T-Mobile Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G (M3000) review

T-Mobile Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G (M3000) review

T-Mobile’s new Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G Access Point ($264) (also called M3000) is the successor to the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000, which won the Editors’ Choice award when we first got it. reviewed last year. The new model takes everything we loved from the previous model and introduces some welcome improvements such as an Ethernet port and the ability to connect even more devices via Wi-Fi. Unsurprisingly, this makes it our new pick winner for editors for T-Mobile hotspots.

Is the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G for you?

You may not know if you need a hotspot. Your phone probably includes tethering, but cell phones only support a limited number of Wi-Fi connected devices (usually 10) when used as a hotspot. With a dedicated hotspot, you can connect up to 32 different devices. In other words, if you need to connect more than a handful of devices, a hotspot is the best option.

Also, using a phone as a hotspot quickly drains the phone’s battery. Having a dedicated device for tethering keeps your laptop and other devices connected without draining your phone’s battery. And in some business cases, companies will pay for your hotspot, making it easier to track against a connected phone data plan when it comes to reporting expenses.

You can trust our reviews

T-Mobile offers a range of hotspot plans. The top tier plan includes 100GB of data for $50 per month. Others include 2GB for $10, 5GB for $20, and 10GB for $30. For comparison, T-Mobile’s $140 per month Magenta Max unlimited smartphone plan includes up to 40GB of hotspot data per month. If you need more than 40 GB of hotspot data per month, a dedicated hotspot is the only way to get it.

Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G back panel

(Credit: Dave LeClair)

Your phone might be smaller than a hotspot, but the M3000 isn’t too big. It measures 5.90 x 2.91 x 0.74 inches and weighs 8.5 ounces, making it small enough to comfortably carry in a bag, though a little big to slip into a pocket.

Part of the reason for the bulk is the large 5,050mAh battery, which you can remove and replace. The SIM card slot, which is needed to connect the device to T-Mobile’s network, is hidden under the battery.

The M3000 offers solid battery life, although its duration will vary depending on how many devices are connected, how much data you’re using and whether or not you’re using the Ethernet port. Inseego recommends connecting the hotspot to the included USB-C charger to keep it running longer. when using Ethernet. We tested it by connecting two devices (a phone and a desktop computer) and streaming YouTube videos to both. It lasted 5 hours and 52 minutes. If you only use it to browse the web, you should see better battery life.

Features Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G

The biggest change to the M3000 over the M2000 is the Ethernet port, which lets you connect a desktop computer or other device at the fastest possible speeds. The hotspot relies on a USB-C port to charge the device itself, but it can also be used as a power bank to charge a phone or other device.

While not intended to replace your home internet service, the Ethernet port and fast speeds offered by the M3000 make it a possibility if you control data usage. I use almost 1TB of data per month, so there’s no way to replace my home internet with this or any other hotspot. But if you use much less data, it is possible.

Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G open

(Credit: Dave LeClair)

You control the device via a 2.4-inch LCD touchscreen. You can change hotspot settings via the touchscreen or the web. We complained about the previous model’s unresponsive touchscreen, but we didn’t have such issues with the newer model. The screen reacted to every interaction and touch without fail.

If you choose to use the web interface, you can take control of more advanced settings like MAC filtering, port forwarding, guest networks, and a basic firewall, none of which are accessible through the web interface. ‘touchscreen.

Blazing 5G connectivity

Ultimately, the most important thing about a hotspot is speed, and that’s precisely where the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G impresses the most.

The T-Mobile version of the MiFi X PRO 5G comes with the Snapdragon X62 modem inside, while the Verizon version gets the X65. The X62 has less capacity than the X65 and is therefore limited to theoretical maximum download speeds of 4.4 Gbps, while the X65 can reach 10 Gbps. Aside from theoretical capabilities, no wireless network yet supports either of these speeds. The T-Mobile hotspot supports carrier 5G bands, including n77 and n78 C-bands. As with the previous generation, the T-Mobile Inseego model doesn’t support mmWave, but that’s fine because T-Mobile doesn’t offer much mmWave coverage.

I connected my desktop computer to the Inseego via the Ethernet port and carried on with my typical day, which included working and playing games like Dota 2 and the latest Call of Duty. The speed was so good that I forgot I was connected to a 5G hotspot and not my home internet.

My home Internet service maxes out at 1200 Mbps when connected directly to the modem. The access point wasn’t that fast in testing, but the key is that it was fast enough. In a speed test on my PC, it reached 609 Mbps down and 22.41 Mbps up. Of course, top speeds require excellent T-Mobile 5G service.

Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G Top Edge

(Credit: Dave LeClair)

When testing over Wi-Fi, speeds were slower. The Inseego supports Wi-Fi 6, but not Wi-Fi 6E. On the same Windows 11 PC, I achieved wireless download speeds of 131 Mbps and upload speeds of 25 Mbps. These are good speeds, although the difference between wired and wireless performance is stark.

Despite the high speed, during peak hours (around 4 p.m.) the access point struggled to stream a 1080p YouTube video to my desktop computer. Speed ​​test results also dropped to 54Mbps during this time, showing that network congestion is a key factor in determining the kind of performance you can expect to get. During the middle of the day and late at night, speeds are usually the best.

These performance drops during peak hours are not limited to the hotspot. We compared it to the connection performance of an iPhone 14 Pro Max on T-Mobile and found similar download speeds and buffering.

A quick upgrade

Beyond the Ethernet port, the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G supports more 5G bands than the previous model, including the critical mid-band spectrum, and can thus access better 5G speeds. It also adds support for more connected devices than the M2000 (32 versus 30). These upgrades, along with outstanding performance in testing, make it the best hotspot you can buy on T-Mobile, as well as an Editors’ Choice winner.

T-Mobile Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G (M3000)

The essential

If you’re looking for a 5G hotspot on T-Mobile’s speedy network, the Inseego MiFi X PRO 5G (M3000) is the one to buy.

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