Pocket WiFi: Globe vs. Smart

Jan 7, 2015

I've had troubles choosing which would be the right pocket WiFi for me. And I would like to share with you how I came up with a decision. It's a pretty simple thing if you come think of it.

How to know or check which WiFi would be the best for you?

One of the best way to know the performance of the pocket WiFi is THROUGH TRIAL

Because our network providers don’t offer trial plans or products, we can do it on our own through:

1) Friends

Instead of just asking how the pocket WiFi works for your friends, why don’t you convince them to lend you their pocket WiFi for a couple of days so you can check it yourself? 3 days is, I guess, fair enough to evaluate the quality of service the pocket WiFi provides. Just make sure there are no network maintenance happening in the area you’re in when you borrow their pocket WiFi.

2) Mobile data

Since pocket WiFi (especially the prepaid ones) uses the same signal and data as our mobile phones. So if you have a sim card for both network, you can register their unlimited promos and see which of the two works best for you.
UPDATE: There are now LTE sim cards available. If you're interested in buying an LTE pocket wifi, it would be best to try buy a prepaid sim card first. Try it in the areas you're mostly in and see it's connection status.

Factors to consider during Trial


Make sure you check which locations have a better connection and which don’t. This way, you’d be able to assess which pocket WiFi will work well in the places you’re almost always in.
But if you’re always on the road, it would be difficult to evaluate which one is better since there are places in the Philippines that has the so-called dead spots for a network. Additional to that, when we're traveling, the signal changes therefore causing the 3G or 4G status of a network to change too. 

Price and Usage
Price is an important factor especially if you're under budget. You will also have to determine your usage. You have to weigh the cost of the WiFi from your daily usage. Is it worth it? Do you really need a pocket wifi if you already have connection at home?
For professionals and college students, I believe internet is a necessity therefore it’s reasonable to buy a pocket WiFi. An internet connection will help them with their work or school related projects and duties. But for some who only wants to stay connected while outdoors in certain occasions, it may not be so ideal especially if you can use your mobile data instead.

UPDATED: December 2, 2016


I initially wanted an LTE pocket wifi but was told that internet usage would be limited depending on the gigabytes limit per day. For someone like me who opens a lot of websites every day, upload photos to the blog and watch videos for work and studies, having a faster internet but with usage limit is not the best option for me. So I bought the non-LTE pocket wifi instead and was recommended to register the unlimited surfing promo. It worked well for me while I was studying in SOFA.

However, as time goes by, telco companies have strictly implemented the fair usage policy. In my experience this year, using the same Smart Pocket Wifi, I was only allowed to use 800mb per day. If I pass that limit, I can no longer access sites; promo registration is still active but connection was put on hold. The system refreshes every 12 midnight which will give you another 800mb to use.

If you really need to do some stuff on the internet and can't wait for the 12 midnight refresh, you will have to cancel your subscription or register to another surf promo.

So which one is it? Globe or Smart?

Before I conclude, I would like to share my experience with both of them. Just recently, I had to buy a Globe Pocket Wifi. This gave me the chance to compare both of them. Let's start off with Smart's, which was my first pocket wifi.

I bought this when I had to live in Manila for a couple of months. I lived near Waltermart Makati. Smart has a good connection in Makati, based on experience. Back then, I never had issues with the fair usage policy. I was using it for my blogging, watching Youtube videos and even downloading files I needed for school. I never got any message saying I have reached my limit. 

I have also tried using it in different places. I will give a summary below.

Bauan, Batangas The connection wasn't that fast but it was working. You just really have to find a good spot for the signal.
Cavite I don't know why but Smart's Pocket Wifi connection in Cavite is very poor, at least in my experience.
Mall of Asia There are deadspots in Mall of Asia for Smart Pocket Wifi especially in the seaside area.
Taft Ave In the unit I stayed in Taft, it wasn't that fast. There were also times it only had 2G connection even if I place it in the balcony. But I have tried it in the food establishments around DLSU Taft, it was working pretty fine.
Quezon City I travel to work via LRT every day, until 5th Ave. Though there are deadspots in some LRT stations, when I reach the office or when I'm at 5th Ave, the connection is good.

*review coming out soon*


 Do you own a pocket wifi?
What made you decide to buy that?

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