Verdict: The Skyroam Solis X is the perfect International WiFI hotspot device that has impressive battery life, integrated power bank, and solid network speed. It can be the perfect partner for your next trip abroad.
What do you remember the most from your last visit abroad? Something other than the different exciting people you got to meet or the beautiful places you visited. What we have in mind isn’t necessarily a good thing and something you wouldn’t miss if it weren’t around the next time. Well, I am talking about the constant headaches of connecting to a proper WiFi or mobile data. If you were thinking the same, keep reading. If you weren’t, you should still keep reading because you might not be that lucky the next time around. What we have here today is something that will help you not face this problem on your next visit. In this modern age, everyone is online. Their reasons might be different but they all require an internet connection no matter where they are. This becomes a little cumbersome when traveling abroad. You can’t use your regular carrier without incurring huge roaming charges. You could always use the combination of a local sim card along with an unlocked local phone to easily get access to mobile data on the move. This is the perfect solution if you aren’t a frequent traveler and won’t be visiting multiple places. But if you are, then you will repeat it in every country that you visit. This isn’t very practical if you ask. Today we will be reviewing the Skyroam Solis X which will solve all your data problems while on the move across the globe.
What do you need Data for?
This is something everyone knows, or at least should. But we are still asking this because we want to be sure that we have all bases covered. So what are the most things you would need access to data for while you are abroad? Well, they are as follows.
- Use Google Maps: This is very obvious. You are in an unknown place and there’s no way you will be able to navigate the place properly without a proper guide. And who better than Google Maps to be your guide. For that, you will need the internet.
- Book a Cab/Uber: Google Maps can only take you so far. You will still need to hire cabs to move around the city. I would trust Uber more than any local services because of how convenient it is.
- Use Travel Apps: You will have to take off the help of different travel apps to book hotels, trains, flights, etc. Apps like TripAdvisor, Airbnb can be a lifesaver in such scenarios.
- Use Social Media: If you are a blogger or Influencer, then you might have to keep your followers and readers updated as that is an essential part of your lifestyle.
- Communicate with Clients: You might be on a business trip and that would require you to communicate with clients or take part in different meetings.
These are just a few of the use cases I could think of off the top of my head. But they more than drive my point why having internet access while on the move is very essential. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look a little into the technical aspects of the Skyroam Solis X. So here’s our review of the Skyroam Solis X.
Skyroam Solis X Review
History Of Skyroam
Skyroam Solis X is a WiFi hotspot device that gives users access to mobile data while on the go. Skyroam was launched back in 2008 when founder Jung Liu faced the problem of not having access to proper wifi when he was traveling abroad for business purposes. And using their mobile data would result in the incurring high roaming charges and getting a huge bill once they are back home. To try and fix this problem he ended up founding Skyroam. In the process he developed and patented the virtual SIM technology and hence created a network of on-demand mobile data worldwide through local connectivity. He Named it the Skyroam Global Hotspot. It was a global mobile hotspot that provides fast, secure, and most importantly affordable mobile data around the world and keeps you connected while you are on the move. So you no longer have to worry about internet access or getting high charges while you are abroad.
About Skyroam Solis x
The Skyroam Solis X WiFi Smart spot is a WiFi hotspot device that can deliver 4G LTE Mobile data no matter where you are. It also has an integrated 4700 mAh Power Bank so you can charge your devices while on the go. There’s also an 8MP Remote Camera that you can use. Solis X has a customizable Smart Assistant that you can customize according to your requirements. You can connect it to multiple devices i.e up to 10 devices at a single time. It comes with the patented vSIM Technology and works with all Local & International Data Plans. Additionally it also has a built-in Speaker, Microphone, and comes with Bluetooth.
How does The Skyroam Solis X work?
The operational strategy of the Solis X is just like any other WiFi hotspot device or MyFi as they are called. So basically, Skyroam has tied up with multiple local 4G carriers across different countries. What this means that they have made a licensing deal with these operators which will allow them to give their users access to data. So when you visit a particular country, Skyroam uses a local carrier to give you wireless connection based on that carrier’s 4G network connection. But you don’t have to pay the carrier, instead, you subscribe to the different subscription plans of Skyroam. These plans are a little costly, compared to the local prices, but they are very convenient and you can use them in multiple countries worldwide. Because of this you don’t have to buy and switch to different SIM cards and purchase a local phone plan in every country you visit. It will give you Internet access as soon as you step off the plane no matter where you go. You don’t have to worry about switching between carriers and services anymore.
