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Is the Unlimited 5G Data Promise of Smart Legit? (2021 Edition)

by Duey Guison  October 25, 2021

With telcos battling it out to offer the best plans to give us more value for our money, Smart wants to outdo the competition with its Rocket SIM, a SIM-only version of the 5G Rocket WiFi they announced months ago. Being marketed as an offering that offers better value for money, we wanted to see if the Smart Rocket SIM is legit as far as unlimited 4G and 5G data is concerned.

The Rocket SIM’s claim-to-fame is that it offers unlimited data for 30 days at an introductory price of Php 499 (the original SRP is Php 599). But, beyond that, they’re also saying that it has “absolutely no restrictions, data-capping, or speed-throttling.” While it wasn’t mentioned in their press release, this insane unlimited data offer also covers the 5G network. This offer sounds too good to be true, so we put the claim to the test.

Being an online exclusive for now, we ordered ours via the official Smart Lazada store. The delivery was fast and took less than a day to arrive. For our tests, we used the Xiaomi 11T and, of course, turned off WiFi.

On top of the usual web browsing and scrolling through social media, we relied solely on the 4G and 5G connectivity of the Rocket SIM for downloading large apps from the Google Play Store, high-quality videos from Netflix, and lossless music from Apple Music. We’ve extensively used the Rocket SIM for two days, and here are our findings:

5G connectivity speeds

Based on the results we got from Speedtest, download speeds in Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City was around 275Mbps at the lower end but we were also able to get as high as 615Mbps. Upload speeds, on the other hand, were anywhere between 28.9Mbps to 78.3Mbps. In Las Piñas, we were able to get 545Mbps in download speeds and 77.5Mbps in upload speeds. 

The result we got while in Las Piñas.

 

Throughout our testing, we also noticed that the Xiaomi 11T was very consistent at picking up a 5G signal while we were on the go but it did seem to default to LTE whenever we stepped back into the house.

Download speeds

As mentioned earlier, we tried downloading a number of large apps and files onto the Xiaomi 11T.

We downloaded Genshin Impact which is at 16GB and it took around 10 minutes to fully download the game. The network speed indicator on-screen showed that it was going as high as 30MB/s, which is around 252Mbps when converted. While that’s almost consistent with the results we got from our speed tests, we weren’t hitting the insane speeds of Smart’s 5G network.

With 4G connectivity at home, downloading 420 lossless tracks from Apple Music took around 30 minutes, with an average download speed of 3.2MB/s or around 27Mbps. However, we did observe it peaking at 3.7MB/s, and in some cases, it also dropped to 2.7MB/s.

While we didn’t notice any throttling, there seems to be a maximum download speed for Netflix. With the video streaming app, our speeds capped at around 2.5MB/s even with 5G connectivity.

From three days of using the Xiaomi 11T and mobile data on the Smart Rocket SIM, we’ve consumed over 40GB of data as of this writing, and we haven’t received any notifications or warnings from Smart nor did we notice any throttling either. We think it’s safe to say that the claim of unlimited 4G and 5G data with the Smart Rocket SIM is legit, as doesn’t come with restrictions like data capping or data throttling.

What’s the catch?

Even if the Rocket SIM can theoretically be used for unlimited 5G speeds, we weren’t able to hit Smart’s highest possible 5G speeds. At best, we were hitting around 250Mbps, which is close to Smart’s median 5G download speed of 217.03 Mbps according to Ookla’s Q3 2021 report.

As for the price, Smart has yet to disclose when it will bring it to its actual SRP of Php 599, so we suggest that you try to secure the Rocket SIM while it’s at its introductory price of Php 499.

Is it a good deal?

At Php 499, the Smart Rocket SIM does offer legit unlimited 4G and 5G data that’s free from data caps and data throttling. While the Rocket SIM may be more expensive once the introductory offer ends, you can still subscribe to the same 30-day unlimited data plan for Php 499/month IF you already purchased a Rocket SIM.

