Archos G9 review part 4: 3G stick test on Archos 101 G9 1 GHz


Archos G9 devices can receive an optional 3G stick to bring 3G mobile communications functionnality in addition to the existing WIFI connectivity. The 3G stick connects on the back of the device after removing a small trap.

The 3G stick should be available in the coming weeks at a price of 49 euros or 49 UKP from most online shops selling the Archos G9 devices and from some selected mobile operators. The stick should come with a free SIMcard and some free connection time, to be extended with pre-paid credits to buy to the operator.

Specifications


According to Archos FAQ, the 3G stick for the Archos G9 tablets is un-SIM locked, so you can use it on any compatible network. It accepts any standard sized SIM card, Micro-SIM cards are not supported. The G9 3G Stick uses the following GSM frequencies: 850/900/1800/1900MHz and the following UMTS frequencies: 900/2100MHz. This means that it will work with any network in the following regions/countries: Europe, India, Africa, Israel, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Thailand Note that the G9 3G stick will not work on networks that use frequencies other than the above.

Known to date operators partnering with the Archos 3G Stick program:

CountryOperatorPricing
UKThree
(part of Hutchison Whampoa Limited)
FranceBouygues TelecomFirst two days are free
then prepaid daily (reduced bandwith after 300 Mb) + unlimited WiFi = 6 €
or prepaid montly (reduced bandwith after 1,5 Gb) + unlimited WiFi = 29,90 €
SFR
GermanyVodafoneprepaid for the day, week or month

This table will be updated as soon as new parterships are released.

Using the 3G stick


With current firmware (version 3.2.34), the 3G Stick detection does not seem to quite like hot plug, it recommended to turn off your device before inserting the 3G Stick.
Then, remove the plastic trap on the back of your tablet
You will need to open the 3G stick to put your SIM card in place.
You can put back the top pastic cover on the SIM card side of the 3G Stick
Plug the Stick into the Tablet.

You should pull out slightly the stick out of the tablet for optimum reception as the antenna part of the device will have better isolation outside the other electronics part of the tablet. In this position you should see two black plastic blocks next to the USB part the USB connector in the stick.

Start your tablet.
You should be prompt for your SIM card PIN code, enter it.
Enjoy your 3G access on your Archos G9 device ;)

Speed test


We used a 3G SIM Card from the french operator SFR, to do some usability tests and check the bandwith.
The Internet browsing speed for web access is quite decent, as well as the Youtube video playing (see our video)
Measurements with Speed Test version 2.0.5 application give the following:
Ping around 130 msDownload speed 1600 kbits/s1300 kbits/s Upload
Please note that the 3G speed is very dependant on your mobile phone provider capabilities and the network coverage.

Using 3G Stick on a computer


The great thing about Archos 3G Stick is you can use it on your PC or Mac device. You just have to plug in the USB port, the stick contains a small memory hosting the drivers. On our test PC, the whole installation process went flawlessly as you can see on the video. The driver and the application got installed and we got the SIM Pincode prompt after a few seconds.

USB Port for the 3G Stick


Unfortunately, the full size USB Port on the back of the device used for the 3G Stick does not currently seem to be usable as Host USB port. We don’t know yet if it’s an hardware limitation or if it’s just not implemented yet by the software.
[flagallery gid=5 name="Gallery"]