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Huawei E3121 Data Card Review

Mobile Broadband came into existence with the introduction of data cards by operators like Tata Telecommunications,Reliance, Airtel and Idea in early days.Photon,Net connect and Netsetter are the data cards offered by these players which provided people to access internet on the move.With the introduction of 3G services in India more players involved into this business.Basically a data card can be classified as two types GSM and CDMA. These data cards that are bundled with the ISP/Telecom Company is locked to the operator and hence came the need for unlocked data cards/dongles/usb modems.Thus it made a few companies bring operator free/unlocked modems/data cards. The main advantage of this type of data cards usage is the freedom to choose the operator/sim.Thus providing the flexibility to move between operators for better signal,speed,reliability,cost and features.

Currently Huawei,Micromax,ZTE,Beetel,Alcatel,Teracom,LAVA,Intex,Lexosys are some prominent manufacturers offering the unlocked data cards to the customers.
When it comes to unlocked data cards customers are now preferring company unlocked data cards to manual unlocked operator bundled data cards,the reason behind this is the company unlocked data cards come with original warranty,software and support.Moreover they are cheap and affordable.
Huawei Data cards are chosen by large amount of people as they are reliable,better performance,features,affordable and ease of use.
Huawei Data cards range include download speed from 7.2 Mbps- 21.6Mbps.
Huawei E3121 can be termed as the sibling of the high end data card E3131 in terms of features.Both the data cards provide same features and upload speeds. Huawei E3131 is at the higher end giving up to 21.6 Mbps download speed where as Huawei E3121 is in the mid range with download speeds up to 14.4 Mbps.Huawei E303C being the lower end of the range with speeds of 7.2 Mbps.In this Huawei E3121 Data Card Review you will find everything you should know before purchasing it,as we have used it personally before actually writing this review.
This data card is more affordable and reliable data card when compared to other data cards offered by other companies and its competitors.
Huawei E3121 Data Card Features:
  • Download Speeds up to 14.4 Mbps can be the best data speeds for downloading heavy data,uninterrupted surfing,playing games,watching movies,streaming music and playing network intensity games.
  • Upload speed up to 5.76Mbps
  • Network type GSM,Any 3G/2G sim card support,Auto Apn detection and configuration.
  • External Memory 32 GB Micro SD Supports
  • 2 GB Cloud Drive
  • Soft Wi-Fi (Software Support)
  • Supports and works on Windows: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Windows 8.MAC: Mac X 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 10.8 (with latest upgrades).Linux: Only Drivers Support.
  • Voice Call, SMS, Data Usage Tracker, USSD,Phonebook.
  • Free Huawei Zone offers worth Rs.6000/- accessed on landing page of Huawei zone.


Complete Specifications Huawei E3121:

Model E3121
Form Factor USB Dongle
Inside the Box Data Card, Warranty Card, Quick Start Guide
HSPA, HSDPA (3G Download) 14.4 Mbps
HSUPA (3G Upload) 5.76 Mbps
UMTS (3G) 384 kbps
EDGE 236.8 kbps
GPRS 85.6 kbps
3G Network HSPA/UMTS 2100 MHz
2G Network GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Soft Wi-Fi Managed Mode (Full Support) : Win 7 and Windows 8
Ad-hoc Mode : Windows XP, Vista
Not Supported: MAC, Linux
External Memory
Memory Card Support microSD Card
Memory Capacity 32 GB
Voice Call Support Yes
SMS Support Yes
USSD Support Yes
Data Usage Statistics and Tracker Yes
Chipset Balong
Type 3i Yes
Rx Diversity Yes
Antenna Internal
Colors White
Weight <50 gm
Dimension (D X W X H) 85.5 X 27 X 12.3 mm
Data card LED Indication Green : Connected to 2G Network
Blue : Connected to 3G Network
Cyan : Connected to 3G+ NetworkOff : The Data card is power Off
Blinking blue/Green LED indicates that data card is powered but not connected to any data network.In this mode you can make and receive voice calls/messages.
Warranty One Year Domestic Warranty,Not Covered in Warranty Physical Damage.
Soft Wi-Fi: This is an additional feature offered by huawei Mobile partner Software.Managed mode and Adhoc mode are the two ways in which it works.
In Managed mode it gives Full support that means the data card gives soft wifi functionality (hotspot) to connect with other pc’s/laptops/other devices.This hotspot supports up to 5 wi fi connections.The range of the wifi signal depends upon the hardware of your laptop/desktop wireless lan card.It is possible to connect with your Android devices, Blackberry devices, Amazon Kindles,I pads,I phones,Smart phone’s etc,. in this managed mode.Managed mode is supported on windows 7 sp1 onwards.

