Update: My first Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is defective

Summary:My first impressions were largely positive after receiving the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, but things quickly went sour.

The Verizon 4G (LTE) network is so fast that I was as giddy as a boy the day before Christmas waiting for my Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot to arrive late last week. This little gadget taps the 4G network and dishes it out to up to 5 devices over its internal WiFi network. My first impressions were largely positive after receiving the Samsung hotspot, but things quickly went sour.

The first two days with the gadget went as expected, with the exception that one time the WiFi router part of the hotspot locked up. The device was useless, and wouldn't even power off; I had to open it up and pull the battery out to get it to power cycle. Once that was performed it was back to business as usual.

Unfortunately these lockups began to happen frequently and eventually I couldn't use the Samsung for longer than 5 minutes before the next freeze. The device was useless to me as I couldn't expect it to perform without interrupting my workflow. It was definitely time to do something about it.

Today I was running errands and realized I would be passing by a Verizon store so I stopped to see if they could help me. I didn't expect much as usually data modems must involve tech support in some distant location. Much to my surprise the salesman listened to my brief account and said he'd help me out.

After a few minutes in the back room he returned with a new Samsung unit and processed the paperwork to exchange it for my defective one. I only brought the Samsung itself and not the box nor the charger, but that didn't matter. He pulled out my SIM card, put it in the new Samsung and I was out the door in 15 minutes. This was great support and I admit I was surprised by how smoothly it went.

The new gadget has been working flawlessly for two hours now, with nary a hiccup. It is probably coincidence but I'm seeing more consistent speeds than with the old one. I currently have three devices connected to the Samsung over WiFi, and all are humming right along.

I hope this new unit continues to work as well as it has so far, and while it is disturbing that my first one was obviously defective I can accept the fact that a certain percentage of new devices will have problems. Let's see how it goes from here; I must give kudos to Verizon for taking care of this with little fuss.

Topics: Samsung, Hardware, Mobility, Verizon, Wi-Fi

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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