Design and Build
The Solis X is a small, hockey puck-shaped MyFi/WiFi hotspot device. It has dimensions of 3.5” x 0.9” and weighs 11 ounces. The device is small enough to fit travel purses or the outer pocket of most backpacks but big enough to not fit in the pocket of your jeans. It can also easily fit in your palm and can be held by one hand. The Solis X has an orange color exterior that looks pretty good.
On top of the Solis X there’s a large rounded power button. Along with it you will find a white stripe that shows you the remaining battery life of the device. Three different indicator lights show the data connection and transmission. On you will find an 8MP camera that has a built-in flash. On one side there is a Skyroam brand logo printed in white. On the back is a USB-C port that can be used to charge the device. You can also use this cable to charge your phone or other USB accessories. Talking about charging your devices, the Solis X has an integrated 4,700mAh power bank. So you can charge all your USB devices while on the go. The charging however is very slow and has a rating of 5V/1A.
On the bottom of the device you will find a QR code. Scanning the QR code will let you connect your mobile device to the Solis X very easily. However you will require the Solis app for this. The sticker also has the network name and password printed on it. Using these credentials you can connect to the Solis X Wifi network just like any other Wi-Fi network.
This is one thing I liked the most about Solis X. It has a very impressive battery life and lasts way longer than any other MyFi device. It can last more than 16 hours on a single charge which is more than enough for most use cases. But this isn’t all. The Solis X also has an integrated 4700 mAh power bank with a USB-C outlet so you can use it all day and charge it on-the-go. This is a very important touch to the Solis X and can be very useful if you ever run out of juice while on the move. Overall, Solis X perms very well in terms of battery life and this makes it a very strong contender to be the best MyFi device out there.
Having access to data isn’t everything. It should also be fast enough for you to complete your task without being interrupted due to low speed. The Solis X kind of did well in this matter. You will find global band support on duplex schemes such as FDD-LTE, WCDMA, and TDD-LTE. This includes 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/20/25/26/28/71 bands on FTD-LTE, 38/39/40/41 bands on TDD-LTE, and 1/2/4/5/8 bands on WCDMA.
The speed depends on the local carrier you are connected to and the place you are in. But you can expect speeds that are in the range of 15 Mbps to 30 Mbps. Unless you are in a remote area where the network coverage isn’t that good, in which case the speeds might drop below 10 Mbps. Another thing you should note is that these devices aren’t optimized for streaming, so don’t be surprised if you have issues while watching your favorite Netflix series.
Buying just the device won’t be enough. Besides, you will also have to pay for the data. This is one of the most important factors while deciding which MyFi device to buy. These hotspot devices tend to have plans that are very expensive especially compared to the plans of the local carriers. The Solis X is ain’t that different but we found the pricing to be reasonable given what you were getting in exchange. They are a bit expensive but provide great value especially because of how convenient they are. With Skyroam, you have three different plans.
- UNLIMITED: This plan gives unlimited data for 30 days. This is the Unlimited Monthly Subscription plan. This plan gives you 30 days of unlimited data and is billed monthly. There are no hidden contracts or something, so you can cancel anytime you want. It is available in either Global or USA plans. The cost for this plan is $99-$49/mo based on geography and the prepayment choice. It gives you high-speed data up to 20GB, after which you get a slower speed i.e 3G or 2G speed. There is no data carryover, which means that the data gets reset after each period.
- GoData Pay-Per-GB subscription plan: This a pay as you go plan and has a base price of $9-$4 per month based on geography. The plan gives you 1 GB of high-speed data per month and is also billed monthly. There are no hidden contracts or something, and you can cancel anytime you want. You can then top up with additional GBs as you go based on your requirements. The cost of any additional data depends on the region. It is available in Global, USA, Europe, or Asia plans. The price is $9-$4/mo per additional GB based on your location
- Global Day passes: Skyroam also lets you buy a global day pass which gives you unlimited high-speed data over 24 hours. So if you want you can buy a pass and then use it anytime you want. With this you get access to unlimited high-speed data over 24 hours in any of the countries that are covered by Skyroam. The cost of a single day pass is $9/day.
