Tiny routers usually come with at least one USB port that allows you to connect a 3G or 4G cellular dongle, and since it’s often used on the go, or as a backup solution it makes sense to have a battery in the router as well, as was the case for Marstek MPR-N9 I covered way back in 2013.
Xiaomi ZMI MF855 portable wireless router offers the same function but with an integrated 4G modem, a larger 7,800 mAh battery that can also be used to charge your other device. The router looks like a standard power bank from the outside.
- Cellular Connectivity
- 4G/3G and 2G networks
- Micro SIM card socket
- FDD-LTE bands – B1 1800 B3 2100 B7 2600 MHz
- TDD-LTE bands – B38 1900 B39 2300 B40 2500 B41 2600MHz
- WCDMA bands – B1 850 B2 900 B5 1900 B8 2100 MHz
- WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n at up to 120 Mbps
- Support for up to 8 clients
- 1x USB port to connect to a computer for Internet access, and for charging phones & tablets
- 1x micro USB port for charging the power bank
- Battery – 7,800mAh @ 3.6V
- Dimensions – 10.20 x 7.50 x 2.20 cm
- Weight – 220 grams
There are no detailed hardware specifications about the processor, memory and internal storage, despite this portable router/power bank being first launched sometimes in 2015. But it’s still potentially interesting, as after being informed it was in a flash sale for $59.99 on GearBest, I also found it for $53.53 as an MVP (Most Valuable Product) on DealExtreme. You’d have to check if the LTE bands are supported by your telco though.
The router can be configured through a web page, or the ZMI 随身路由器 for Android or iOS that got really poor reviews as it ironically badly drains the battery of the phone, so most people recommend to avoid the app and use the web browser instead. You’d think there would be reviews for a Xiaomi product launched a few years ago, but I could not find any proper reviews except for the one on MIUI community that explains how to get started.
There’s also a more recent model called ZMI MF885 with support for QC 2.0 charging and a 10,000 mAh battery that’s sold on Aliexpress for under $80, and available on various other websites as well. Reviews are easier to find for this newer model, and it apparently works in the Netherlands.