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Clear Spot Voyager review: Big deal in tiny package

CNET editor Dong Ngo reviews the Clear Spot Voyager mobile hot spot.

The Clear Spot Voyager mobile hot spot is tiny and offers great Internet connection speeds.
The Clear Spot Voyager mobile hot spot is tiny and offers great Internet connection speeds. Dong Ngo/CNET

The Clear Spot Voyager is tiny, just about the size of a large pebble, but it's in no way a small deal.

The mobile hot-spot router offers almost all you can expect from a mobile router including two very important factors for travelers: Internet speed and battery life.

In my testing around the San Francisco Bay Area, the 4G-only router offered very fast 4G Internet speeds with about the same signal strength and availability as my AT&T iPhone. This obviously changes depending on where you are, however. Note that the Voyager supports 4G only, meaning if you're out of Clear's 4G coverage area, it's basically useless.

What will likely remain the same regardless of location is the device's battery life, which was very good in my trials. I didn't use the device intensively and it lasted for about 7 hours, an hour longer than Clear claims. I found, however, that that the device didn't seem to have a sleep mode, so the only way you can increase the battery life is to turn it off, which is not very convenient.

To make up for this, the Voyager will also work as a modem when plugged into a computer. If your non-Wi-Fi computer runs Windows Vista/Mac OS 10.6 or later, it will gain access to the Internet immediately when the router is plugged in, with no software or driver required. The router also charges via USB when plugged into a computer.

Like other mobile hot spots from Clear, such as the Apollo, the Voyager comes with unlimited data plans that start at just $35 per month (more-expensive plans offer more mobile options and faster cap speeds). At a cost of around $125 with no contract required, this mobile router would be a great Internet access option for those who live and travel within Clear's 4G coverage.

For more information, check out the full review of the Clear Spot Voyager.