New Three MiFi (Huawei E585) Review

The "new" MiFi
LINK - Third Generation E586 Review
Back in January I blogged a review of the then new Three MiFi, you can read it here. Here is my review of the "new" and similar MiFi 2 (Huawei E585). The easiest  way to tell them apart is that "old" MiFi is white and the new one is black. I liked the MiFi in January and have used it a great deal since, for my regular train commute and also when camping and out and about including use at the Glastonbury festival where it gave by far the most reliable Internet connection.

If you haven't read my old review in short the MiFi is a device that connects to the mobile phone network using  3G and turns itself into a mobile wireless access point that you can connect up to 5 devices to that all share the 3G Internet connection.

The "Old" Mifi
There were a few niggles with the "old" MiFi. As shipped the firmware was limited and you needed to press three buttons to connect to the Internet. If you are a geek like me and happy to flash new firmware from an unauthorised source on the web that could be easily fixed but most users would not want to do this. The new MiFi only has one button! Press it and it turns on and connects.

There were also issues with the usefulness of the display with its confusing 5 lights and the new MiFi has a full screen with lots of information such as network, connect time, signal and battery strength. The old MiFi also wouldn't charge and run at the same time, if you plugged it in it would run but not charge the battery. That is fixed too as is pretty much every little niggle people had (see list below).

The new MiFi is very similar to the old one and that is no bad thing, it was a solid product and this builds on that to make it even better. At £50 pay as you go and from free on contract this is reasonably priced and I highly recommend it. Great to see that Three and Huawei have listened to feedback from users and improved the product based on that.

Improved from old MiFi

  • Single Button Connect
  • OLED screen with full information (network, connect time, battery, data transferred, signal strength, number of devices connected)
  • Full access to configure from a web browser without the need to plug in
  • Improved battery
  • Battery charges and runs device at the same time
  • Access to files on MicroSD card from any connected wifi device (previously had to be plugged in via USB)
  • Uses MicroUSB the new "standard" for mobile devices
  • Visual indication device is "on" even when screen is sleeping to save battery
  • Black colour more in keeping with latest tech
  • can connect multiple devices (laptops, smartphones etc) up to 5
  • saves battery on connecting devices (compared to 3G)
  • allows mobile use of devices without 3G (such as iPod Touch, PSP, Nintendo DSi)
  • cheap
  • can be located in high 3G signal strength area (Say by a window) without you needing to sit there
  • can be used in a caravan, car, boat or campervan (and will run happily from 12V with a suitable lead)
  • doesn't need to be plugged in to a device
  • another gadget to carry
  • another gadget to remember to charge (but it will run from a USB cable if you forget!)
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