UPDATE (June 2017): The sleep bug we ran into has been fixed in firmware update 1P!
This review has been updated based upon our testing with the new fixed firmware - look for details on how to tell if you have the updated version in the in-depth review below.
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 enthusiastically given it a "Top Pick" designation - letting it share the Verizon hotspot crown with the AC791L.
Read on for the details.
- 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 spent 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:
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:
- Hands on Testing Notes
- Conclusion: Future Proof, Presently Flawed
- UPDATE (June 2017): Firmware Fixed, and Tested!
- Getting a 7730L & Alternatives
- Video Overview & Tutorial
- Recommended Settings
The Rest of this Review is:
Member Only Content
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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:
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
Verizon's current flagship mobile hotspot has it all - LTE-Advanced, Cat-9, 802.11ac, and even antenna ports.