At CES 2023, Netgear announced the latest flagship mobile hotspot, which is based on the Qualcomm SDX65 chipset. This is almost the same device that has already been announced in the US and is listed on the Netgear US website. The main difference is that the UK model us carrier is unlocked, meaning it will work with any UK network provider (Vodafone, O2, etc) whereas the US version is locked to AT&T. Also, the UK version also does not support millimetre wave.
I had a pre-briefing on this device but was provided with the full press release quite late. Some of the information below is written from notes/memory and may not be 100% accurate. However, based on my briefing, this is about as good as it gets if you want mobile broadband, either at home or working remotely.
- Next level 5G Performance: Strong, reliable, secure 5G internet with speeds up to 4Gbps. Perfect for work & play while travelling.
- Ultra-fast WiFi Speeds with WiFi 6E: WiFi speeds up to 3.6Gbps for up to 32 devices for fast downloads, gaming, & streaming.
- Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon SDX65 Chipset: The advanced Qualcomm modem supports 5G’s Sub-6 band, delivering an arsenal of technologies and extreme power efficiency.
- Intuitive Touch Screen Interface: Set up, manage, share, & monitor WiFi easily on the 2.8″ LCD touch screen.
- Secure and Reliable Network: Conserve mobile data and avoid dangers when connecting directly to public WiFi. The Nighthawk M6 provides a built-in firewall for a private WiFi connection with additional password security for the Web UI and LCD.
- Unlocked Potential: Accepts nano SIM cards from major 5G/4G network operators.
- In-Home Performance Mode: Boost WiFi coverage up to 1,000 sq. ft at home. Simply remove the battery & use the power adapter.
- USB-C port: Charge a device or access an ultra-fast wired connection up to 5Gbps.
- Mobile Accessories: Increase your 5G cell reception by connecting external 5G antennas (sold separately) to the available antenna ports.
- Powerful 5040mAh Battery: Stay connected longer. Battery lasts up to 13 hours on a single charge.
- HPUE Support: Enables better 5G range. Pick up a 5G signal at the outer edges of 5G coverage areas, even where other devices cannot.
There are two variants of the router. One will work with mmWave, and the other sub-6Ghz.
The Qualcomm SDX65 chipset supports WiFi 6E but is limited to using just two bands, and it is only possible to select either 2.4GHz (2×2) + 5GHz (2×2) or 2.4GHz (2×2) + 6GHz (2×2).
The Ethernet port is 2.5Gbps, and this can work either in LAN or WAN mode. This allows the router to be used either as the main source of the internet or as a failover should the primary source, such as fibre, go down.
The M6 Pro has a 2.8-inch colour touchscreen display that will allow you to control its functions, but you can also pair this up with an app for remote control via your phone.
It is then charged by a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, and this can also be used for data and is compatible with data rates up to 5Gbps.
This also has two TS-9 external antenna connectors, and Netgear will be selling their own antenna, which is tuned just for this hotspot. There are also plenty of alternatives available such as the Poynting PUCK-5.
This is designed to be used within the home as well. Unlike the ZTE MU5001, which requires its battery in place, all the time, the Nighthawk M6 Pro can be placed in home performance mode by removing the battery and using the power adaptor. When it is in this mode, the power of the WiFi will be increased, and the range will be boosted by an additional 92.5sqm (1000sq ft).
It is also possible to use this in off-loading mode. When in a location that provides data connectivity, either wired or wireless, you can connect to that, and the Nighthawk M6 Pro will use this connection as the primary source of data, with the mobile data as backup. The advantage here is that all your devices can stay connected to the Nighthawk, and the hotspot will act as a middle man providing an additional layer of security.
Much like the M5 that proceeds this, the Nighthawk M6 Pro is a flagship device with flagship pricing. The Nighthawk M5 (MR5200) has been out for over 2 yearss and has an RRP of £780, with current pricing being £750.
The M6 Pro Mobile Router (MR6450) is available now in UK from Netgear.com. MSRP: £899.99. I hope to have a review sample soon.
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over 10 years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including mobile, wearables, and home automation. I am also a fitness fanatic, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.