I was encouraged to upgrade from a prior model jetpack (I'm not sure the model, it's oval and shown in the icon for "additional devices" here.) The representative said getting a new model would give me faster performance and, being newer, better battery life. From what I can see, the newer, smaller hotspot has a fraction of the battery capacity of my old model, which was a few years old. I find myself having to charge it pretty much every day, even if it's hardly used, making it impractical as a reliable portable source of internet. Is this a problem with this model, or did I get a bad battery? (To make things worse, the battery, unlike the previous model, is not removable or replaceable.)
What does "terrible battery life" mean to you? Please define the battery usage in terms of seconds, minutes, or hours so we can look up and compare specs of the device with your experiences.
For example according to the site for this device:
"Keep your connections powered with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot that offers up to 10 hours of use*
* Based on an average user profile that includes both usage and standby. Actual battery performance will vary and depends on signal strength, network configuration, features selected and data, and other application usage patterns."
Thus you could read from that description under ideal situations your battery should get around 10 hours according to the manufacturer. If you are getting less either you are using the device excessively, are in poor service causing the Jetpack to crank up its radio or have defective hardware. For example if you work in a basement with poor, roaming or no service your Jetpack will boost its radio signal to try and connect with local towers. This process of searching will drain your battery much faster than if you were parked somewhere with normal full 4G LTE.
Edit - formatting
Dr.DanPgh I understand having the convenience of the internet is important. Without knowing the model it is difficult to give you an accurate answer and we would want nothing less than that for you. If you could take a picture of the front of the device and post here that will help us look at this more in depth for you.
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So, here's what happened. I misplaced my original Jetpack, which was a MiFi model. I called to ask when it had last been used - to determine where it had been left, or if it had been stolen. The representative pointed out that my model was quite old, and had been upgraded, and told me that I was eligible for a free upgrade so why not just get a new one? I asked what the improvements might be, and he said it would probably be faster and would certainly have a longer battery life than such an old unit. So, without realizing (or being told!) that the 'Jetpack' model he would send me was a completely different item, an 'Ellipsis' instead of a 'MiFi', with less than HALF the battery capacity, I agreed to the order. A week later when I found the beat-up MiFi unit I stored it away for emergencies. Now I'm thinking that the 'emergency' is that I was misled.
As I now know, the Ellipsis is designed to have a 10 hour life including standby - which leaves me astonished. Why would anyone design, much less knowingly buy, a portable hotspot that needs to be charged EVERY NIGHT and then CAN'T EVEN BE USED DURING A FULL WAKING DAY? Was this created for people who only need to use their portable hotspots when they're near a computer USB port for charging? It's like designing a water-soluble fire hose - possible, but who needs one?
It's evident now that I've looked at the website and the different Jetpack models that I don't have a 'defective' product, but that I was misled into using my earned Verizon credit to buy a fundamentally crappy one. The representative should have told me that the 'free' unit was for people who are always near charging stations or only need occasional internet access, with a slow boot-up and remembering to turn it off after each use. And he should have mentioned that if I wanted a true upgrade with the same or better battery life I'd have to pay $50. I might have agreed, or not, but I wouldn't feel cheated.
Thanks to all who helped me realize what had happened here.
> Why would anyone design, much less knowingly buy, a portable hotspot that needs to be charged EVERY NIGHT and then CAN'T EVEN BE USED DURING A FULL WAKING DAY?
All jetpacks have a similar time restraint built into the battery. The batteries can only hold so much juice before needing a charge. Jetpacks are also not intended to be left online 24x7. They are mobile broadband devices that are designed to be used, powered down and then stored until its next needed. Anyone who attempts to treat a Jetpack like a normal always on home router is asking for performance and maintenance problems.
> Was this created for people who only need to use their portable hotspots when they're near a computer USB port for charging?
They are intended for travelers who know where to find a power source after a few hours of use. Normally that would be your car charger, wall charger or turning it off and making use of local hotspots instead. Go out, hit the field for a few hours, come back kind of scenarios.
> It's like designing a water-soluble fire hose - possible, but who needs one?
Not exactly. Jetpacks have a niche market and are not the perfect solution for everyone. Verizon has many other options available that are much better suited for always on scenarios. For example USB modems, 4G LTE routers and LTE Internet Installed.
> And he should have mentioned that if I wanted a true upgrade with the same or better battery life I'd have to pay $50.
Similar Jetpack models for sale at the moment:
6620L - Up to 20 hours
MHS800L - Up to 10 hours
4510 - Up to 5 hours - http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2011/04/pr2011-04-15d.html
Hopefully you can see how the battery life has gradually improved over time. It took a long time to get the technology to where it is today and its still not a good fit for everyone.
Thank you for your detailed response, John. I'm sorry that I expressed my frustration with a bit of hyperbole. As a senior engineer working for decades in a high-technology field, I do recognize that a short battery life on a wifi hotspot is not precisely the same as a water-soluble fire hose.
I'm also well aware of how battery life and size has improved over the years - I once owned a Toshiba T1000 "laptop" - but what I was reacting to was the tremendous DECREASE in battery capacity from the Verizon Jetpack that I had been using for the past few years, with great satisfaction, to the "upgraded" one that the representative suggested that I buy, without revealing that the new model was provide with only a fraction of the battery capacity.
I don't remember the exact model that I "upgraded" from, but it's a MiFi, so it's part of the family that currently offers a 20 hour life. I certainly never used it or expected it to last "24 x 7, always on", but I was able to turn it on in the morning, see that it had a reasonable charge, and reliably use it throughout the day if I needed to. At night I would turn it off, and even if I forgot to charge it there'd be some residual power the next day if I needed it. This is absolutely not the case with this Ellipsis model, and while I agree that it's a "niche product", that niche is not my niche. That's the frustration I was expressing.