Review: Verizon MiFi 7730L by Novatel (Mobile WiFi Hotspot)

The 7730L Jetpack is Verizon's first mobile hotspot with a touchscreen and USB-C. In some ways, it makes older models feel primitive.

For most of 2016 our top pick for a mobile hotspot on Verizon's network had been the Netgear AC791L - a very capable device that has proven itself to be both fast and reliable.

But Verizon and Novatel in January 2017 announced a new flagship and rival for the crown - the Novatel 7730L.

Though comparable to the AC791L in many ways, the 7730L pushes the state of the art in consumer hotspots further than ever.

Unfortunately it is not a complete home run - and in our testing we discovered a substantial flaw (and an awkward workaround) that will frustrate many RVers who try to rely on the 7730L.

But the good on the Novatel 7730L outweighs the bad, and we've reluctantly given it a "Top Pick" designation - letting it for now share the Verizon hotspot crown with the AC791L.

Read on for the details.

Specifications

  • Battery Life: 24 hours hotspot usage, 27 days standby
  • # of Connected Devices: 15 Wi-Fi / Supports USB Tethering
    WiFiRanger Tethering: Work Great
    Pepwave Tethering: Works Great
    Control Panel: http://192.168.1.1 or http://my.jetpack/
    Default Password: Random - Check Device Screen
  • Networks supported:
    Verizon LTE Bands: 2, 4, 5, 13, 66
    Global Roaming on LTE Bands: 3, 7, 20, 28
    4G/3G: HSPA+ 850/1900/2100MHz - Global roaming supported.
    3G: Verizon CDMA EVDO Supported
    2G: GSM EDGE - Quad band global roaming.
  • LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation: Yes (3x 20MHz channels)
  • LTE Performance Category: Category 9
    (Max Theoretical Speed: 450Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
  • Cellular Antenna Ports: 2x TS9 'Test Ports' (not official antenna ports, but DO support MIMO)
  • Wi-Fi Technology / Frequencies: 802.11 b/g/n/a/ac - Simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Dimensions: 4.29" x 2.64" x 0.7" /  5.38 oz
  • SIM Card Type: 4FF / Nano SIM
  • Retail Price:  $199.99 / $49.99 (w/ 2-year contract)

Review & Testing Status

Novatel sent us an evaluation unit in late January, and we have spent the past two months using the 7730L as our primary hotspot in a range of situations.

We have focused on testing it head-to-head against the AC791L, though we also compared the Novatel 7730L to the full past lineup of Verizon flagship hotspots: Netgear AC791L, Novatel MiFi 6620L, and the Pantech MHS291L.

Members can access some of our raw field testing results by viewing the embedded spreadsheet here:

Cellular Signal Enhancing Field Testing Results (Q1 2017)

Unboxing Video

Here is our unboxing video and first impressions of the Novatel 7730L after we received it:

Our deeper analysis and impressions are in our members-only section below.

Content included in the member area below:

  • Favorite Features & Potential Downsides
  • Hardware Features Explained:
    • Understanding LTE Cat 9
    • LTE Band 66
    • Antenna Ports
    • USB-C
    • Universal Charging
  • Hands on Testing Notes
    • Software & UI Notes
    • MiFi Share File Sharing
    • Software Flaws & Workarounds - Sleep Issues!
    • Performance Testing Results
  • Conclusion: Future Proof, Presently Flawed
  • Getting a 7730L & Alternatives
    • Alternatives to Consider
    • Getting the 7730L for an Unlimited Data Plan (UDP)
  • Video Overview & Tutorial
  • Recommended Settings
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The Rest of this Review is:
Member Only Content

We are thrilled & honored to be primarily member & reader funded - allowing us to present unbiased content. The in-depth review section of this product listing is part of the premium membership benefits of joining. Members can also leave their own reviews on products.

If you're a member, please log in above to read the in-depth review for this product and/or leave your own review. If you've not joined yet, learn more about membership at:

Become a Mobile Internet Aficionados Member

Purchasing Options

Verizon tends to closely guard new Jetpack releases, trying to make them only available in their stores.  As options become available on eBay, Amazon and other third party retailers - use caution. Make sure the devices are new, factory OEM and you are buying from a reputable seller.

Verizon 7730L Ratings
  • Overall Rating

Quick Take

Verizon's current flagship mobile hotspot has it all - LTE-Advanced, Cat-9, 802.11ac, and even antenna ports.

4
Comments Rating 4.33 (3 reviews)

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