Comments (10)

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    I have the hotspot and months of unli 5G. The network speed does vary on time of day, but generally I can expect 200+mbit down and around 60mbit up. I’ve seen as high as 360 down, usually very early morning–there’s obviously a slight congestion issue. I regularly see 80mbit up, which I think is the cap–I just can’t say its 100% of the time. Just very often. It is truly unlimited. I am very demanding. SkyBroadband rate limits me all the time, and has become my backup connection. In the last two weeks I’ve down 650GB down and 45GB up using the rocket hotspot with 5G. Smart is dominating 5G right now–Globe needs a real Magic Data competitor at least. Anyway, the deal is available for any 5G capable SIM. If you want to keep your number and your current SIM fails to do 5G, I think they charged me 50php a few years ago when I had to replace my 3G SIM and it took a few minutes at the store and a few hours to work completely. I have a dual SIM phone with Smart and Globe, but since Magic Data unexpiring came out I haven’t really used Globe.

    No need for that rocket sim if you have smartbro prepaid sim. Just go to gigalife app and you will see the unlidata offer for the same price of 499.

    I have used the 5g unli data 599/month promo of smart of about 5-6 months. Ive been getting consistent speeds of at least 120mbps in our area, and everything was going great, until just last October 1, 2021. I cannot get a consistent and reliable connection. I always get disconnected from the 5g connection. It is very intermittent. Based on my observation and experiments, I get disconnected after about 3gb of data used. The disconnection lasts for about 5mins before i can get the 5g connection again. 3gb of data is only worth about 1-2 speed tests.

    I called their hotline to bring it to their attention. At first, they were still calling me to help fix the issue. But after about 5 days,they just stopped calling. I have been calling since to follow-up to no avail.

    Be careful with this so called 5g unli data. Yes you get high speeds but you cant rely on the connection

    Tested on
    Mi10 ultra
    Iphone 12
    5g cpe modem
    Note 20 ultra 5g

    I ordered the rocket hotspot when it was released and have been renewing since then. I think you may be possibly hitting an edge scenario I think I’ve seen. You’re actually losing 5G signal, and have exhausted the 4G allocation. Unless things have changed, the orignal plans included a limited amount of non-5g data. Otherwise my experience has been great.

    I would be more interested to learn results after maybe 2 months of regular use and see after then what speeds are like

    You have to remember mobile phone networks will always give a good impression to a new customer so maybe the first month or 2 at most you will get decent speeds and they will slowly reduce that speed that has been a common tactic of all networks Globe and Smart and I am assuming the same with Dito also ( yes I’m a Dito user ) and have observed speed drops on Dito also

    As for the 4G I would recommend just calling it LTE because in reality if you are connected to 4G you will never ever achieve 4G speed as the network MUST provide a minimum speed of 100Mbps

    And the reality with LTE the speeds are generally around the 20s meaning that speed is actually still a 3G speed as anything below 32Mbps is classed as 3G / 3G+

    LTE essentially is a networks excuse to get out of providing 4G speeds

    As for unlimited data on Smart I recently had an unlimited for 30 days but only paid 299 now I find that a reasonable price and I did find that throttling wasn’t happening and there was no capping so I was able to get over 300GB downloaded during the 30 days

    But the pricing of unlimited being at 499 or 599 is a rip off I would be more than willing to pay that kind of money if they could guarantee a reasonable minimum speed and that speed would have to be pretty high

    Would I get a 5G device well not for a long time I don’t see the purpose of it at the moment for me I watch YouTube videos and Dito and Smart appear to work pretty well with a decent video quality setting on YT and most of my apps that require an internet constantly work well on LTE and video calling works well also using LTE

    As for services like Netflix nah I stick to the good old fashioned torrents haha

    Its not the network’s fault if it goes back to LTE its just in your phone’s setting to go back to a 4g or 3g whenever 5g signal is not good. If you wan’t to have 5g signal only but your phone reverts to 4g the you have to root your phone and edit your build.prop file

    After three days, we can no longer stream from Netflix and HBO Go. Although I still get 30mbps in my speedtest. Don’t know why this is happening. Is there an update? Or is there any troubleshooting that needs to be done? Is there a cap on 4g?

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