I bought my SmartBro last month at Smart Wireless Center for 995 pesos (around $20 something), only a slight difference in the price from its competitor, Globe Tattoo which I was my first choice. But that time, Smart Bro has a promo of additional 10 hours Free internet usage aside from the preloaded free 5 hours which was about 300 pesos worth of load so I got attracted with the deal. I also heard from the tv ads that Smartbro offers faster internet connection up to 2mbps based on speedtest... but later I found out its not true.
What’s in the Box?
Smart Bro HSDPA USB modem with micro SD card slot
Smart Bro Prepaid Plug-it SIM
Smart Bro SIM/USB Modem User guide
Smart Bro Prepaid Advantage:
- Completely Plug and Play
- Easy to carry with nationwidest coverage
- Faster than dial up provided that signal is 3G or HSDPA
- Yah, Nationwidest coverage for GPRS… but not with 3G/HSDPA signal because it is available on selected areas only.
- Speed varies but based on my own speedtest result, it never reaches 2Mbps as it was advertised.
- Although the Broadband kit is of reasonable price, 20 pesos per hour rate is for me, its expensive. Another bad thing is charging time is 30 minutes block which means if your usage only ranges less than 30 minutes, your charge is already for 30 minutes.
MY OPINION/USER EXPERIENCE
Internet speed is good enough if network is 3G/ HSDPA, but if signal is EDGE/GRPS, I must say that speed is much like dial-up or even worst. Signal is good if you are within the city or areas that has 3G/HSDPA network but not countryside and rural areas wherein available signal is only EDGE or GPRS. I experience connecting to the internet on GRPS signal and gosh!, I couldn’t even use facebook smoothly because browsing is really super slow and I only wasted load.
For heavy internet-user like me, think first. I would still prefer unlimited internet on a monthly bill rather than 20 pesos per hour of internet. It is even expensive as compared to hourly rate in the internet café at about 15 pesos per hour. But well, if convenience and mobility is the issue, Smartbro is has its advantage because you can connect anytime, anywhere and that you can “budget” your usage.
Before purchasing SmartBro, check first if your area is covered with 3G or HSDPA network otherwise you will regret later. I recommend it only for occasional internet user.