Alcatel has unveiled a compact LTE Cat6 hotspot– the Alcatel One Touch Link 4G+ Y900 at MWC in February 2015. Now, the machine is finally available in stores after 9 months. As we had introduced before, the similar model Huawei E5786 has similar feature as Alcatel Y900. However, there is no display and connections for an external antenna in the Y900. In this article, you could see the full review about our test for Alcatel One Touch Link 4G+.
The Alcatel Link Y900 comes in a small cardboard box. In the box, there is a power supply for charging Alcatel Y900. The unit is supplied only with a USB cable, which can then be converted in conjunction with a standard USB power adapter for full charger. Alternatively, the router could also charge through the USB port from a computer or notebook.
The first impression of the Alcatel Y900: the router is equipped with 89 x 62 x 11.5 millimeters and a weight of only 88 grams including the battery. The build quality is good, the back cover on the battery is secure and can be removed quickly in order to insert the SIM card and optional memory card. Alcatel One Touch Link 4G+ Y900 has two colors: dark gray or white.
The operation is carried out via a web interface in the browser, as it is known by virtually every other router models. Alternatively, there is also an application for iOS and Android, so you can control the Y900 hotspot over an app. This works reliably, because the software is easy to understand and react quickly. A special praise has earned by Alcatel for the design, app and web interface look fresh and the functions can be easily distinguished from each other by different colors. This new software is already available from Alcatel Y858 for several months.
In the Web interface, you can see statistics such as online time and data volume consumed for use. In the settings, the wireless connection can be configured to change the password or modify the wireless network name. Also the settings for cellular connection can be done; usually, this is not necessary since the Alcatel Y900 automatically recognizes the network provider based on the inserted SIM card and the configuration performs automatically.
The Alcatel Y900 4G+ is based on a modern chipset with support for LTE category 6, so that up to 300 MBit/s in the downlink and up to 50 Mbit/s can be achieved in the uplink. Of course, the Alcatel Y900 is also backwards compatible with UMTS (up to 42.2 Mbit/s) and GSM including EDGE. In the test at 1800 and 2600 MHz (Carrier Aggregation was active), I reached up to 180 MBit/s in the downlink, which is at least already times faster than LTE Cat4 (up to 150 Mbit/s).
The reception and transmission performance of the Alcatel Y900 is good. But if you are at location of low signal strength, you’d probably want an external antenna. Unfortunately, there are no connections for such an external antenna, probably due to cost.
The Alcatel Y900 runs WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Up to 32 users can be connected to the router simultaneously, which already has a huge advantage in comparison with other mobile hotspots, because in other devices, a maximum of 8 to 15 users can be provided an Internet connection at the same time. The competitor Huawei E5786 has the function to work as a wireless extender but the Alcatel Y900 can not offer this. Even with the safety, the manufacturer Alcatel provides the Y900 hotspot from the factory without wireless encryption, so you should establish immediately a password so that no strangers can go online via the router.
The battery has a capacity of about 1,800 mAh and thus provides a runtime of about 5 hours. This is not particularly good, but the battery is removable, you can easily add a second or third battery and thus extend the duration accordingly. According to Alcatel, there is a version available with even a 3,600 mAh capacity. However, it seems not yet been available and of course you need a new cover for the back because the battery with 3600 mAh is likely to be considerably thicker than the original.
The Alcatel One Touch Link 4G+ Y900 is one of the fastest mobile LTE hotspots that are available at present. It provides a fast modem, fast WLAN and fast USB 3.0.The design with the large-area LED displays is simple and yet succeeded. Connectors for an external antenna is missing unfortunately. But if you simply looking for a fast and future-proof mobile LTE hotspot, Alcatel Y900 would never make you disappointed.
As an alternative, we would also recommend Netgear AC790S and the Huawei E5786. Both units feature an LTE Advanced Cat6 modem, a strong battery, terminals for an external antenna and a display, but a little bit more expensive than the tested here Alcatel Y900.