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Huawei CarFi: Mobile hotspot especially for cars

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The Huawei CarFi being showcased at Mobile World Congress.

Barcelona — If for some reason you’re looking for another gadget to take advantage of your car’s cigarette lighter, Huawei has something for you. The company unveiled at Mobile World Congress today the CarFi, a mobile hotspot made specifically for cars.

Huawei says the CarFi quickly “converts vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots on wheels for added convenience in daily life.” Clearly, you don’t need to CarFi for this convenience since putting any other mobile hotspot (including the dual-band E5786 4G-LTE mobile hotspot Huawei introduced last year) in a car would have the same result. However, the CarFi itself also works as a standard car charger, allowing you to plug another mobile device to it, and since it’s plugged in, it doesn’t require a battery to work.

According to Huawei, the CarFi is “inspired by the elegant lines of a golf club” and therefore boasts premium materials, including wood and carbon fiber for better durability, which is useful if you often move it between vehicles. Supporting LTE Cat4, it has the top download cellular speeds of up to 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up and can provide Internet to up to 10 Wi-Fi devices at a time. As a charger, it can provide 5V/1A power to a mobile device.

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The mobile hotspot is just about the size of a standard car charger. Sarah Tew/CNET

Feature-wise, the Huawei CarFi automatically turn off when there’s no Wi-Fi device connected to it for a period of time (though it still works as a charger.) It works both with the cigarette lighter and an in-car charger outlet of a vehicle. The device can be turned on or off via a long press on its top power button and can also be controlled remotely via Android and iOS smartphones using the Huawei Hilink mobile app.

The Huawei CarFi is available now in the European market in three colors including black, brown and red. It’s unclear how much it costs or when it will be available in other markets.

By: Sarah Tew

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