Globe V Smart: 4G Pocket WiFi.

Welcome to Globe v Smart! This will be a series of posts that compare the competing services of both telcos. After recent events regarding Globe and Smart buying out the potential third player, I feel it is time to reassess the duopoly and see which one really deserve our hard-earned money.

As I teased in the Smart Bro post, here I am pitting two of the more popular gadgets in accessing the internet: the Globe Tattoo 4G Mobile WiFi and the Smart Bro 4G Pocket WiFi! Which one do I prefer? Read along to find out! Let Globe V Smart commence!


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The hardware of both these devices are pretty straightforward. Globe’s device is a white rounded rectangular pocket-sized WiFi modem from Huawei while Smart opted for a black rounded rectangular one from ZTE. (In case those tech companies are alien to you, Huawei and ZTE are both Chinese companies although the former is getting more popular recently thanks to their smartphones.) In terms of size, I prefer the one from Smart Bro since it’s smaller and easier to put in a pocket or a small bag. Both have the same radio band support so that should put that out of the question. Like I said, they’re both straightforward but I would give the slight edge to the Smart Bro one just solely on the pocketability.

Winner: Smart Bro

Internet Speed

I’m sure that this is the one you’re really focused on. Since we all are increasingly reliant on the internet for even as little as basic communications, we prefer a faster and more reliable internet connection.

globe v smart smart bro with macbook air


First off, I don’t own any high-end equipment that can reliably get the internet speed of each device. All I used was the Speedtest.net App on my iPhone. Note that I live in Cebu City, where cell towers are mostly I ran the speed test thrice on three locations: at home (for cases of emergency where I suddenly don’t have internet access at home), in SM Seaside City Cebu (new mall in Cebu), and in SM City Cebu (one of the oldest malls in Cebu). The results I will show in text are the average internet speed I got from each location on each device.

Location 1: Home

This one was pretty direct. Since there is a Globe cell tower right outside the house, I figured that Globe would really get a very high speed boost. Lo and behold, I was right.

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Average Download Speed: 3.75 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 6.12 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Average Upload Speed: 1.51 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 0.50 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Based on those results above, Globe Tattoo gets the slight edge due to the fast download speeds but Smart Bro has good upload speeds.

Winner of Location 1: Globe Tattoo

Location 2: SM Seaside City Cebu

When we got to Seaside, we decided to eat at Racks. While we were there, I was testing both the Smart Bro and Globe Tattoo Pocket WiFi modems and see if there are differences in speed compared to the ones at home. Surprisingly, that may seem to be case.

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Average Download Speed: 4.93 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 7.30 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Average Upload Speed: 1.14 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 0.51 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Even though there was just a slight increase, Globe still manages to have better speeds than Smart here. Also consistent with Location 1 is the higher upload speed from Smart. Still, the slight edge goes to Globe.

Winner of Location 2: Globe Tattoo

Location 3: SM City Cebu

After staying in Seaside for a few hours, we went to SM City because our relatives were there and we wanted to spend our Sunday with them. While chilling at a Starbucks, I did another speed test here. Historically, Globe has had bad signal in SM City so let’s see if that factors in the test.

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Average Download Speed: 4.08 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 3.01 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Average Upload Speed: 0.48 Mbps (Smart Bro) | 0.26 Mbps (Globe Tattoo)

Based on these results, Smart has easily beaten Globe here. From this, I could say that Smart has good signal (not great) in SM City compared to Globe.

Winner of Location 3: Smart Bro

Based on all 3 locations, Globe clearly is the winner here. One reason of this is that Globe really has great coverage within Cebu City but Smart’s coverage is improving because of the backbone that PLDT has built throughout the years here. What I like about Smart though is the upload speeds. That is just as important for me as the download speed because I tend to upload a lot of stuff (usually pictures) for the blog and the speed really helps.

The downside to all this though is that these modems don’t support LTE, which is generally faster than the tech used in both these modems.

Winner: Globe Tattoo


tattoo mobile wifi with my macbook

Hoo boy. This is where things get sour. You can only go so far with having a fast internet connection only to have it suddenly fail on you in the most critical moment.

Based on my limited time with the Smart Bro, it was reliable enough in the places where the signal was good. It would sometimes fail but nothing a good reset couldn’t fix. With the Globe Tattoo though, it would fail on me sometimes even if the signal was great at the area. Sometimes, the app I would be using on my phone would suddenly not work even though I know that I still have enough data left. That said, I could still get it to work again after a reset.

Since they both have minor issues of their own, I’m giving this part a tie.

Winner: Tie

BONUS: Prepaid Promos

Both Globe & Smart currently have promos that claim to give you more bang for your buck. Well, I’m here to show you just how much bang you really get.

globe v smart prepaid promos

Much to my surprise, Smart Bro actually has a great offer in SurfMax 85! For P85, you get 800 MB PER DAY for 2 days! You have to be careful to not hit that right away because once you hit that limit, your internet speed will be limited up to 256Kbps (which is like 2G speeds or something). Sadly, there are no add-ons with this. (Feel free to correct me with this, Smart.)

