I have been playing with the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus for a little while now and I have to say that one of my favorite features is the Mobile Hotspot app. This app comes pre-installed on both the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus and allows the user to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five other devices so you can connect your notebook, netbook or other Wi-Fi enabled device to the Internet. I should also point out that the use of this app requires an additional add-on service that will cost $40 per month. So in the end you are paying for the calling plan, any message plan you choose and also the regular $29.99 a month smartphone access. So yes, you are paying a bit more money, however for someone like myself who has used and liked having a MiFi this $40 add on may be a better option. This Mobile Hotspot app is also the reason that I will likely pick up a Palm Pre Plus of my own after this review period is over.
For me it comes down to the fact that the MiFi requires a two year commitment and costs $59.99 a month. The Mobile Hotspot add-on for the Palm Pre Plus costs $40 a month and comes as a service without a contract. In other words you can add it and remove it as needed. I would say that is a big plus for someone who likes the MiFi but does not need it all the time. That alone can be a money saver. But at least for me the decision came down to this, I already have a Verizon Wireless family account, so adding the Palm Pre Plus was an extra $9.99 a month for minutes and messages, then the regular data and Mobile Hotspot data. Bottom line, I would have paid $59.99 a month for a MiFi, and now I will pay $79.99 a month for the Pre Plus with the Mobile Hotspot. And yes, I realize that $79.99 is more than $59.99. Its $20 more to be specific, but that $20 more a month gives me a complete other phone to use as well as the mobile data. Its also cheaper than having another 3G data phone and a separate MiFi. Plus I can always add or remove that Mobile Hotspot add-on as needed and save a few extra bucks here and there as opposed to always paying $59.99 a month. Because remember those months when I drop the Mobile Hotspot service my price (minus tax) goes down to $39.99 a month.
And to add one other little bit of info, once you have the Mobile Hotspot app active and in use, any data that is sent or received by any connected devices as well as your Palm Pre Plus will be counted towards the 5GB limit that you have with your Mobile Hotspot service. That means if you are playing Slacker on your Palm Pre Plus and activate the Mobile Hotspot any data you use will count towards the 5GB limit on the Mobile Hotspot and not the 5GB limit for the phones data plan. So this kind-of sort-of means that you are increasing your monthly limit to 10GB.
Anyway, I think you can tell from this post that I like the Palm Pre Plus and its Mobile Hotspot service. And with that, here is a video demonstrating just how easy it is to set up a Mobile Hotspot network with the Palm Pre Plus.
Finally, the service without speed would be worthless. So here is a speed test that I did using the Chrome browser on my Eee PC 1000H netbook running Jolicloud.
More information [Verizon Wireless]