huawei e3121 soft wi fi

In Adhoc mode it supports  1-2 pc’s/laptops connections only. This mode will work on Windows XP and Vista versions. The Soft wif-fi feature is software based and hence Mac and Linux os won’t support this feature.Basically Adhoc networks can be created on any wifi cards with its default software even to make a wireless lan to share files and stream music/videos.
In order to enable soft wi-fi it is required that you already have an internal wireless card/external wi-fi adapter connected to your computer and working.
Huawei e3121 review                                                         
Design: The data card  design is sleek,compact and stylish.The white color of the data card gives it a premium look with huawei logo printed on its cover on both sides.Inserting and removal of sim card is easy to use,however we recommend you to stick to a good operator in your area after some testing for signal strength,speed and costs.Thus preventing the wear and tear to the sim slot which generally happens with frequent removal and insertion with any device.
The plastic used is smooth and is of good quality.The micro sd card slot is beneath the sim card slot which is very good as it doesn’t interrupt the sim/sim card slot during insertion/removal of sim.The usb port is solid and good. The data card also provides a small ring at the usb port input end which can be used to tag a data card holder.The cover can be slide downwards and it is easy to remove and use.
Huawei E3121 Review- Mobile Partner Software
Mobile Partner Software: This is the software interface provided by huawei for its data cards. The interface is simple and ease of use loaded with features.Whether you want to make a voice call/send a message/check balance/ connect to internet.Everything is clear and straight forward.The mobile partner also has features to call/sms/email huawei support.Huawei E3121 data card automatically registers your data card warranty by sending an sms from your dongle when connect the data card for the first time.The huawei zone is loaded with a landing page which gives freebies worth Rs 6000/- includes 3 month kaspersky anti virus software download,AVG Internet security with license for 1 Year,nexGTv Iptv 60 free channels subscription for 3 months,Unlimited movies from BIGFLIX for one month,up to rs 200 OFF from homeshop18,5% off on carzeal on all deals,Freecharge recharge coupons etc..

I have read in some reviews on flipkart that these are not provided with data card,but that is not true, the landing page has links to all these freebies.We have even downloaded the Free 1 year AVG Internet security with valid license.

