The Good Inexpensive. Genuinely pocket sized.
The Bad Very ordinary data speeds. Simple display is a bit too simple.
The Bottom Line This budget WiFi modem from Optus won't offer exceptional speeds or indeed any kind of exceptional experience, but it equally won't burn a hole in your wallet.
|Optus E5331 Mini WiFi Modem||Google Wifi||Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi System||Synology RT2600ac||Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000)|
|Price||$79 Typical Price||$79 Typical Price||$79 Typical Price||$79 Typical Price||$79 Typical Price|
Optus E5331 Mini WiFi Modem
Australian telcos don't develop their own hardware, instead re-badging designs from external networking providers such as Sierra Wireless, ZTE and Huawei. The E5331 Mini WiFi Modem is a Huawei model, and it's easy to see where Optus got the Mini prefix from. At 92.8x6013.8mm and 82g, the E5331 Mini WiFi Modem really is quite mini.
It's also not exactly blessed with a lot of on-screen information, with very simple lights to denote power, battery, SMS, signal and Wi-Fi status. That makes it easy to read at a glance, but the flipside is that compared to the LCD displays on other Wi-Fi hotspots, including Optus' own E589 Mini WiFi Modem, it doesn't really tell you much.
The E5331 Mini WiFi Modem is a very basic Wi-Fi hotspot. It'll support up to eight connected devices at once, and uses a regular SIM card to connect to Optus' HSPA+ network. That's a much larger network than Optus' current 4G deployment, but it's also a much slower network, as it's shared with just about every other Optus mobile broadband and mobile phone device, save for the 4G devices. The E5331 Mini WiFi Modem doesn't have a whole lot of battery space. The supplied unit only comes with a 1500mAh battery, which Optus reckons is good for up to five hours of operation.