I recently bought a ZMi MiFi Wireless Modem.
Previously I used a ZTE wireless modem dongle obtained from Maxis but it started acting weirdly and a replacement was in order. The dongle was capable of transmitting 3G speeds to about 10 devices (if I am not mistaken).
The ZTE wireless modem dongle required an additional power source so whenever I wanted to use it, I had to bring a power bank. It was either that, or a USB plug to the wall.
Before you read on, please know that there are attempts to link ZMI and Xiaomi. My search online however does not find any links between both companies.
ZMI however did win some design awards in 2016 and 2018.
WHY IS A WIRELESS MODEM IMPORTANT?
LOCAL USE OF A WIRELESS MODEM
The ZMi MiFi Wireless Modem is a portable modem which enables me to use my DiGi broadband service on the go, particularly in my village.
My in-laws house in village does not have stable internet connectivity despite its proximity to the telecommunication tower. While phone connectivity is stable, internet connectivity remains intermittent with signals higher than 3G only available at certain areas.
A wireless modem allows me to put the modem at locations where the signals is strongest so that I could use the internet.
INTERNET CONNECTIVITY WHEN TRAVELLING ABROAD
I also found out that a wireless modem is important when travelling overseas.
When I traveled to Bali and then Thailand a few years back, I used to buy a single line for everyone travelling in the group and this was not cost effective as one internet line would cost over RM50 with internet top-up.
A wireless modem however allows me to share my internet line with the whole bunch travelling with me for as long as they are within a 10 meter radius from the modem.
I had noticed that this had significantly reduced internet connectivity cost when travelling.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ZMI MIFI WIRELESS MODEM
There’s two problems faced when I used to use the Maxis ZTE Wireless Modem dongle. They were:
- Since the dongle required an external power source, I had to attach it to a power bank. The problem is, the MiFi dongle tends to disconnect itself from the power bank especially when travelling (as it is placed in the bag).
- The dongle can also become quite hot if used for long periods of time.
Due to these disadvantages when using the wireless modem dongle, a switch to the ZMI MiFi wireless modem does come highly recommended. It comes with a high capacity power bank the modem is built to last.
The ZMI MiFi comes as a unit which features both the capabilities of a power bank and a wireless modem.
Its unibody design ensures issues related to the wireless modem being disconnected do not happen.
The built of the ZMI MiFi is also worth to mention. It looks really strong and well designed particularly in black.
A magnetic short USB cable is also included into the ZMI MiFi design. This will ensure the cable doesn’t fall off and is always available when needed.
To be frank, the ZMI MiFi isn’t something new because there’s a lot of other wireless modems that also come with an internal battery.
However, the ZMI’s MiFi does fare better than the rest (for now) as it has better battery capacity. It also cost so much less than the rest.
WHAT IS NOT GREAT ABOUT THE ZMI MIFI?
Frankly speaking, the ZMI MiFi wireless modem lacks indicators that inform of the strength of the network and the balance of power within the power bank.
As far as I know, there’s only three colours popping out from the indicators, namely red, orange and yellow.
Red shows there’s no network and power, while orange blinks out when the modem is started. Green shows there’s power and network.
The indicators do not tell if the network is on 2G, G or 4G making it rather hard to find the best spot to put the modem if network coverage is limited.
The lack of a power balance indicator means I wouldn’t know how much is left in the power bank until it is almost completely almost drained.
WHAT NETWORK DOES THE ZMI MIFI SUPPORT?
The ZMI MiFi can be used by a variety of telcos in Malaysia.
Major telcos like Maxis, Digi, UMobile, Celcom and Unifi Mobile are usable on the ZMI MiFi wireless modem.
In terms of technicalities, these bands are supported:
- FDD-LTE standard frequency band (B1 1800 B3 2100 B7 2600 mhz)
- TDD-LTE standard frequency band (B38 1900 B39 2300 B40 2500 B41 2600MHZ)
- WCDMA standard band is (B1 850 B2 900 B5 1900 B8 2100 MHZ)
HOW MUCH DOES THE ZMI MIFI COST?
A typical wireless modem dongle would cost RM150 on Lazada Malaysia.
Since it comes without a power bank, I would need to invest in one to get the dongle working. The price of a 10,000 mAh power bank on Xiaomi’s official store is RM59, putting the cost about RM209.
On the other hand, a ZMI MiFi MF885 cost RM295 on Lazada. This model comes with a 10,000 mAh power bank which supports 2G to 4G.
A cheaper version known as ZMI MiFi MF855 is sold cheaper at RM219, also on Lazada, as it packs only a 7,800 mAh power bank.
While the cost of the ZMI MiFi may be slightly higher, I think the convenience of having a MiFi that doubles also as a power bank to be worth the extra.
USING THE ZIMI MIFI
The ZMI MiFi isn’t officially available in Malaysia at the time this blog post is written. However, you can still buy it from Lazada with the item arriving within a week if you are in Kuching.
Using the ZMI MiFi is pretty easy as it is a mere ‘Plug-and-Play’. The only tricky part is locating the SIM slot which can be found behind the magnetic USB cable slot as seen below.
If you do need to change the settings, just type in 192.168.21.1 at your internet browser when you are connected to the ZMI MiFi. After that, simply key in the password “zimifi” to gain access to the control panel of the ZMI MiFi.
Alternatively, you can also use an app to manage the connection, but the app is difficult to find and not exactly updated.
For my DiGi broadband, I was able to get up to 12Mbps in Kuching. The range of the ZMI MiFi was also good.
FINAL CONCULSION ON THE ZMI MIFI
I’ve been using the ZMI MiFi for about two weeks from now and I am very happy with the modem.
It’s small sized and easy to bring around. The 10,000 mAh battery also last for quite sometime although charging it back does require some patience.
Anyway, if you are looking for a replacement for your wireless modem, the ZMI MiFi has my approval seal as being ‘worth it’.