Huawei e3121 review data tracking
Data usage statistics are graphed in this interface.
Huawei E3121 Review SMS Manager
Screenshot showing SMS manager from Huawei E3121 Mobile Partner.
Huawei E3121 Mobile Partner USSD
Screenshot Showing the USSD Feature Offered by Huawei Mobile Partner Software.
Huawei E3121 review data tracking and notification
The above screen shot shows us the notification of new message which is unread,huawei mobile partner is the first application to offer auto disconnection of internet on reaching the predefined usage limit set by the user.This is very useful to limited data plan users who can now be worry free of running out of subscribed plan.The mobile partner will automatically notifies you of data exhaustion before it reaches the set limit.
Huawei E3121 Data Card Review
This screen shot shows the Data tracking feature which is very unique and useful for limited data plan users.
Huawei E3121 Mobile Partner Dailer
This the dialer software which can be used to make voice calls.The keypad can be used by mouse clicks or by inputting from keyboard.We can also select the stored contact from contact list to make voice calls.
The voice calls made from our PC are clear and noise free,all you need to do is a purchase a quality headset to use this voice calling feature.There are no disconnections and disturbances experienced in any voice call in our testing.
The dialer displays the call duration once the call is connected. Moreover this is very useful for people who talk hours on their mobile,as it emits less radiation when compared to direct calling from mobiles.
Huawei Data cards Mobile partner Software GUI
Screenshot taken from huawei landing page shows freebies worth Rs 6000/- as we discussed above.
Huawei e3121 freebies
Huawei Data card Landing page/Huawei My Zone
Huawei Data Card My Zone
Huawei E3121 is offered 2GB of cloud storage space,apart from that it also offers cloud+ Messenger.
Huawei E3121 Cloud +
Picture showing the data card connected to a 3G network Blue Led.
huawei e3121 connected to 3G network
Box Huawei E3121 Data card,Warranty,Quick Start Guide.
 Huawei E3121 HSPA USB Datacard carton
Empty Slot shown here is the Microsd card slot which can hold Microsd card with memory capacity of 32 GB.Above the Micro Sd card slot is the Sim Card slot in which operator sim is inserted.The outer cover is flipped is also seen in the picture which covers this part.
Huawei E3121 Hands on Review
Hands on review Huawei E3121 data cardSpeed Test Results for Huawei E3121 Data Card for Aircel Network.
Speedtest test results huawei e3121 aircel
We tested the data card with the least/starter data plans on Aircel and Airtel networks at our place during the peak hours on 3G Network,the screenshot shows the result of the speed offered by the isp at our place.
 Speedtest results offered by huawei e3121 on airtel
The speed test results shown here are for 3.6 Mbps connection/data plan subscribed by us at our place.The data card can offer amazing speeds provided that ISP signal strength,number of users accessing the tower,Time of use are optimal.
The signal strength and speed offered by this data card out numbered our mobile phone.The presence of type 3i and Rx diversity is clearly seen.  Update:  We have tested Huawei E3121 Data Card with Datawind UbiSlate 7C+ (Edge) with usb connector and it worked fine on 3G and 2G networks.We will be posting pictures of the same soon here. The tablet we tested runs on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Verdict: This is the best data card in terms of cost,ease of use and features in the segment (14.4 Mbps) data cards available in India. The data card showed good performance and reliability during our testing on 3G network.The data card didn’t faced any automatic disconnections with the networks we have tested in our area.We continuously used the data card for 3 hrs on 3G network without any disconnections/interruptions.Although the usb external data cable and external antenna are not present we don’t faced any performance lack.As reviews said that the initialization of data card took time for the first time,we actually didn’t faced anything like that.May be the people who faced those slow initialization were either using slow/low end system/running a lot of application in the background.We tested the device on Windows 7 SP1 64 bit professional edition on 64 bit asus cpu which showed good results.We can’t comment on soft wi fi as our pc is not equipped with a internal/external wi fi card.Finally if you are a person on the move/need a cheap broadband alternative/mobile broadband/flexibility in choosing own operator/heavy surfer/downloader/casual user/professional who need to work on the move/student who need to use internet from mobile phone/data plans this data card is for you.

We can say that it will fulfil your needs and it will be in your budget.The only feature we expect in this data card is the ability to use connected video device/web cam/mobile phone cam to make video calls.Hope Huawei will upgrade such features on its mobile partner software in the coming days.Just go for it,buy it.

Recommended Buying From Flipkart.com Just add to your cart right now.  

Update: Huawei has recently added drivers and software patches in its download section,find the solution if you are facing any problems with dongle. New drivers support windows 8 also. Check Huawei E3121  Drivers and Mobile Partner bug fixes and set-up software here.

Disclaimer: This is an exclusive review by www.getlifetips.com author,copying/reproducing it will lead you to legal consequences.All the screen shots shown here are the software’s of Huawei Company and its partners.The Hands on Review of this product was made by us by using the device and testing it with our network providers and computer/devices.This is not a paid review,Get Life Tips blog provides unbiased hands on review which we have personally evaluated/used.
http://www.getlifetips.com Some Rights Reserved,Contents sharing and distribution should be done only under creative commons license.

