Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tattoo 4G SuperStick Review (Huawei E335)

...and how to use it as an improvised MiFi!

After the media launch of these sticks, I immediately bought a Tattoo 4G SuperStick at the nearest Globe center just a level up near the Ayala Museum in Greenbelt. They released new broadband sticks under the prepaid selection -- one 3G and two 4G sticks. The 2 other sticks seemed normal to me but the 4G SuperStick got my attention and since I love these connectivity sticks, I bought one on the spot. I have several of them at home but what sets this apart from the others are the WiFi capability and the fact that it can get 4G signals.

The Tattoo 4G SuperStick is the Huawei E355. Here are the specs:
  • EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • HSPA+ date speeds up to 21.6Mbps
  • HSUPA date speeds up to 5.76Mbps
  • MicroSD Card slot support 32G
  • Equalizer and receive diversity
  • Data and SMS Service
  • Standard USB interface
  • Dimensions: 90.6 x 28.6 x 12.6mm
  • Operating Systems: Windows XP SP2/SP3, Vista SP1/SP2,Windows 7, Mac OS 10.5/10.6/10.7

Inside the Tattoo 4G SuperStick (Sim slot and micro SD slot)
Nice semi-frosted plastic finish
Info on the box of the SuperStick
Tattoo 4G SuperStick with NTC sticker 

I did some speed tests to check if there's a difference between the ordinary 3G stick and the new 4G sticks:
Test Factor: 4G Stick / Prepaid Sim (Img 1.1)
Test Factor: 4G Stick / Postpaid Sim (Img 1.2)
Test Factor: MiFi Stick / Prepaid Sim  (Img 1.3) 
Just for everyone's information:
The MiFi stick I am referring to is not 4G enabled. I used the Huawei E5832. Globe locked.
The Tattoo 4G SuperStick is 4G enabled, which is the Huawei E355. Also Globe locked.

As seen in the screencap of the test above, Img 1.1 and 1.2 both used the new 4G stick. There is not much difference between prepaid and postpaid in terms of download speed and upload speeds. But the postpaid seemed more stable in terms of upload speeds.

In Img 1.3, I placed the prepaid sim on a non-4G stick and you can notice the difference. Placed it in the same spot, download went down from a max of 919 to 682 while upload went down from 275 to 106. Latency went up from 310 to 468.

With these non-professional tests that I conducted, I can safely say that if you are a prepaid user, definitely go for the 4G sticks as you'll get more bang for your buck because you'll be paying for the same rate anyway. If you're a postpaid user, upgrading is also recommended to also maximize what you are paying for.

I reinforce my recommendation of the 4G stick because up to 5 WiFi enabled devices can connect to it via WiFi versus the ordinary stick, which solely allows 1 computer user to utilize it. Also, the Huawei E335 can work as a MiFi too! Here's what I did:

4G Tattoo SuperStick w/ Prepaid sim attached to a portable battery pack (Works like a MiFi!)
I attached the Huawei E335 to a portable power source. In this case, I used a device I bought in Hong Kong, which has 1 USB outlet. I plugged the stick in, switched on the power and instantly, the stick emitted WiFi and remained switched on!

To know if the 4G stick is connected, you'll see a steady colored dot (Varies depending on speed. Green, Blue, and Green Blue -- in order, slowest to fastest). If the WiFi is emitting, the WiFi logo will light up as well. (as seen above).

To access the Huawei E335 control panel,
1) Get your WiFi enabled device and connect to your Huawei E335 via WiFi
2) Go to your internet browser
3) Enter this in the address bar:
4) Enter password (Default username is admin. Default password is admin)
5) You're in!

This might be a cheaper alternative compared to 4G MiFi Sticks which can cost up to 6,500 pesos (as of time of writing). Also, you can choose your battery pack of choice. The higher mAh, the better because the longer your improvised MiFi stick can last.

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Fleire Castro said...

Where can we buy a battery pack?

Cheftonio said...

I bought mine in Hong Kong. I saw one in Greenhills but there was only 1 in stock. Alternatively, you can check out:

Battery Specialist
(02) 3313472
V-mall 4th floor
Greenhills San Juan

They have a LOT of batteries. :)


MommyAnn said...

Hi Chef, thanks for the great post thank you for sharing :) if you don't me asking what's the output of the battery pack you used? ginaya kita obviously but got a cheap one lang at CDRKing. It could not sustain the power. It shuts off mga 10 minutes later.


Cheftonio said...

Output: 5V/2A

Some batteries have auto-shut off feature if they detect the gadget they are charging is full na. In this case, the battery will always think that the SuperStick is full na since wala naman siyang battery.

How many mAh did you get? I don't trust products from CDrKing since mostly, hindi tumatagal lalo na batteries. :)

MommyAnn said...

I was actually surprised that they have one :) it says in the pack 5200mAH with output of 700mA max of 1000mA. Mahina ba? I was thinking that the device might need more power because of the wifi capability?

Anonymous said...

Is there a bandwidth limit to postpaid 4G @ 999 plan?

Anonymous said...

Is there a bandwidth limit to 4G stick @ plan 999 postpaid? Im a gamer here and I dont want to encounter lags and slowtime when i'm online.

I'm living in Cebu City, strong signal @ max bar so i think the signal is not a problem.

DizzyDame2 said...

Thanks for your informative post. We got a 4G superstick today and I'm trying it on my MacBook. The signals are not steady :( I think this may be because we live on a high floor in a condo building. So there could be limitations to availability of 4G. Can you recommend anything else we can try? The device doesn't even show up in my FInder panel so I can't click on it to manually start installation of the necessary software.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheftonio! I would like to ask if it's possible to buy a 4g sim only? I already have a Huawei e355 which is openline and I have been searching for a good prepaid sim that I can use. If it's possible what is it called? Should I just ask for a Globe tattoo sim?

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheftonio! I already have the Huawei E355 which is openline, can I just buy Globe's 4g sim and use it on my E355? What is the name of the 4g sim? should I just ask for a globe tattoo sim?

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just want to ask if i can simply connect it sa power outlet (using USB power adapter). will it work as MiFi pa rin? if the answer is yes, i will definitely buy one. Thank you! =)

Jerold said...

Thanks for the info about this. Im gonna give this a try once I already buy a new laptop.