For the road warriors and frequent drivers who want a connected vehicle without shelling out for a new car with built-in WiFi, T-Mobile's just announced SyncUP Drive should fill the coverage gap between your cell phone and your home internet. The new device brings the big pink carrier up to speed with competition at AT&T and Verizon (both of which already have similar devices) and adds smart vehicle diagnostic features as well as a phone-free connection to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network.
With the ability to connect up to five different devices to its WiFi network, the SyncUP Drive should help families keep a full carload entertained and saves carpool drivers the trouble of fiddling with phone tethering while they're on the road. Plus, as the little ones graduate to driving age, the on-board diagnostics will be able to track their driving behavior, monitor the vehicle's location via GPS and provide instant notifications through a new companion app if there's any sign of car trouble.
Like other aftermarket hotspots and vehicle tracking devices, the SyncUP plugs into your vehicle's on-board diagnostics (OBD) port, so it should be compatible with any internal combustion engine vehicle built after 1996. (T-Mobile says the device isn't compatible with electric, hybrid or diesel engines yet, but you can check compatibility here.) The device goes on sale November 18th, 2016 for a full retail price of $149.99, or free after bill credits when you tie it to a 24-month plan with 2GB or more of data.