The Android-powered Roaming Man G3 is an international Wi-Fi hotspot that offers 4G LTE connectivity in more than 130 countries and regions. Unlike Roaming Man’s rental-only U2, you have to buy the G3 outright for $139.99, after which you can use it for $6.99 a day, as opposed to the $9.99 you’ll pay for the U2. For the price, you get 500MB of 4G data daily and unlimited 2G. Like the U2 and the GlocalMe G2, the Roaming Man G3 provides strong network performance, reliable connectivity, and long battery life. It’s a solid choice if you travel constantly, but the U2 is a better bet for everyone else, and remains our Editors’ Choice.
How the Roaming Man G3 Works
On Roaming Man’s site, you enter the country or region you’re traveling to (there are over 130 countries to choose from), your start and stop dates for service, and a delivery address (US customers can also choose to pick up in Manhattan or at various self-service kiosks). We ordered the hotspot for delivery in New York and tested it in Berlin, Germany, but you can also use it in countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Pricing regardless of country or duration of use is $6.99 per day for unlimited data, though after the first 500MB of high-speed 4G data, the connection slows to 384kbps, which is a little bit faster than the 284kbps you get on most other international hotspots.
Shipping is free in the US. The plus side of using the G3 is that, since you need to buy it, once you have it, it’s always around. You can simply start and stop service when needed. You don’t need to worry about renting one every time you’re getting ready to go on a trip.
Design and Features
Measuring in at 4.9 by 2.7 by 0.8 inches (HWD) and 8.3 ounces, the G3 is the biggest and heaviest international hotspot we’ve tested, much larger than the U2 (5.0 by 2.6 by 0.4 inches, 4.0 ounces) and the Skyroam Solis (3.5 inches in diameter, 1 inch thick, 5.1 ounces). It’s not easy to carry around in your pocket, so you’ll want to keep it in a bag.
The hotspot has a 3.5-inch color touch display on the front, along with a speaker grille that looks a lot like an earpiece, and what appears to be an ambient light sensor. With its glossy plastic build, metal sides, and physical volume and power buttons, it looks like a gargantuan iPhone 4.
The G3 is powered by Android, but it doesn’t actually do much with it. The home screen shows whether the hotspot is connected to a cellular network, and gives you the Wi-Fi network name and password. There are a variety of other screens and settings, including a full-fledged Google Maps app, a weather app, and a dialer, but a lot of it is in Chinese.
The right side has a micro USB port for charging and a dual SIM card slot. The bottom edge is home to a USB-A output, letting you charge other devices using the G3’s 5,350mAh battery. It charges at a relatively slow 5V/1A and doesn’t support fast charging. I’d rather carry my own separate power bank rather than drain the hotspot’s juice.
Network Performance and Battery
The G3 supports GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), CDMA (BC0/BC1), WCDMA (1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19), LTE-FDD (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9/17/19/20), and LTE-TDD (38/39/40/41) bands, giving it comprehensive international network connectivity. I tested it while at IFA in Berlin, in several locations throughout the city and the crowded Messe Berlin convention center.
In the convention center, I recorded a top speed of 21.4Mbps down and 33.9Mbps up. Elsewhere in the city, I reached a high of 25.4Mbps down and 25.9Mbps up.
I typically saw double-digit speeds outdoors, allowing me to browse the web, tweet, and upload photos without any problem. In addition, the G3 never dropped the connection and I only noticed slowdowns in areas of heavy congestion.
One thing to keep in mind is that, while the data is unlimited, once you hit the 500MB/day 4G LTE cap, you get throttled down to 2G speeds. Generally, I didn’t find that to be a problem. I think for most people, that amount of high-speed data should be enough for regular usage, provided you save any heavy-duty streaming for your hotel’s Wi-Fi.
Battery life is excellent. I managed around eight to 10 hours of battery life on average, for a full day’s coverage at the convention center. I kept the G3 on the entire time I was there, and always had my phone connected to it and usually a laptop as well. A total of five devices can be connected.
The Roaming Man G3 is a reliable international hotspot with solid battery life and strong connectivity. Frequent international business travelers will find a lot of value in the G3 thanks to its $6.99 daily usage price. If you aren’t traveling most of the year, however, Roaming Man’s U2 hotspot offers equally reliable connectivity and speeds in a much more pocket-friendly design available to rent whenever you need, which is why it remains our Editors’ Choice.
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