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AIS Pocket Wifi Review – ZTE MF65

The ZTE MF65 AIS version

AIS has launched a new model of pocket wifi device from ZTE (China). The device is know as the MF 65 and is a full featured 3G pocket Wifi router. The router is sold unlocked, meaning you can use it with AIS, DTAC or True Move – or any other SIM card in the world. The firmware is branded with AIS, but does not prevent you from using worldwide.

Upgrade or not

The device is narrower than the previous AIS Huawei (Pronounced “Hallway”) model, and a bit longer. Roughly the same thickness. Is it an upgrade? Well the ZTE has more features, larger battery, and at the same price point, so it’s and easy easy decision on which is better from a feature standpoint.

ZTE vs Huawei

 

 

What’s in the box

Let’s see what you get when you purchase an AIS pocket wifi.

ais pocket wifi 02-12call-pocket-wifi 03-IMG_5467 04-IMG_5469

The contents of the box include SIM card, charger, device, warranty card and English manual.  The SIM gives you some basic free usage, and then you’ll have to top up and get on one of their 3G plans.

zte mf65 battery

The battery size is 1500 mAh, larger than the previous device from Huawei which was 1150 mAh.

06-ZTE-mf65-sim

Normal SIM slot and Micro SD slot.  The previous Huawei had no Micro SD.

07-ztemf65-open zte mf 65

2 Buttons, 3 Lights.

09-IMG_5474 10-IMG_5476

USB wall charger and cable.

 

Setting up 3G on your device

To get started start up the device after putting the sim card in.   The sim card is inactive so just putting the SIM in the pocket wifi won’t activate it or start 3G.   You need to manually active the sim.

Here’s how:

1. Turn on your device and connect to the hotspot named “AIS 3G POCKET WIFI 21.6 Mbps”.  The wifi pass key is in the inside back cover.

11-IMG_5477

2.  Once your computer or device is connected, in your browser go to http://m.home/index.asp  or http://192.168.0.1  You will see the following screen once you click EN.

Home Screen

3. Click on “Activate SIM” in the lower left hand box.   This sends a USSD activation message to start up the SIM. This has to be done in Thailand.  To check it’s working go back to the main page  and you should see a bunch of SMS messages and as well as connected in top right.

You should now be online and surfing the interwebs.  When we activated we got about 10 SMS messages, so if your inbox fills up, you’ll know your active.

 

Other Features:

The home screen gives you several shortcut options.

Change Wifi Name

change wifi

Change Wifi Key

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-6

Topup up with 12Call scratch card voucher. (From any 7-11)

top up code

SMS messages inbox

sms inbox

 

Advanced Menu Options

In the advanced menu you have all the device options, which are most features you’d expect to find on a full featured router, plus more.

Phonebook – Has stored numbers as well as you can add your own for SMS texting from the device.

sms phone book

SMS – Send a new message, read, reply and delete old messages.  Save on the SIM or on the device.  Settings allow you to change SMS center number and change validity.

SMS management

 

SD Card  – Put in a micro SD card in the device to enable.

SD Card
HTTP Share Mode:Share the SD card via the Web browser and the removable drive mapping of the SD card via USB port will be disabled.
USB Access Only:Only user via USB cable can access the SD card by the removable drive mapping, the Web page of sharing SD card will be disabled.

Once you put in the SD card you’ll see.

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-11

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-14

Sharing the contents looks like this.

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-12

Settings – Full router settings

router settings

USSD – Codes for your sim card

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-16

 

Status  – Check on the stats of your usage, your network and various version numbers.

AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-17 AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-18 AIS 3G Pocket Wifi-20

 

Using with another carrier

We put a DTAC sim in just to test and this is what we got.  No configuration needed, just put it in and it worked.

test with dtac sim

 

 

Device Specifications

  • Dimensions      102mm × 50mm × 13.7mm
  • Battery      1500mAh
  • Wi-Fi      Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 10 Wi-Fi connections
  • Messaging      SMS
  • OS Compatibility      Win8, Win7, Windows XP, Vista, Linux, Mac OS
  • Memory      MicroSD Slot, up to 32GB
  • Others      OLED Screen display, 3 LED light indicators, AP/STA, Multi SSID, WPS, IPv6
  • Radio      HSPA+/HSUPA/HSDPA/UMTS 2100/1900/900 (850)MHz
    EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • Peak Data Rate      HSPA+:DL 21.6Mbps/UL 5.76Mbps

 

Summary

The device is easy to use, easy to connect to, has a days battery life and should do a nice job of filling in the gaps of where you don’t have proper or working wifi in Thailand.  Given that it’s unlocked, and you can use it worldwide, it’s a device for any regular traveler.  It’s also a step up from the previous AIS pocket wifi offering.

As for battery life,  got about 4 hours of continuous usage.

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