, and will be using 4G when I go to Atlanta in July. It is great, very fast....
 
March 10, 2010
Excellent review. Very clear, concise and easy for me to understand. I was totally expecting this device to be much more expensive (thanks for including the price - very helpful). Looking forward to more gadget reviews from the Ubergizmo community!
March 10, 2010
Thanks for your feedback :)
 
March 10, 2010
hey eliane!! love the review and the community! thanks for checking it out. I'll see you at SXSW!!
March 10, 2010
Thanks! I sent some UI feedback to David :) See you at SXSW.
 
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Details
Type: Personal Broadband Modem
Model: Overdrive
Features: Convert Sprint 3G or 4G network into a personal WIFI Hot Spot

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