Battle Of The Netgear Hotspots: Unite Express Vs Unite 770S

Man sitting on the curb at a park while on smartphone and laptop

The key to mobile hotspots isn’t so much what they can do, but more whether they do what you need. In the main, mobile hotspots perform a single function, and that is to allow access by more than one device to a single data connection.

There is, however, more to any given hotspot than that. Battery life, administration, login controls and more can all be useful and are all present to one degree or another. All this makes the mobile hotspot market incredibly competitive, where manufacturers try and keep costs down while making sure their devices perform adequately.

Even when two devices are manufactured by the same company, there is still the need to differentiate in some way. And so it is with Netgear and their excellent Unite Express and 770S mobile hotspots. But how different are they? Well, let’s see.

Side By Side

Unite Express

Unite Mobile 770S

Size (inches)

4.4 x 2.7 x 0.64.3 x 2.7 x 0.6

Weight (ounces)

4.6

4.2

Touchscreen

NoYes

Screen Size

1.77”

2.4”

Device Slots

1010

Content/Site Filtering

No

Limited

Guest Login

YesYes

MicroSD Card

No

No

Data Speed

4G4G

Battery Capacity

2500mAh

2500mAh

Battery Life

10hrs10hrs

Battery Boost Feature

No

No

Rugged

No

No

The Basics

White Tilted View NetGear Hotspot 770S 2

Unite 770S

The Unite 770S is, if you like, typical of what you might expect from a de facto mobile hotspot. The features and performance encompass all that is needed to have data on the move without the roaming charges that often come with a data contract. But, in a mildly disconcerting about face, some of the features it has aren’t actually absolutely necessary to run the hotspot effectively. Or they are, but not at the level included?

All clear? No, maybe not, so here’s what we mean…

Mobile hotspots, in most circumstances, are very much “set and forget”. That is, once set up after purchase, with passwords etc., most people will never need to go through the process again. It might be necessary to do so, if you are a user of guest logins or one or two other things, but most people never will be. The Unite Mobile 770S has a 2.4″ touchscreen, which is used for all administrative actions on the device. The Express, though, has a 1.77″ display for information purposes only. To perform admin duties, you need to access the Express via a secure web browser interface. After that, you will see battery and connection status, and also the number of current connections.

The 770S, with its color touchscreen means all can be done on the hotspot itself. If you do foresee the need to make changes to the setup, then it makes the 770S the ideal choice.

And Everything Else

Netgear Unite Express Black Front Image

Netgear Unite Express

Really, there isn’t anything else to compare. In almost every other respect, the two devices are identical. A little curiously, despite the extra weight you’d assume would come with having a touchscreen, the 770S actually comes in a little bit smaller and lighter.

The rest – battery life, connection numbers, both being 4G etc., are probably a result of identical components being utilised. The 770S does have some filtering options that the Express doesn’t have, but these are very rudimentary, and completely irrelevant for most needs.

And The Final Choice

It’s a simple decision. If you need/want a touchscreen, get the 770S. If you don’t, and will have no need to change settings later, get the Express.

Just be aware that the display upgrade does come at a price. Touchscreens are not cheap, and so the 770S is more expensive than the Express. Not by much, but you do need to look at it as another feature to add to the table above.

Screen aside, both the Express and the 770S are terrific mobile hotspots, and both perform admirably. Whichever you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Rachel C.
Rachel C.
Rachel is the researcher and blog writer for the Mr Aberthon website. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York and eventually made her way to Connecticut in order to become a part of the Mr Aberthon Team. She is passionate about technology and electronics, and nothing gives her more pleasure than discovering insights into the latest gadgets to hit the electronics market.