About Tarun Vipparthi

The man behind the blog Get Life Tips, until it is acquired by WDS INDIA. He is a passionate blogger, entrepreneur, Internet Marketing Expert who lives and breathes it. Contact him to growth hack your business and stay ahead of competition.
  • Krishna Reddy

    I have bought E3121 modem one year back, it works superb for long time. But, recently i am unable to connect internet using this data card (working nice for calls and msgs). the problem is;
    1.mobile partner is not displaying network signal and connection type, but displaying only SIM service provider name
    2. Unable to change the network type in preferences (it freezed to WCDMA Preferred) and none of the option is working in “network”.
    3. Getting connection error when tried to connect to the internet. Tried in both RAS and NDIS mode.
    Tried to uninstall and installed mobile partner, no use. Refreshed the firmware of modem, no use. Tested with Huawei modem diagnostic tool, not showing any error.

    So, kindly suggest me how can i rectify this issue.

  • Kaustubh Saindane

    Dear Tarun
    i am using E3121 data cardMay i know the mobile partner version shown above in screenshots,as i have to restore the original version..plz help me

  • Dibbu

    Hi Tarun,nearly I bought E303F datacard,but its soft wifi not working in my windows starter edition and in vista also. What will do?

  • GLT

    Firmware Version:
    Software Version:

  • Kaustubh Saindane

    i am using E3121 data card

  • Kaustubh Saindane

    May i know the mobile partner version shown above in screenshots,as i have to restore the original version..plz help me

  • Are you facing this problem with downloading the song files or everything else? Even mobile phones use different mirrors for songs downloads these days which are faster than desktop browser mirrors and user agents.If it is serious problem you should contact huawei support team and also make a thread in support forum there. I do not see any problem with data card as download mirrors are usually slow and speedtest.net speed testing is not so reliable. lot of ISP’s have work a rounds to show some fake speed results.

  • gobi

    hi tarun,
    thanks for reply, but i have checked the settings of Idm and also when i download the same file in my mobile the download speed is 400kbps. when i download using data card it is very slow, even browsing is slow. i don’t understand why the mobile partner is showing 496kbps, but its actually only 20kbps.
    i also tried soft wifi hotspot using my mobile the speed is slow though mobile partner is actually showing 400kbps. i don’t understand what is the problem. please help

  • Thanks for the screenshot, if my guess is not wrong the problem is with the song mirror source or you may be downloading other files as well in background. As your connection download speed is showing 496kbps there is no problem with your mobile partner software,I hope you are also not experiencing any slow browsing.Try chnaging the mirror of songs source or try another website for downloads.Also please check your IDM settings for any download speed limit is enabled or not. Most of the file sharing hosts limit download speeds its common, do not worry. There is no problem with your data card. Hope this helps.

  • gobi

    hi tarun,

    speed capping is not the problem because when i check with speedtest.com it shows 400kbps but when i download a file like song etc. the download speed is only 20kbps. i have updated the driver and checked but problem is same. the image below will give an idea.please help

  • Aircel uses speed capping after the high speed data, see their terms FUP for unlimited plans.If it is not the reason let me know more details, i ll try to help you.Thx

  • gobi

    hi tarun ,
    i am using huawei e303f data card. though the connecting speed is 400kbps the download speed is only in 20kbps i dont know the reason i am using aircel 3g plan.please help

  • I have not tested it on windows 8,but it is compatible with windows8 as per huawei specification.The mobile partner software shown here comes with the dongle itself,it is plug and play.thanks for visiting Get life Tips.

  • Thank you for your feedback on review.Right now i cannot recommend any external wifi adapter as i am not using one.May be in future i will be reviewing external wifi adapters as well.Keep visiting Get Life Tips.

  • Hi Can you please tell me –
    (1) Does it install on Windows 8 home edition?
    (2) Can it RECEIVE voice calls ?
    (3) The mobile connect software that you have shown in this page, with voice calling – does it get come with the card or do you have to download it from somewhere else?

  • Hi

    Recently bought this one based on the review and utility. working fantastically as a standalone. I probably missed the Wi-fi adapter. running it on xp. do i need a separate wifi adapter to enable hot-spot. if so which one should i buy???

  • i find the software provides with the e3121 is too slow in opening.and please guide me how to connect soft wifi using it.

