First Look: Three UK's latest dongle - the Huawei E367

[caption id="attachment_787" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="Three's E367 Dongle... they claim it gives up to a 40% speed improvement over their previous fastest devices (even before they turn on HSPA+)."][/caption] It was too much... I couldn't put it off any longer. I've been very happy with my MiFi for some time now but...

[caption id="attachment_786" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="In the box is the dongle and a USB extension cable. The software is provided on the dongle itself."][/caption]

As much as this blog is in danger of turning into a Three fan-site (and I promise it won't although I do have several contracts with them) I had the chance to pick-up their newest 'premium' dongle today.

[caption id="attachment_788" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Three claim the E367 is up to 40% faster than their previous fastest offerings (including the MiFi)."][/caption]

They claim it's up to 40% faster than their previous fastest dongle right now and will also support HSPA+ when they launch it later this year [1. You're forgiven for forgetting what the various acronyms stand-for, but suffice it to say that Three reckon HSPA+ will increase average mobile broadband speeds from just less than the current 2Mb to around 10Mb.].

[caption id="attachment_784" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="The E367 has a fold-out USB connector. Nice."][/caption]

The E367 is another Huawei device (like Three's MiFi and previous fastest dongle) which is fairly unremarkable except for a fold-out USB connector which offers more flexibility around positioning whilst attached to a laptop and means there's one less thing to lose.

[caption id="attachment_785" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="The E367 displaying its Huawei logo proudly..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_782" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="The slots for the SIM card and a Micro SD storage card are located under the same cover."][/caption]

The E367 is slightly fatter than its predecessors, but not enough to matter in normal use. The build and finish feel high quality - if that's the kind of thing that worries you.

[caption id="attachment_783" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="The front. Like the back, but on the other side... (and with shiny plastic)"][/caption]

Like most dongles now, the software is provided on the dongle itself and installation was pain-free. Setup was simple and the client software is a simple one-click 'connect' / 'disconnect affair.

[caption id="attachment_789" align="aligncenter" width="446" caption="The OS X version of Three's Connect software is supplied on the dongle and installs easily."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_799" align="aligncenter" width="421" caption="The Windows version of Three's Connect software also installed easily, but was sluggish in connecting or responding to user input in my first quick test. To be fair this could just as easily be a problem with the PC..."][/caption]

Now... on to test the speed of this thing compared to the older relatives...

Updates:

  1. See the speed test results on my follow-up post »
  2. If you're having problems with the E367 avoid this simple mistake »

[caption id="attachment_781" align="aligncenter" width="522" caption="The Three dongle family: Huawei E1550 (front), Huawei E169 (middle) and new Huawei E367 (back). I don't have the current 'standard' dongle manufactured by ZTE."][/caption]