SIMO Solis Lite 4G Review: Is This The Best Mobile Hotspot for International Travel?

I’m a big believer in staying in hostels - especially when visiting cities for short periods. The people are always wonderful, the rooms inexpensive, and you come away from your trip with so many more stories than you would have in a hotel or Airbnb.

The only major downside - and it can be a killer for digital nomads - is the lack of a reliable WiFi connection. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to tether my phone to my laptop and it rarely runs smoothly. From my phone overheating and the battery draining to the unreliable connection and huge data usage - I’ve never been a fan of hot-spotting from my cell phone.

But I value experience more than anything else. So what’s the solution? How do you avoid missing out without risking an unworkable internet connection? A dedicated mobile hotspot. There’s a handful of different portable WiFi brands and models out there but we’ve been lucky enough to test out the most famous of them all - the SIMO Solis Lite 4G.

In this article, we’ll share our unbiased, independent review of the SIMO Solis Lite during our trips to Colombia, Thailand, and the Canary Islands. We’ll cover our first impressions, our experience with the portable hotspot, and our final verdict as to whether you should invest in the famous portable hotspot.

Unboxing the Solis Lite 4G Hotspot – First Impressions

SIMO Solis Lite 4G packaging

Unboxing the SIMO Solis Lite is a relatively straightforward process. Inside the packaging, users will receive the personal hotspot itself, a USB-C charging cable, and a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

Unboxing SIMO Solis Lite 4G

The bright orange casing is the first thing you’ll notice (it’s hard not to), but look a little closer and the build quality shines through. There are just four lights that illuminate the top of the casing - a simple, understated design that we’re highly complimentary of.

Closeup of SIMO Solis Lite 4G on a wooden table

There’s also the option to invest in a hotspot travel case. It may be unnecessary for those with a dedicated tech pouch, but we think it’s a nice touch and value the extra protection that it offers.

SIMO Solis Lite 4G travel case

We've got a discount for you!

If you are in the US/Canada, you can use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 15% OFF on the Solis official site. If you are not from the US/Canada, you can still buy Simo Solis from Amazon.

Design and Portability

SIMO Solis Lite 4G with a garden in the background

Starting with the design of the portable hotspot, we were blown away by not only the size but the quality of the product itself.

The hotspot is super compact at just 88mm in diameter, 23mm in thickness, and 139g in weight. It can easily be packed away into your tech bag to form an integral part of your digital nomad office setup. Alternatively, use the dedicated hotspot travel case to protect the device from the wear and tear of full-time travel.

SIMO Solis Lite 4G with a tropical garden in the background

There’s a built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery, (4700 mAh) that’s good for 16 hours and the device also doubles up as a portable power bank. Super handy if you’re running low on phone battery in the middle of Thailand.

Connectivity and Speed

How SIMO Solis Lite 4G works

The initial connection process of the SIMO Solis Lite works like a charm. Get started with the downloadable app (available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store) and register your hotspot.

The initial connection takes approximately 2-3 minutes before you’re ready to proceed. Choose your WiFi plan - filter by the GB, day or month, or use the provided lifetime data plan. The lifetime data plan offers users a base of 1GB of global data to use each month.

Solis App

Use the app to find information on the amount of data remaining, purchase additional WiFi plans, and learn more about the device. Connect the hotspot to as many as 10 devices at once and never worry about poor connection ever again.

The SIMO Solis Lite offers fast and secure 4G LTE in more than 135 countries. In our testing in Colombia, Thailand, and the Canary Islands, we were pleased to see great performance across the board with top upload and download speeds. The following readings were taken during our trips:

Location Speed Connection details
Colombia 50.40 Mbps (Download) / 12.25 Mbps (Upload) A generally strong and reliable connection. Some dips in more remote areas
Thailand 60.96 Mbps (Download) / 15.40 Mbps (Upload) Reliable connection in Bangkok. Solid during train travel with some dips
Canary Islands 40.64 Mbps (Download) / 10.41 Mbps (Upload) Great connections in the cities/towns. Struggled with performance in mountains

Ultimately, we were very impressed with the global connectivity and performance offered by the SIMO Solis Lite. For a reliable connection, it doesn’t get much better.

