I've been thinking of just moving to tablets and giving up on chasing phones. Anyone using this and able to comment on the battery life and performance? Does it "pass on" the full bandwidth or throttle it? Any ports blocked or other restrictions? Anyone tried SIP over it?
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Hello. Even though you may already have this information, from our Fact Sheet regarding Battery Life,
It's important to understand that the highest contributing cause to draining a battery for mobile devices is "searching." This can be with either the wifi router portion or the cellular radios. So in a ideal environment, meaning, wifi device is well within range, and your data connection to one of the 3 data services is strong and not waivering, your battery life results should be optimal.
As for "throttling," a customer reported to me just the other day while being close enough to one of our new LTE towers, speeds around 30Mbps down and 22Mbps up. Your speeds will depend on which service you connect to, how far you are from the tower, and how far your wifi device is. Sprint does not "throttle" data speeds. We also do not block ports.
As for SIP, if you are referring to VOIP, this has not been tested by Sprint, but if speeds are high enough, it shouldn't be a problem.
Just be aware of the loss of coverage area with the Tri-Fi as compared to other 3G/4G devices. Yes, it supports WiMAX and LTE (in the few markets where those are deployed), but it only half supports 3G / CDMA (it does not support the 800MHz band, only 1900MHz 3G/CDMA, as verified by FCC records).
See details (and coverage map snapshots) over at: http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/95657?tstart=0
Tom, I've been using the Tri-Fi for about 3 months so far. I started out before there was LTE and have taken it on three road trips so far, all along interstate. On my trips, I've set it to 3G only and this seems to help battery life. It seems to transfer towers and maintain signal a lot better than my old MiFi. Road trips consist of three kids on iphones (facebooking, gaming, etc.) They've tried facetime and skype, but it doesn't work well at 3G speeds. My wife is usually on the laptop goofing around and facebooking. On occassion it seems like it will slow down, but I imagine that would be expected with four devices banging on it.
As for LTE and use with a tablet, I have the Google Nexus7 and use an app called TalkTone. It kind of makes Google Talk work a little cleaner on the tablet. I've managed to get it configured for making calls but I'm still playing around with getting it to receive calls. I'm sure this is more of a configuration issue on my end. I use this when I'm running kids and waiting for soccer practice to end or other activities. I'm very impressed with the call quality that I have; I imagine it would be a little better with a headset but I haven't heard any complaints from the folks that I call. I have used it for skype or I should say my daughters have used it for skype. They don't think it's as good as when they're at home on the house wifi, but they do think it's pretty good. They thought facetime worked better.
As for battery life, I can't complain, 2-3 hours of constant use and you're looking for a plug in. It seems to last longer when I lock it on a given speed. On road trips when it is scanning for 4G, it doesn't last very long. My only complaint would be that I've noticed it gets pretty hot to touch after about 30 minutes and have noticed that it will turn itself off when it senses it is in overheat mode.
I don't think the tri-fi is ready to replace your phone but it is extremely handy and very useful to have.