Hands-on: Novatel MiFi 2352 Hotspot for Telefónica

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We first saw the MiFi 2352 Mobile Hotspot’s CDMA brother back at CES; we loved it then, and we love it just as much in its GSM form. Novatel announced yesterday that Telefónica would be the first carrier to launch the MiFi sometime during this quarter, so we figured we’d stop by their suite to give it a spin.

We liked the brushed metal look of the CDMA variant a bit more than the plastic case of the MiFi 2352 – but aesthetics aren’t what counts here. It’s slim, it’s light weight, and it works well. Once your SIM is in, the MiFi 2352 will act as a wireless router for up to 5 people (though carriers can drop this down to 3 if they choose). It goes from powered off to kickin’ out the WiFi juice in a matter of seconds, and has a swappable, USB charged battery, up to 16GB of storage via microSD, and internal GPS – live bloggers couldn’t ask for more.

Thee device can theoretically handle up to 7.2 megabit per second HSUPA but, as with all theoretical caps, don’t expect to actually reach that speed. We ran a few speed tests and were averaging about 4 megabits per second download and 1000 kilabits per second upload – not bad at all, considering that there are probably at least a few hundred thousand cell phones battling for tower time in the area around Mobile World Congress.

We got to take a quick sneak peak at the configuration screen, which we hadn’t seen previously; nothing too exciting here, but everything seemed about as simple as could be – see the screenshot below as an example.

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