Product Overview: T-Mobile SyncUp Drive by ZTE (Mobile Hotspot / Connected Car)

ZTE in the News: ZTE has been in the news a lot lately thanks to the sanctions the company has been negotiating with the US government. At one point, it seemed as if ZTE would be forced out of business.

In mid-July 2018 it looked like the dust has settled and ZTE would be able to continue releasing new products and supporting older devices, so we dropped our previous warning.

However, as of late 2018, the Trump administration is considering a ban on ZTE and Huawei via Executive Order.

Members, get our further analysis and follow our ongoing tracking of this story in our Special Announcements forum:

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ALERT: Future of ZTE In Doubt - Mobley, Warp, Velocity 2, other devices impacted

The SyncUp Drive is T-Mobile's Connected Car widget that plugs directly into a vehicle's OBD-II Port, creating a Wi-Fi hotspot within the vehicle powered by T-Mobile's network whenever the ignition is turned on. There are adapters and hacks available to provide power to the unit when the vehicle is not on.

A rebranded version called "SMART-ride" is available from T-Mobile's prepaid subsidiary, Metro by T-Mobile (formerly known as MetroPCS).

A T-Mobile data plan must be attached to this device in order to use data - the standard data plan is 2GB for $10/month, but more data options are available at different levels up to 22GB for $85/month.  Once the high-speed data bucket is used up, the plans still offer unlimited 3G (600kbps) for the rest of the month.  The Metro by T-Mobile plans for the SMART Ride are very similar.


  • # of Connected Devices: 5 Wi-Fi
  • Networks supported:
    LTE Bands: 2/4/5/12
    4G: HSPA+ Bands: 1/2/4
  • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: No
  • LTE Performance Category: Category 3
    (Max Theoretical Speed: 100Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
  • Cellular Antenna Ports: None
  • Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 2.9" x 2.1" x 1" / 2.8 oz
  • SIM Card Type: 3FF / Micro SIM
  • Retail Price:  $150

Testing Status: We do not currently plan to test this product, as it is older technology only suitable for vehicles with an OBD-2 port and data plans are pricey. It's of limited appeal to our core audience seeking home internet replacement solutions in RVs and boats.

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Quick Take

T-Mobile's connected car hotspot.

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