We've got a discount for you!

If you are in the US/Canada, you can use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 15% OFF on the Solis official site. If you are not from the US/Canada, you can still buy Simo Solis from Amazon.

Using the Solis Lite 4G Hotspot – Our Experience as Remote Workers

SIMO Solis Lite 4G next to laptop showing Freaking Nomads website on a wooden table

Testing the SIMO Solis Lite was a pleasant experience. It’s not always the case that product reviews work so smoothly, but we’re happy to report that we came away with a real appreciation for the nomad tech.

We used the Solis Lite 4G Hotspot for a range of purposes. We completed meetings, streamed sports, and went about our general day-to-day copywriting workflow without issues. It performed exactly as we hoped throughout each of our trips.

Productivity Boost

SIMO Solis Lite 4G next to laptop on a wooden table

The key standout for us was the number of times that the hotspot came in handy. Before using the device, we thought we’d maybe use the hotspot 2-3x per week at the top end. In reality, we used the hotspot every single day.

From combatting low-speed hotel WiFi or unsecured cafe connections, pulling out the hotspot quickly became a reflex. There were no more issues with slow and unreliable connections - we could simply get fired up and straight to work.

We also found the hotspot to be a great tool when working on public transport, particularly on the train in Thailand. With some last-minute finishing touches to make, the hotspot proved its worth once again with a reliable connection amid a lesser-traveled cross-country service.

We've got a discount for you!

If you are in the US/Canada, you can use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 15% OFF on the Solis official site. If you are not from the US/Canada, you can still buy Simo Solis from Amazon.

Battery Life and Additional Features

SIMO Solis Lite 4G features

The battery life of the SIMO Solis Lite does leave a little to be desired. Fresh out of the box, it’s only good for 16 hours, but expect this to drop over time. We would prefer to see the device offer at least 24 hours from the new (the equivalent of three eight-hour work days).

Of course, it’s no problem to use the portable hotspot whilst charging. But when working in public, finding outlets can be a pain and we do wish the battery did last a little longer. It’s a small gripe but one that’s worth mentioning.

However, one feature of the hotspot that we really like is the super handy built-in power bank. We almost always carry around a portable laptop power bank for charging on the go. But if you’re caught in a pinch, it’s great to know the small, lightweight device can help you out with a little extra juice for your cell phone.

Solis Lite 4G Hotspot – Our Verdict

SIMO Solis Lite 4G next to laptop with Freaking Nomads website on screen

After spending several weeks trialing the Solis Lite hotspot, we can confidently weigh in on the pros and cons of the portable device.

The big selling points come from the convenience and reliability of the personal hotspot. We were impressed with the connection quality and the time saved by avoiding connecting to iffy WiFi networks. It’s great to have the peace of mind that your connection will be safe, reliable and consistent during your working period.

The major downside lies in the battery life. We would love to see a battery life of at least 24 hours (three full eight-hour work days) before needing to recharge. Additionally, the cost of the device isn’t for everyone. Sure there’s 1GB included each month with the purchase price, but for heavy data users, the cost can quickly snowball with the additional required data packages.

If you’re a digital nomad or remote worker who doesn't want their experiences limited by WiFi connections - we would seriously recommend investing in a personal hotspot. The SIMO Solis Lite 4G  provides the freedom to work from anywhere without the battle of finding a fast, reliable connection.

Whether that’s cafe hopping in Colombia, e-meetings at the beach in Gran Canaria, or train-typing in Thailand. The SIMO Solis Lite 4G offers a fantastic solution to the WiFi headache that persists in the digital nomad lifestyle.

We've got a discount for you!

If you are in the US/Canada, you can use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 15% OFF on the Solis official site. If you are not from the US/Canada, you can still buy Simo Solis from Amazon.

Ready to Give SIMO Solis Lite 4G a Try?

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