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Clear Spot 4G Apollo review: One big step for cellular Internet

CNET editor Dong Ngo reviews the Clear Spot 4G Apollo mobile router.

The Clear Spot 4G Apollo mobile router from Clear
The Clear Spot 4G Apollo mobile router from Clear Dong Ngo/CNET

If you're looking for a mobile Internet solution and travel within Clear's 4G coverage, then look no further than the Clear Spot 4G Apollo. All things considered, this is the best mobile router we've seen.

This is a compact device, though not the most compact of its kind, that offers superfast cellular Internet access for up to eight Wi-Fi clients at a time. It has average speeds of around 9Mbps for download and 5Mbps for upload as tested in the San Francisco Bay Area. At these speeds, you can download a full 1080p high-definition movie (some 10GB of data) in just less than 2 hours. It has a replacement battery that provides around 7 hours of casual continuous usage on a full charge.

The best thing about the Apollo, however, is the fact that you actually can download as much as you want with it. This is because Clear bundles with it multiple unlimited data plans that start at just $45 per month. This is a steal compared with Verizon's top-tier $85-per-month data plan, such as the one used with the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot SCH-LC11, that has a monthly data cap of only 10GB.

In terms of features, the Apollo is the first mobile router we've seen that comes with a helpful LCD display that shows all the important information at a glance, such as the number of connected clients, a battery gauge, and the Wi-Fi network. The router also emits a short ringtone each time a client connects to or disconnects from its Wi-Fi network, which is a very helpful feature. It comes with a comprehensive Web interface to help further customize its settings.

To sweeten the deal, the Clear Spot Apollo is also affordable, costing just $99 (no contract required), or can be leased for $6 per month. The only catch is the fact that the router doesn't support 3G, meaning when you're out of Clear's 4G coverage, you're also out of luck.

For more information on how it's still an excellent device, check out CNET's full review of the Clear Spot 4G Apollo.