Tuesday, 1 December 2009

MiFi plus iPod touch is game-changing!

Earlier this year I was contacted by 3mobilebuzz to trial the INQ1, which was hailed by critics as the phone for the Facebook generation! The lack of a built-in Twitter client was lamentable, but, for a first generation product, the INQ1 showed great promise within the social media space. Free Skype calls wasn't bad either.



Thanks to 3mobilebuzz I'm now trialling 3's newly released mobile broadband - MiFi - over the next 7 weeks (or so). MiFi is your very own Wi-Fi hotspot - no need to search for an internet café! And, as part of a consumer panel, I'll be providing feedback on the following three subject areas:

1. Shopper experience
2. Set-up and getting connected for the first time
3. Where and how MiFi is being used

For the purpose of this trial I acted as a mystery shopper and purchased MiFi on PAYG from a 3Store. The in-store point of sale display was informative and helpful staff were on hand.

MiFi was clearly explained and its benefits over a USB modem dongle - no software set-up required out of the box: simply and securely connect a Wi-Fi enabled device such as an iPod touch, Nintendo DSi or Sony PSP. Instant gratification.

MiFi could replace home broadband. At time of writing, I live in an area where 3 mobile coverage is weak and this was pointed out by the sales assistant who asked me whether or not I wanted to proceed with the transaction. 3Store offers excellent customer service and compares favourably with Apple Store.

As a regular commuter between the South West and East of England. The compelling combo of MiFi and an iPod touch could be game-changing, and maybe all the mobile kit I'll ever need! Certainly this would've enabled me to 'tweet', from a mobile device, during a recent visit to Channel Four.

I've begun field testing the MiFi and iPod touch combo and am impressed with the reliability of the connection (where available). However, it maybe prudent to invest in a carry case for MiFi! The pack-in doesn't include one and the device is liable to become scratched and isn't that robust. It's worth observing that the function buttons are cumbersome - it's easy to accidentally disable Wi-Fi - and a single standby button would suffice.

From today you'll be able to buy a MiFi + iPod touch bundle from any 3Store or online here. Pricing for the bundle is £23 a month for a 2-year contract.

I'll be tweeting my MiFi usage during Christmas and the New Year. Looking forward to using MiFi at festive Tweet-Ups and seeing how it copes with more than one device connected.

You should follow me on Twitter here.