My review of Karma – wifi hotspot
We wanted (and needed) a wifi hotspot. And, as I always do, I did some extensive research. First of all, I wanted something that I didn’t have to pay for each month. In my eyes, that would have been a waste for me. So, I looked into “pay as you go” plans – and the two main options: Walmart’s Straight Talk and Karma WiFi. I opted for Karma. Besides offering a generous start-up plan, I liked the fact that you can actually earn wifi time. Now, we don’t use our hot spot very often – which was another reason why I wanted something “pay as you go”… and the overall coverage seemed to be “OK” at best, and I thought this was the better option for what we needed. I was stoked.
So … enter Karma… after getting what I thought was an excellent deal (thanks to a great sale they had at the time…) – what seemed like a couple of months later they announced a new, updated version of the device. OOOOKKKKK… not liking the sound of this. So, I have what is now referred to as the Karma “Classic”. Sure – I can upgrade for a special price – but why the hell would I? I JUST BOUGHT THIS THING!?!?!
Anyway.. let’s get back on track … first few times we used it, it worked great. However – my immediate advise? Make sure you check the coverage in the area you plan to use it. Although… you see, sometimes, that doesn’t matter.
We took a trip to Atlantic City and I decided we were going to take our hotspot. Some of the rooms in AC don’t offer wifi unless you are wiling to pay more than the room for it … so I thought HA! We have a hotspot! So, before we left, I signed into their coverage map and to my surprise, found Atlantic City to be well covered (more than most I have seen…). Needless to say, I was excited about it.
That night, we both decided to catch up on our email and check in on a couple of games. I fired up the Karma – made sure it was as close to the window as it possibly can be – and waited. And waited. And well, waited some more. I signed into my settings and it showed I was connected – but no internet service. I tried to search the web, tried to open a few apps – nothing. I got the dreaded “You are not connected to the internet” message I so hate seeing. After spending about a half an hour with the device – I gave up, pissed and disappointed. The little “4G” light blinked on, off and then red (which basically means – no such luck).
I haven’t touched it since. Make me think – was I sitting in the one remote spot of Atlantic City that didn’t get coverage (like our room). (Yes, sarcasm.) All I know is that we were very disappointed – and reluctant to even recommend this device to family and friends.
Yet, my feelings are mixed. When I use it out and about (around our home area), it seems to work fine – even in the car as we drive. I took it to work and used it and had no problem. (And this area’s coverage is choppy.) Yet I take it to an area that had the best coverage I have ever seen for this device – and nothing.
In conclusion, I am thinking of using up my minutes and possibly getting a different device. It could be as easy as springing the extra cash to buy the upgraded version, but this left a bitter taste in my mouth. That doesn’t guarantee that it will work when I need (or expect) it to.