Review: Verizon HumX (Mobile Hotspot / Connected Car)

The Verizon HumX is a "Connected Car" device from that plugs into a vehicle's OBD-II diagnostic port, automatically creating a Wi-Fi hotspot whenever the ignition is turned on.

In other words - the HumX is designed to keep passengers entertained with internet access while on a road trip.

But the HumX is a lot more than just a Wi-Fi hotspot. It also provides vehicle diagnostics, tracking, a speakerphone, and it can even give you (or your kids) a driving safety score.

Ever since AT&T rolled out its Connected Car Unlimited Data plan for just $20/month - folks have been asking us if the HumX could be used on Verizon to share an unlimited hotspot in an RV the same way that the ZTE Mobley has been used to provide unlimited hotspot access on AT&T.

Unfortunately - the HumX is saddled with frustrating limitations that make it relatively useless for the most common nomadic connectivity needs.

Specifications

  • # of Connected Devices: 10 via Wi-FI
  • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes
  • LTE Performance Category: Category 4
    (Max Theoretical Speed: 150Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
  • Cellular Antenna Ports: None
  • Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 802.11 b/g/n - 2.4GHz Only
  • Dimensions:
    • Wi-Fi Device: 3.19" x 2.13" x 1.06" / 6.0 oz
    • Speaker Device: 4.72'' x 2.76'' x 1.99'' /  6.0 oz
  • SIM Card Type: eSim (not removable!)
  • Retail Price: $150

NOTE: Verizon also offers the Hum+, which is a vehicle tracking/diagnostic tool without the built in Wi-Fi hotspot feature. If you are looking for internet access, be careful not to accidentally purchase the wrong Hum!

Review & Testing Status

We purchased a HumX to test, and added it as a line to our Verizon New Unlimited Data Plan.

We used the HumX extensively for a brief period, and then returned it shortly before the two week return window closed.

Unboxing Video & First Impressions

Here is our unboxing video and impressions of the Verizon HumX, filmed in May 2017.

Hands On Testing Notes

We decided to find out the answers to these key questions:

Can the HumX be powered by an external power adapter like the AT&T Mobley - allowing it to operate without needing the vehicle's ignition on?

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Yes, but only for a limited time - and only if the HumX has not already been paired to a vehicle. Once the HumX is paired with a vehicle, it will not power on without being plugged into that specific vehicle. And you can not easily switch vehicles without Verizon re-provisioning the HumX to pair with the new vehicle's VIN number.

Some online hardware hackers have speculated that an OBD-2 interface setup with a VIN spoofer might get around this check, but this level of workaround is well beyond most mortals.

Will the HumX keep operating as a mobile hotspot after the vehicle ignition has been turned off?

No, it turns itself off within a few minutes of the vehicle shutting down. There is no way around this presently.

Can you use as much 4G LTE data as you want, without encountering Verizon's 10GB high speed mobile hotspot cap?

We were able to use 12GB of data on our HumX without any slowdowns or notifications.

However, on our MyVerizon dashboard, the usage shows the new 10GB hotspot meter - but none of that data was calculated as mobile hotspot usage.

Our smartphone on the same account also is not currently calculating hotspot use into the meter - and there is clearly a policy on this this.

Our Jetpack line on this same account is actively subject to throttling after 10GB of usage.

At present time, we consider the unlimited high speed usage to be a possible temporary condition - given that our smartphone hotspot data is calculating the same way.

Conclusion: Because you can not practically use the HumX outside of a running vehicle, the Verizon HumX is NOT a viable equivalent to the AT&T Mobley Connected Car Plan.

However, if you're seeking an onboard diagnostics tool that can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot while the vehicle is on, the HumX might serve that need.

Just be aware that the unlimited data may be a temporary feature and eventually subject to Verizon's typical 10GB limit on high-speed mobile hotspot usage.

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Purchasing Options

REMINDER: Verizon also offers the Hum+, which is a vehicle tracking/diagnostic tool without the built in Wi-Fi hotspot feature. If you are looking for internet access, be careful not to accidentally purchase the wrong Hum!

Purchasing Links:

HumX Ratings
  • Overall Rating

Quick Take

If you desire a very limited Wi-Fi hotspot in your vehicle while in motion, Verizon offers HumX.

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