Sprint Sierra 250U VS Franklin U301 Reception Comparison

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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Sprint Sierra 250U VS Franklin U301 Reception Comparison

The 250U (left) outperforms the U301

Since Sprint released the 3G/4G Sierra 250U USB modem earlier this summer, there have been a lot of curious mobile broadband users out there wondering how this new device compared performance-wise to Sprint's other 3G/4G modem, the Franklin U301. With its round swiveling design, the 250U certainly looks different than the U301 (or any other aircard, for that matter!), but what we were most curious about was whether this new modem suffered from interference problems like its predecessor. As we noted in our review of the U301, while we typically expect aircards to perform comparably to other aircards on the same network when all things are equal, the U301 was very susceptible to interference. In our extensive tests and comparisons with the performance of other 3G and 3G/4G devices, we noticed that the internal antenna in the U301 is much more sensitive to interference than other modems - when the U301 was positioned close to other active aircards, performance suffered (as long as no other cellular devices were nearby, the U301 performed as well as other devices on the same network).

We are happy to report that the 250U does NOT have this problem - its performance is not effected by interference from nearby cellular devices like the U301. Additionally, we found that the 3G reception on the 250U is significantly better than on the Franklin U301 (4G reception was equal on both modems, however). We tested both cards in identical locations and checked the reported signal strength on both the 3G and 4G network, and found that the 250U consistently reported a stronger 3G signal than the U301.
In addition to the fact that the 250U performs so much better than the U301, the 250U also features a usable 3G antenna port. 4G signal can't be improved (yet), but the 250U allows you to use an antenna to improve 3G signal just like you would on a traditional 3G-only aircard. Mobile broadband users who rely on antennas to get a reliable signal for their 3G aircards have been hesitant to make the move to a 3G/4G device, but now users don't have to sacrifice the ability to easily boost 3G signal in order to get a 3G/4G modem!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 August 2010 )
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