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Tuesday, 02 October 2007

Sprint U727 EVDO USB Modem - First Impressions

At first glance, the new Sprint U727 made by Novatel is quite impressive... Its tiny and shiny!

When both are inserted the same way into a USB port, the Novatel U727 sticks out just a little bit less than the tiny Franklin CDU680 does, though the CDU680 can swivel up and out of the way.

Four Sprint USB Modems - by

Sprint's U727 comes with a first-of-its-kind "diversity loop antenna" designed to improve upon signal capture compared to flag-style flip-up antennas of other devices.

Sprint U727 Loop antenna
Aside from its size, for Windows users there is not much else to offer compared to the CDU680 or even the older U720. Like the other devices, the U727 comes with Sprint's connection manager and offers Location-based GPS services.

For Linux users, the U727 is the first device to ship from Sprint with support for Linux (however, the Franklin CDU-680 does offer Linux Support too). Its not a GUI connection manager, and there are no GPS functions, but at least Linux users don't have to get creative to connect with the U727, as with past devices.

The MicroSD memory slot is impressive. This is the first "2 in 1" device, that allows you to have a powerful EVDO modem and a thumbdrive in one device. Sprint ships it with NO memory, you have to purchase your own MicroSD memory to use this impressive feature.

When compared to the CDU680, the biggest difference is how it works for Mac OSX users. Sprint's included software does allow a Mac user to activate a U727 on a Mac, so thats a big improvement -- but the CDU680 comes with software that provides signal bars, and indicates what type of network a user is on (1xRTT/EVDO), and the CDU680 is still the only device to provide Mac users (intel or PowerPC) with GPS features. Lots of photos about the CDU680's Mac-friendliness can be found on our CDU680 review.

Sprint U727 vs. Franklin CDU680
The new U727 has the tiniest antenna jack we've ever seen. now has full line of U727 Antennas and Amps available.
Sprint U727 Antenna Jack

We've tested the U727 in both the Kyocera KR1 and the Top Global MB6800, and had no success with either router at all. The good news is that the U727 (and Verizon's USB727) works with CradlePoint's CTR350, PHS300 and MBR1000 EVDO Routers.


U727 and Cradlepoint CTR350
U727 and Cradlepoint PHS300



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