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Affordability vs Performance: A Comparison of the best Portable 5G Routers

Portable 5G Routers offer a blend of affordability and performance, catering to users who seek reliable connectivity on the go. In this product comparison, we delve into the key features of two prominent devices, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and the ZTE MU5120, to determine whether a higher price point equates to better performance or if budget options can still deliver seamless internet access. Analysing aspects such as battery life, number of connected devices, portability, connectivity speed, security features, screen size, chipset technology, warranty and support, price, and software updates, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of how these two portable 5G routers stack up against each other. Whether you prioritise extended battery life, support for multiple devices, sleek design, lightning-fast speeds, top-notch security, user-friendly interface, reliable chipset technology, robust warranty, budget-friendly pricing, or long-term software support, this comparison will help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4
For
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Connects up to 32 devices
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Impressive 2.5Gbps speed
  • Global secure connection
Against
  • Premium price
  • Limited screen size
  • Standard warranty
  • No specified software updates duration
  • Fewer connected devices supported

ZTE MU5120

5
For
  • Massive 10000mAh battery
  • Connects up to 64 devices
  • Smaller and lighter design
  • Fast and reliable WiFi
  • Unique identifiers for security
Against
  • Lower price
  • Slightly larger dimensions
  • Limited warranty
  • Specific software updates until 06.2025
  • May not be compatible with EE UK

Battery Life Comparison

Portable 5G Routers
In the realm of portable 5G routers, battery life is a crucial factor to consider for uninterrupted connectivity on the go. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 boasts a long-lasting battery that can keep you connected for up to 13 hours on a single charge. This feature makes it ideal for prolonged usage without the need for frequent recharging. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 takes the competition up a notch with its massive 10000mAh battery capacity and 27W quick charge support. Not only does it provide an extended battery life, but it also functions as a power bank with an 18W reverse charger, ensuring all your devices stay powered up while on the move.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

5

Comparison of Portable 5G Routers Based on Number of Connected Devices

When evaluating portable 5G routers based on the number of connected devices they can support simultaneously, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 stands out with the capability to connect up to 32 devices. This makes it a suitable choice for larger households, small businesses, or gatherings where multiple devices require internet access without compromising on speed or performance. In comparison, the ZTE MU5120 offers support for up to 64 devices, doubling the capacity of the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6. This feature makes the ZTE MU5120 ideal for scenarios where a higher number of devices need to be connected securely and reliably, such as in busy work environments or events with a significant demand for internet connectivity.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

3

ZTE MU5120

5

Portability Comparison

Portable 5G Routers
In terms of portability, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 offers a compact design with dimensions of 10.5 x 10.5 x 2.15 cm and a weight of 250g, making it easy to carry around in a bag or pocket. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 is slightly smaller with dimensions of 13.3 x 7.3 x 1.85 cm and a weight of 240g, enhancing its portability for users on the go.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

5

Connectivity Speed

When evaluating the connectivity speed of portable 5G routers, it is crucial to consider how quickly these devices can establish a reliable internet connection. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 boasts impressive speeds powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System, offering groundbreaking speeds of up to 2.5Gbps. This allows for swift and seamless connectivity, ideal for users who require high-speed internet for streaming, gaming, or business purposes. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 also delivers exceptional connectivity speeds with its SDX62/65 + WCN6856 Chipset, supporting both 5G NR and LTE networks. While the exact speed capabilities are not specified, the device provides fast and reliable WiFi for up to 64 devices/users. This makes it a suitable option for individuals or small groups looking to stay connected on the go.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

3

Comparison of Security Features

Portable 5G Routers
Security is a crucial aspect when it comes to portable 5G routers, ensuring that your connection and data remain safe from potential threats. Let’s delve into the security features offered by the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and the ZTE MU5120 to determine which device provides better protection. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 boasts a secure connection that prioritizes privacy, offering a reliable alternative to risky public WiFi networks. With its SIM unlocked feature for over 125 countries, users can maintain secure connectivity globally. Additionally, the device’s long-lasting battery ensures continuous protection for up to 13 hours on a single charge, enhancing its security measures. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 emphasizes security through eFones compliance with the PSTI Act, providing unique identifiers and passwords for maximum security. This device ensures ongoing security and software updates until 06.2025, offering users peace of mind regarding their data protection. The NFC quick connection for up to 64 devices further enhances the security of connections.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

5

Comparison of Portable 5G Routers: Screen Size

When it comes to the screen size, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 features a 2.4″ color LCD touch screen, providing a convenient interface for setup, monitoring, and changing WiFi settings. This screen size offers clear visibility and ease of use for managing the router’s functionalities. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 boasts a slightly larger 2.4″ touch screen, allowing for seamless navigation and interaction with the device. The touch screen on this router provides a user-friendly experience for setting up and sharing WiFi connections.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