  • Anupam soni, Jabalpur
    sir, i’ve bought this product, its running but it wonders to search 3g signals most of the times and get very hot most of the time, pls tell what to do?

  • May be your mobile partner software is corrupted in the system. I have never encountered such kind of problems till now,i use 8-10 hours daily without any interruption.There may be a problem with your sim provider or usb ports.Try changing to a different usb port,try uninstalling mobile partner from control panel and reinstall it.Remove sim and re insert it. Try these hope it will solve any problems.

  • If you only want it to connect to 3g network only,you can select WCDMA only in network preference settings. Thank you for visiting blog.

  • I recently buy this dongle, Some time s my n/w switches to 2g from 3g. Can I move this n/w to 3g back again manually.

  • i m using e3121 datacard.. i m not able to change my network mode from WCDMA to other network. Also my mobile partner in not showing the network bars from past 10 days but the internet shows connected.

  • I have tested this with Ubuntu and it worked perfectly the dongle comes with driver software and Linux setup guide.User guide states” The Linux OS referred to in this document is 2.6.18 kernel version or later, and this user guide use the FedoraCore 6.0 Linux distribution version.” So cross check your kernel version before you move forward.hope this helps you.Thank you.

  • There is no external antenna socket available with this data card.Thank you for reading review.If you found the review useful share it with your friends.

  • Hey Tarun thanx for reply
    On Speed – You didnt mention about UCDMA . my current new data card shows me only this network to select. wher as the same mobile sim used in my friends datacard was giving me option of HSDPA to connect. well for the speed its no issue as giving me good speed when connected with new data card so no much worry. so just asked which is good speed connection UCDMA or the HSDPA?.

    But the issues are with the new data card it takes me atleast 5-10 retries while connecting at start. it conects disconnects many times before it connects and then works good. this is one issue. this was not with the old data card.
    seconf issue is with the soft wifi. the old datacard was used on same PC with a seperate wifi connected on my PC. the old datacard with same PC used to detect the wifi on PC to connect while this new Datacard is not able to detect the wifi or the internet not sure as it gives error “Internet connection sharing failed”. same setup with old datacard worked . so was my question ? something wrong with my setting setup i am missing or is with the the new datacard? just need to confirm from some expert before i get on the Huawei site people.

  • I’d be glad if you could please care enough to tell us whether the
    datacard has an external antenna socket viz. CRC9, as is the case with
    As for the heating issue i’ve been told it’s usually due to laptop’s
    usb port failing to provide the required current. It can easily be
    overcome by plugging the card to the laptop through an Y-cable rather
    than connecting it directly into the laptop usb port.

  • 1)Hi is 3121 compatible with Linux( fedora 17,Linux mint)??
    please reply.
    2)what is driver support?

  • Hey Amol Patil Thank you for reading the review here on get life tips blog.First of all soft wifi is only meant to create a hotspot from the dongle to share internet as a resource with other wifi enabled devices like tablets,smartphones,laptops,pdas etc., your pc/laptop/tablet needs an internal wifi module in order to make the it work.Dongle does not have wifi module in built.That is why it is called soft wifi. Next about your friends data card that you have tested may be using some different network configuration. Regarding UMTS,HSDPA,HSPA configurations all belong to 3G category but with speed difference. For example UMTS is the starting 3g speed network ie 3.6 mbps where as HSDPA/HSUPA will be the high speed network 14.4 mbps. This network configuration will depend on the service provider and data plan which you are using.You have mentioned that your friends dongle worked with WiFi setting ,just make sure wifi is turned on and test your dongle again.Remember soft wifi is an experimental feature and it needs wifi module built in your device that you are using.For further assistance please contact huawei support or read the help files that will be available with the dongle.As long as it gives good speeds and reliable internet connection there is no need to worry about the dongle. If you are a person with some tech knowledge and have some ideas on using wifi for building hotspots and peer to peer networking. You can use your systems driver software to share any internet connection that is attached to your pc/laptop.thanks.

