Skyroam got in touch about a product of theirs called the Skyroam Solis. We were intrigued, so they sent one over for us to try out. But what is the Skyroam Solis? Essentially, it’s a 4g dongle, with a couple of extras but it’s the service Skyroam offer, that may set them apart from the rest of the field. Let’s get this little device out and take a look.
What’s in the box?
The Solis is a handheld circular device, that will fit in the palm of your hand. It’s constructed from plastic, has a matte rubber feel to it, it’s orange in colour and comes in a nice little protective carry case. The unit itself has a single micro USB port for charging, an on/off button and a WiFi button. If you twist the top, it will reveal two large rechargeable batteries. Other than the unit itself and a carry case, it also comes with a USB cable and instructions. The Solis also acts as a 6000mAh powerbank, with upto 16 hours of charge.
Setting up the Solis for the first time was very straight forward, via 5 simple steps detailed on a sticker stuck onto the device. It’s a matter of powering/charging the unit up, turning it on and then switching the WiFi on. Very much plug & play, and although there is an app associated with the device, it’s not required to connect. The app in question is available on iOS and Android, it’s free and it allows you to monitor signal, usage, users and change settings etc. You are able to connect up to 5 users at a time to the Solis but bare in mind, you will be sharing that bandwidth.
Pricing and service
There are two options to go for, you can either rent the Solis & pay for the service, OR purchase the Solis & pay for the service. If you rent the Solis, the standard rate is £9 per day, for unlimited data anywhere in the world and you just post it back when you’re back from holiday. This would be ideal for holiday goers, people that may only need the data once or twice a year.
For the more frequent fliers, you can purchase the Solis for £135 and you will own it. You then have two options for the service, £7 a day or £79 per month, for unlimited worldwide data. The alternative is a pay as you go option, where it will cost you £7 per GB of data and you top up as & when. That first year would set you back a cool £1083.
I went straight into the deep end, connecting my laptop to the Solis, in a hotel in Hastings, where the WiFi was awful. It was easy to connect, the signal strength between laptop and Solis was good, albeit only a few meters away and I gained access to the web. The Solis runs on an EE network here in the UK, with my smartphone running on Three. Signal strength will depend on your proximity to an EE providing aerial/pylon. That being said, I got a better signal on the Solis than I did with my smartphone during the test. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this outside of the UK but assume the service provider will change to suit EEs partner in that visiting country.
As for speed, there are many different
Skyroam offer a solution to a very real problem when traveling, with a very simple & easy service. The only downside for me is the cost and it is alot of money in my mind. Unlimited internet, without restriction, is excellent and realistically the only option you can choose (1Gb bandwidth isnt much anymore), but the most value for money option at £79 per month, it’s steep. It’s hard to compare the service against competitors here in the UK, as they all offer a cheaper monthly cost, but with restricted download limits and I’m sure there would be a premium cost for using it abroad.
I like the product, I like the service, I just feel you need to have a good reason to warrant that cost. For more information and to purchase, visit the official Skyroam website.