5

Chipset Technology Comparison

Portable 5G Routers
In the realm of portable 5G routers, the chipset technology plays a crucial role in determining the performance and efficiency of the device. Let’s delve into how the chipset technology of NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and ZTE MU5120 stack up against each other. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 boasts the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System, offering groundbreaking speeds of up to 2.5Gbps. This cutting-edge chipset ensures seamless connectivity and impressive data speeds for a wide range of devices. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 features the SDX62/65 + WCN6856 Chipset, supporting both 5G NR and LTE technologies. With a focus on fast and reliable WiFi connectivity, this chipset enables the device to connect up to 64 devices simultaneously with ease.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

4

ZTE MU5120

3

Warranty and Support

When it comes to warranty and support, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 offers a standard warranty period and technical support availability. With a reputable brand like NETGEAR, customers can rely on consistent support for any troubleshooting needs or assistance required. In comparison, the ZTE MU5120 excels in this category by providing a longer warranty period of 2 years along with a dedicated 24/7 technical support team. This ensures that users have peace of mind and assistance readily available whenever necessary.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

3

ZTE MU5120

5

Price Comparison

Portable 5G Routers
In the realm of portable 5G routers, pricing plays a significant role in determining the value one can expect. The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 comes at a premium price of £699.99, positioning itself as a high-end option in the market. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 offers a more budget-friendly alternative at a price of £294.78. Despite the lower cost, it promises to deliver fast and reliable WiFi, making it an attractive choice for those who prioritize affordability.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

3

ZTE MU5120

4

Software Updates Comparison

One critical aspect to consider when evaluating portable 5G routers is the availability of software updates. These updates are essential for ensuring the security and performance of the device over time. In the realm of software updates, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 promises guaranteed software updates, although the exact duration of this guarantee is unspecified. This commitment to ongoing support can provide users with peace of mind knowing that their device will stay up-to-date with the latest features and security patches. On the other hand, the ZTE MU5120 offers a specific timeline for software updates, assuring customers that they will receive security and software updates until June 2025. This transparent approach to software support can be appealing to users who value long-term reliability and protection.

NETGEAR Nighthawk M6

3

ZTE MU5120

5

Affordability vs Performance Conclusion

In this conclusion, we summarize the key points of the comparison and declare ZTE MU5120 as the preferred choice based on the following reasons: longer battery life, support for more connected devices, compact design, fast and reliable WiFi, unique security features, lower price, longer warranty period, specific software updates until 06.2025. This decision aligns with the thematic concept of ‘Affordability vs Performance~Compare portable 5G WiFi hotspots based on their affordability and performance. analyzing whether a higher price point equates to better performance or if budget options can still offer reliable connectivity.’, emphasizing Compare portable 5G WiFi hotspots based on their affordability and performance. analyzing whether a higher price point equates to better performance or if budget options can still offer reliable connectivity.

Update...

Since writing this review, we have had to process a return with Amazon for the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6. We were having various issues with charging the 5G router and even went as far as purchasing an additional Anker charging plug.

We’d leave the device plugged in and the battery would die, we would have to turn the device (reboot) it to kick start the charge again. We haven’t yet ordered a replacement and have kept hold of the ZTE 5G Router instead.

Questions & Answers:


Question: Which portable 5G WiFi hotspot has a longer battery life, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 or the ZTE MU5120?

Answer: The ZTE MU5120 has a longer battery life with a massive 10000mAh battery capacity compared to the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6.

Question: How many devices can the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 connect simultaneously?

Answer: The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 can connect up to 32 devices simultaneously.

Question: Which portable 5G router is more portable based on dimensions and weight, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 or the ZTE MU5120?

Answer: The ZTE MU5120 is slightly smaller and lighter than the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6, enhancing its portability for users on the go.

Question: What is the maximum speed supported by the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6?

Answer: The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 offers speeds of up to 2.5Gbps powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System.

Question: Which portable 5G router offers better security features, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 or the ZTE MU5120?

Answer: Both routers offer strong security features, with the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 focusing on privacy and global connectivity, while the ZTE MU5120 emphasizes unique identifiers and passwords for maximum security.

Question: What is the screen size of the ZTE MU5120’s touch screen?

Answer: The ZTE MU5120 features a 2.4″ touch screen for seamless navigation and interaction with the device.

Question: What chipset technology does the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 use?

Answer: The NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 utilizes the Qualcomm Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System for high-speed connectivity.

Question: How does the warranty and support compare between the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 and the ZTE MU5120?

Answer: The ZTE MU5120 offers a longer warranty period of 2 years along with dedicated 24/7 technical support, while the NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 provides standard warranty and support.
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