  • Hii
    I recently bought a new Huawei E3121 Data Card
    Working great for speed
    Few queries
    I had tested the datacard from my friend which was a bit older one same series. That stich used to detect my current reliamce mobile card as HSPA,or sometimes, UMTS. But my new datacard is detecting the same sim card as 3G. as the network setting has only UCDMA to select
    What is better – UCDMA or HSPA/HSDPA/UMTS
    2nd the soft wifi on new datacard is not working error (Internet connection sharing Failed. Make sure that data connection is available and reytry after some time). wher as i did test the same wifi setting with the friends older datacard and it had worked
    Any Help?
    Thanx in advance

  • I have not tested this yet on windows 8 PC,thanks for making me know about this,i will test this on windows8 as soon as possible and update this review.Meanwhile if your location have a store that sells this data card,get to the store and test whether it works on windows 8 with their demo dongle.This will solve your query soon and you can always purchase it later from flipkart if your local store is offering a higher price.Thanks for visiting the blog.

  • Hi Tarun, though it is specified that this data card works with Windows 8, but there are many comments on the flipkart review page that say it isn’t compatible with windows 8. I really like this card but these reviews make me think over and over again..what do you think?

  • Your Query is not framed correctly, what i understood from your comment is that after completion of high speed data you are experiencing speed problems.If this is the comment meaning there is nothing to worry about,most of the unlimited 3g plans come with speed limitation after some data usage.There is no problem with your dongle.Your elaborated and well versed query can let me dig better into your problem and provide a solution.Thank you for visiting our blog.

  • I’ve bought hawaei 3121 im using Tata docomo sim..
    After 3g plan the speed is .75kb 3kb 4kb 10kb what m i missing??
    I’ve Tata photon it gives 2.5 to 3.5mbps…

  • Did you followed the Linux installation guide supplied with the data card. You should find it in your removable storage Linux folder. By the way which Linux are you using.I have tested it in Ubuntu LTS stable latest version without any problems.

  • Hi, I am trying to install E3121 on Linux machine, however, it gives error below

    nstall NDIS driver failed.
    The compiling environment is not all ready.
    Please check gcc, make and kernel buid(/lib/modules/2.6.32-358.11.1.el6.x86_64/build) to be all installed?
    Now please enter any key to finish other installations.

    NDIS is disabled, and only Modem can be used.

    Can anyone help installation of device on Linux

  • If you have autorun disabled on your computer for security purpose,you can find the software on the removable drive of data card eg: i:/mobile partner/setup.exe for windows and it also have Linux version of software. the drive letter will differ on your system. Hope using the setup.exe solves your problem,assuming that you are using windows based os.

  • mca

    auto run.exe does not work when i use it for the first time . How do i install mobile partner software now ?

  • Make sure your are in a 3g covered area,call airtel customer care to know which areas in your city gets airtel 3g signals.No need to buy 3g sim card,all 2g sims can be activated with 3g networks by following the procedure specified by operator.Make sure your sim is converted to support 3g.Contact customer care to know procedure/to activate 3g on your sim.

  • The dongle itself is an unlocked version.Just make sure that your sim is 3g enabled.If you have a 3G compatible mobile make sure that signal is available at your place.There are no specific settings.Just connect from dashboard and launch browser to enjoy internet.If you want the modem to connect only to 3g signals just use WCDMA only in network settings.For activating 3G on airtel contact their customer care 121

  • One more question..i forgot to put it up in my previous message to you, that do i have to buy a 3G SIM explicitly ? I stay in IIT Kharagpur and here it seems even after registering with 3G, airtel provides only 2G networks..i also have left the otehr settings untouched like WCDMA[UMTS] as it is i.e. in enabled state. All help appreciated sir..

  • Well i have this card, bought from flipkart and even though i have enabled 3G in my SIM, the dongle will not detect 3G..It even successfully registered to the Airtel (2G)(3G) Network…What am i missing ? Is there any specific settings ? Or do i have to unlock this dongle ?

  • If your tablet has usb port or an usb extension it may work,depending on Android version.I tested on data wind tablet running on android version ice cream sandwich(4.0.3) It worked flawlessly.

  • Hi,
    Does Huawei datacards supports android tablets?