Globe also has a solid offer in SURF20. I mentioned in the review that Globe has a very good promo that gives you 400 MB of data for only P20 that lasts for a day! The only downside is that you can only register to this promo here in Cebu. Luckily, they have another promo in GoSurf507D! It’s a variation on the GoSurf50 promo except that it doesn’t double the data allocation but extends the duration to 7 DAYS! I also love that all promos of Globe Prepaid come with Free Facebook and Viber!

Due to having add-ons on all their promos and having a well-balanced portfolio of promos, I’m giving the edge here to Globe.

Winner: Globe Tattoo

Overall Thoughts

tattoo mobile wifi with smartphone
Winner: Globe Tattoo!

After putting both of these to the test, I could definitely say that Globe Tattoo won this one… IN CEBU CITY. Take note that both Globe and Smart don’t have the best coverage everywhere, there will always be dead spots. For my money though, Globe is the winner. Then again, signal coverage will vary so test out both their prepaid services using your smartphone before deciding on getting the Pocket WiFi for you. If you have more money to spend, invest in the LTE Pocket WiFi on either network.

That’s it for the first Globe V Smart post. Hopefully I could do an LTE Pocket WiFi showdown someday. Is it okay, Globe and Smart? Hehe.

28 thoughts on “Globe V Smart: 4G Pocket WiFi.

  1. In our place, SMART has a better signal and fast gyud ang data compared sa Globe. And speaking of Globe 4G pocket wifi, I haven’t used it na after the free load expired ba! Hahaha! I think I’m gonna sell it siguro. 😀

  2. This is such a helpful post but I think it really depends on the location. Just like you Globe is much faster in my area, i have poor connection with smart.. But in the office it’s totally the opposite.. That’s why I have smart and globe. 🙂

    Rica | http://www.sassycebuannachic.com

    1. I agree. Globe got a foothold here in Cebu for mobile internet. That’s why they’re faster here. It may differ in other place like in Dipolog where Smart is actually better. 🙂

  3. I have always been a Smart user since then and yes, it does fail me sometimes but most of the time, I find it reliable. I guess it all boils down to your location. Although there are also promising commendations I am hearing about Globe. I guess both networks are always making its way to serve us better.

  4. This is definitely a cool idea to be testing out! Specially if someday you could further expand upon it and maybe even make out a makeshift map pointing out where each network shines most! Hahah. I get too many people asking me which network to go with when it comes to getting pocket wifi devices and the first thing I ask them is where they’ll be using it at. Would be great to just have a handy resource the next time. 😀

    Anyway, both networks definitely have their respective ups and downs. Just have to consider your location first before getting either of the two.

  5. Thanks, Jullian! We had no DSL connection for six weeks and I realized that both networks are a pain to use for an online freelancer! Anyway, I also found out that Smart’s unlisurf is much better to use haha. My biggest problem was having a data cap. Thank you, though. Perhaps I could come up with a similar post to help out online freelancers. 😉

  6. I just bought a Globe pocket wifi yesterday and im a bit jealous of the promising promos of smart also im a smart user and this would be my first time to use Globe, Globe’s promos are just limited and doesn’t really excite me, the smart does especially the surfmax85 im a bit jealous although i think both networks have best speed and performance in my location. What should i do guys?? help me please, is there a promising promos of globe ?? please teach me

        1. To be honest, both of them suck. Hahaha. I can’t definitively say which one’s the best. If network coverage matters more then it’s Smart. If internet content matters more to you, then it’s Globe

  7. Thanks very imformative.
    Have you try to compare these 2 pocket wifi in Manila?
    Also, I need to know the price comparison if I will get the LTe version.
    Let me know please.

  8. I was also curious on which one is the best of these brands. It’s all clear to me now. Thank you so much! But, do you have a distinction between globe and sun?

    1. Yes, but 1GB isn’t exactly a lot these days especially for people who watch a lot of videos. And using GoSURF 50 twice for P100 is better in my opinion because of 1GB + 300MB for an app.

  9. Jullian, which one is good internet in Poro Camotes Island,, which pocket wifi? Do you have any idea? Thanks

  10. Hi – what is the difference between the Smart 4G Pocket Wifi and the Smart LTE Pocket Wifi? I thought these were the same? I just mostly use social media messenger sites and watch Facebook videos but rarely need to use YouTube or similar streaming sites. Does it matter which I pick given that I’m not a heavy user? TIA!

    1. The Smart 4G Pocket WiFi only uses 3G and faster 3G known to them as “4G”. The LTE Pocket WiFi uses the better and faster LTE internet. For better reliability, I recommend getting the LTE one since internet promos are the same rate regardless. 🙂

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