Karma Go

Karma Go: Share a little WiFi

I should title my latest articles “Cool-techie-things-Neal-would-like-to-have-but aren’t-available-yet.” Here’s another one to add to the list. The Karma Go (which really makes me think of “…you come and go…” from Karma Chameleon by Culture Club, which I’m guessing was intentional and now I can’t get the song out of my head!!!!!). The Karma Go (“…you come and go… you come and go…” AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!) is a portable WiFi Hotspot without a contract. Yep, I said, without a contract! You just buy the device for $149 pre-order before the end of the year for $99. The Karma Go (lalalalalalala I CAN’T HEAR YOU!) will be available in early 2015. Since you’ll own the Go there’s no contract, no commitment, and no monthly fees. You just pay for the data. You can purchase data at $14/GB and even as low as $10/GB if you pre-buy. The data never expires. So, if you buy 2GB and only use 1GB within the month, you’ll still have 1GB the following month. You can also score free data if you share your Go with others. Yes, that’s right, I said share.

Here’s how the sharing works. Your Go will broadcast itself as available and others can connect to your Go. I know, you’re thinking about privacy, security, and WHAT? CONNECT TO MY WIFI??!!!!!! Well, no need to worry. When you share your Go with others, they will need to have their own account with Karma. They are not using your account and are not using your data, they are just using your Go as the method for connecting to the Internet. They won’t be actually on your network, so they can’t see all your cat videos. The Go supports up to eight devices at one time. That means my daughter can use her WiFi only phone, my wife can use the Nexus 10, I can use my Chromebook, and still share with up to five other devices.

As I mentioned above, the Go isn’t available yet. I have requested a unit to review and I’ll share my thoughts after I’ve had an opportunity to put it through thorough testing. Meanwhile here’s some tidbits about the Go:

  • Size: 2.59” x 2.59” x .47”
  • Charger: Micro USBThat means you can just use the charger that came with your phone, unless for some reason you lost all your faculties and got an iPhone.
  • Battery Life: 220 hours (standby), 5 hours (in use)
  • Network: Sprint’s Nationwide 4G LTE + 3G CDMA fallback
  • Speeds (in Mb/s):
    • Upload: 2-3
    • Download: 6-8
    • Peak: 25

If you’ve heard the name “Karma” before, this is because the company had an earlier version that only ran on WiMAX.

How does the Karma Go compare to other no contract hotspot solutions, such as StraightTalk Wireless? Good question. Since I am writing for Tech.itiswhatitis.biz out of the goodness of my heart, I do not have a budget to purchase items for review. If StraightTalk or any other manufacturer wishes to send me a review unit, please drop me a line. 🙂