Opening up the box for the Alcatel onetouch rideFi you get a device looks like below:
The device has no battery and is designed to be inserted right into the power/cigarette socket in the car. The USB port on the device is a bidirectional charging port: you can use a male-to-male USB cable to charge the rideFi, or when you plug the device into the car, you can use a standard USB cable charger cable to charge your phone or tablet device while driving. The male-to-male USB cable does not come with the box so if you plan to use the device on your desk or around the house you need to buy this male-to-male cable. The rideFi can support up to 8 devices connected to it via WiFi.
If you have ordered the device online or from a Sprint store, the device should have been provisioned and ready for activation. To activate the device, it is pretty easy, just plug the device into a car cigarette lighter or from a USB source, and then press the button near the USB port for about 2 sec. The blue light should turn on and the device will soon be connected to the Sprint data network (likely via 4G LTE). The WiFi key can be found by opening the cover at the area pointing by the orange arrow in the photo below. The WiFi key is indicated by the word “Key” on the label under the cover. Select the WiFi on your tablet WiFi device, voila you get a connection. Pretty easy! There is an app to manage your rideFi hotspot, however, if you just want to connect there is no need to have the app. The app will allow you to view the status of the rideFi and for you to make some configuration changes.
Voila, I have my WiFi tablet connected to the WiFi in my car (the rideFi access point SSID is SprintWiFiA-AF2F):
I am using my WiFi table as the Google navigation device. Very cool, I probably have one of the biggest portable GPS navigation device.
I also using the standard USB charging cable to charge my tablet via the USB port of the rideFi. My tablet was at 94% charge level, after only about 7min, the tablet reported battery full, so the charging port is working pretty well.
I was getting real-time navigation all the way from home to work via my tablet!
At work, I also use the male-to-male cable for my tablet WiFi access.
In summary the device works very well in terms of data access. The form factor is great, and operating the device is very simple.
I will likely bring the device everywhere so I can provide WiFi access for my passengers and my tablet Navigation device. In fact, at the time of writing this blog, the Internet service at my home is down, I actually connect to the network using this rideFi device. Sprint has just completed adding TDD LTE towers near my house, I get really good speed in the upper two floors of the house (over 15 mbps DL, and 3-4 mbps UL).
Bye for now
Your Sprint Product Ambassador*
* Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee.