Monday, September 4, 2017

Review of SmartGo Pokefi Global Roaming Pocket WiFi

If you travel a lot for business or for pleasure, staying connected is a necessity. While most telecom companies offer international data roaming, it’s usually a fixed amount and can be quite expensive after a few days of use. I have always wanted a reasonably priced and simple roaming data plan with a fixed amount that I could use when and where I want. If you’re like me, I may have found the answer in Pokefi. Check the review right here.

The idea

The name may sound funny but this just might be the traveler’s new best friend. What most travelers really need when they get to a foreign country is to be able to check email and maybe book an Uber to a hotel. Additionally, they may need Google Maps or Waze for directions, and use various messaging apps to keep in touch with people back home. These don’t require much data. But most telecom carriers will charge per megabyte or a fixed amount of unlimited data for a hefty penny. The reality is that if you need to do a lot of heavy data use, you might do so at your hotel or a place with a decent WiFi connection. This is where Pokefi comes in. It will give you 5GB of data that doesn’t expire. This means that you could use it for a year (or more) in different countries if you’re a light user. And if you run out, the reload rates are quite reasonable. They also have a 5-day unlimited pass option.


The Pokefi pocket WiFi device costs US$169 on their website ( which includes 5GB of data. However, I was able to purchase mine on Philippines Airlines on-board duty-free for US$127. To top up or reload, you can use Paypal or credit card with the following rates:

US$15 - 5 day pass unlimited data
US$6 – 1 day pass unlimited data
US$15 – 5GB of data, 2 years expiry
US$6 – 1GB of data, 10 years expiry


I’ve been using Pokefi for almost a month and so far it has always worked in the three countries I have tested. They support over 60 countries so check their website before buying. There were some signal issues but once I got out of the hotel or building, I was able to get a steady connection.

Unfortunately, the unit itself is very basic with only a power on/off switch and a signal indicator. I do wish it has an LCD screen to show more information. They have a web browser-based app to show more information such as data usage, signal strength, and battery level.

I was always able to get through a regular day of use with about 20-30% battery remaining. Their website claims a 12-hour battery life. I haven’t used up my 5GB of data yet so I can’t say how easy the reload process is. Since I only use messaging and Google maps, I plan to stretch the included 5GB for a long as I can.

The Good

Price, including Top-up or reload
Battery life
Coverage in over 60 countries
Connect up to 8 devices

The Bad

Weak indoor signal
No LCD information screen
Limited coverage in the Middle East


  1. I travel a lot in Europe. I am in Amsterdam first then in Hamburg, Germany for almost 3 weeks now. I am very disappointed about their signal in these two cities. I have basically no signal in just about anywhere I go considering I am just within the city and usually outdoor. From the time I go out of my house about 9am, there will be no signal the whole day. No matter what I do, turn it off, then on again after several minutes from different locations, all efforts are deemed useless. I end up turning on my data roaming and it just defeated the purpose of buying this product. My signal would come back around 8pm, just about the time that I am already home and would no longer need an internet connection since I am using my wifi at home. Not recommending this device if your trip is in Europe.

    1. I think their coverage depends on partnership with local telcos. I also had problems when indoors. I only got to use it in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Tokyo. No problems except as I mentioned while inside hotel.

  2. I am in Warsaw, Poland now. I have the same problem. I have been out whole days and the Pokefi takes ages to connect, very often it will connect after trying for 5 or 6 hours. And that's when I am outdoor & in large shopping malls a lot.

    Its a good product but it still requires a lot of work with the various telcos that Pokefi have to deal with. I have bought 2 units - for family use & I sure hope Pokefi connectivity will get better soon. 23rd Sep 2017

    1. You're the second person to comment about connectivity problems.

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  5. Worked well for me in HK, Japan and Canada. Could make Skype or viber calls without any issues. Great tool.

  6. All of sudden my device would not let log on despite correct password. Still awaiting their reply how to fix the problem. Also there is no reception in Copenhagen but work well in Iceland.

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  9. Be careful when using, I am currently in Toronto. Customer service after 2 days is limited and i cannot get any answers to solve my issue. Cannot speak to technical or supervisors. Stock answers. New device takes forever to connect, if can connect. Be CAREFUL. Might work in other places, but Canada not useable. Being stationary in one place takes an average of 10-20 mins to connect with the phone showing full bars. If in a car or just landing in airport, forget it, impossible to connect.

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