Even though all these plans claim to provide unlimited data, there’s a catch. So the thing is that there are a few international data roaming agreements that all Hotspot devices have to abide by. The Skyroam Solis X isn’t any different and has to follow these guidelines. These agreements limit the amount of 4G service that can be allotted to the user. Therefore both Skyroam limits the amount of 4G you can use. They reduce the speed to 2G/3G speeds after 500mbs usage per day. However, if you have opted for the $6/GB (USA/Europe) or $9/GB (Worldwide) plan, then you will always have 4G speed. So that’s something you should keep in mind.
Renting the Device
If you aren’t a frequent traveler, then you can just rent the Skyroam Solis X device instead of buying it forever. So you can rent the device for the period you need and then ship it back once you are done. However, you should know that there are shipping charges associated that you have to pay. This is a great thing if you don’t plan to travel that long or frequently. Renting the Solis X device will cost you $8.99/day. Other than that you will also have to pay the shipping charges. So if you choose to rent it, you have to pay for shipping both ways in advance. When you want to return it, you can either drop it off at one of their 150+ worldwide dropoff points, if it’s available near you. Or you could use the shipping label that they include in the package along with the box. So you can return the device from whichever country you choose.
The Skyroam Solis X has a very wide coverage and is available across multiple countries throughout the globe. These are the countries it covers divided according to their region where they are located.
- Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
- America: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saipan, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
- Europe: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican
- Africa: Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia
- South Pacific: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand
- Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE
Built-in 8 MP camera
This is something that surprised me a lot when I heard about it the first time. I mean what could this camera possibly provide that isn’t already provided by our smartphone cameras, which by the way, has improved a lot over the few years. Turns out I was right and there’s not much use of this camera and you are probably better off with your smartphone camera.
So the camera on the Solis X is an 8MP built-in camera. And as far as I have seen, there isn’t much use for the camera. You won’t be able to use it on its own. You will still need to use your smartphone as a viewfinder to see what is being captured by the camera. You also need your phone to press the shutter button so you can capture or start the recording. There’s no scenario where I would prefer using the Solis X’s camera over my smartphone’s camera.
But just for the sake of the review, I need to state the specs of the camera. It has an 8 MP lens and is capable of 1x, 2x, and 3x zoom. To be fair, the picture quality isn’t that bad but there’s no way I am going to ditch my smartphone’s camera. It is an 8MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.4 aperture and flash. and is controlled by a shutter button in the Solis app. The photos were not that bad with flat-looking daylight photos with a negligible bokeh effect or we can say blurred background. The low light photos on the other hand were very noisy and lacked details. The video footage was also of average quality.
If you were thinking that you could use the camera as a backup if our smartphone dies, then that’s not possible. Let me tell you why. Like I said above that you will still need to use your smartphone as a viewfinder to see what is being captured by the camera and also to press the shutter button. So there’s no way to use the camera on the Solis X without your phone if its battery dies. In that case you can just use it to charge your smartphone with the integrated power bank.
The only scenario where I am seeing myself using this camera is when I am not traveling at all. I can use it for surveillance and enhance security at my house. Okay don’t laugh and just hear me out. So, because it’s a remote camera, I can place it anywhere in the house and then use the app to see what’s going on. This can be very handy if you don’t have a CCTV camera installed and because of its great battery life. Okay, it turns out it can be useful after all. But that’s just me, using a device for a purpose it was never intended to.
The Solis X comes with a customizable smart assistant. Let us see whether it is a marketing gimmick by just naming it smart or is the device smart. So, the assistant is powered by IFTTT (If This Then That) applets. These can be activated from your smartphone using the Solis App. You can download different applets and use them to control your phone, or tweet your current location using GPS, check the weather, send an emergency SMS, find your phone, and many more. But these are all things that you can do with your smartphone. The only useful feature for me would be the ability to find my phone. Other than that I think it’s more of a marketing gimmick. But it’s good to have these features.
This brings us to the end of our review of the Skyroam Solis X. Here are its pros and cons.
Skyroam Solis X Review Verdict
Skyroam Solis X is a very handy device to have when you are traveling abroad. It provides you with reliable mobile data with a decent speed across multiple countries all over the world. It was very easy to set up and use. It has a great battery life and the included 4700 mAh power bank can be very useful. It is a little expensive and the speeds could have been more consistent. Other than that, it is the perfect partner for your next trip abroad and will give you great value just because of how convenient it is.