HooToo TripMate Titan review

The travel-friendly Tripmate Titan is a router, NAS, and power bank in one

The feature-packed Tripmate Titan is well worth the asking price.
The feature-packed Tripmate Titan is well worth the asking price.
The feature-packed Tripmate Titan is well worth the asking price.

Highs

  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Portable router
  • NAS function
  • Big battery

Lows

  • Streaming lag
  • Ugly software
  • Inconsistent charging

This peculiar, pocket-sized pal is packed with handy features that should appeal to travelers. The HooToo TripMate Titan is primarily a travel router that you can use to create your own private Wi-Fi network to connect up to five devices. It’s an ideal solution for hotel stays, offering easy multiple connections and an extra layer of security.

The TripMate Titan can also act as network-attached storage (NAS) if you plug a flash drive, card reader, or external hard drive into it via USB. And that’s not all, because it also boasts a 10,400mAh battery that you can use to charge up your phone or tablet on the go.

Compact and sturdy

Open the box and you’ll be surprised by the diminutive stature of the TripMate Titan. It’s an impressively compact device, measuring just 3.74 inches tall and 1.73 × 1.73 inches across. It feels solid in hand, and weighs in at around 9 ounces (255g). You get a short Micro USB to USB cable and a user manual in the box with it.

The red and black design is striking, if slightly villainous (it was originally called the TripMate Sith), and it has a soft-touch rubbery feel.

HooToo TripMate Titan
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

There are two panels you can prize open to gain access to the ports. Behind the first, you’ll find a USB port capable of charging at up to 2.1A, which is nice and fast for a portable battery charger. Next to that there’s the Micro USB port for charging up the battery in the TripMate Titan itself. The maximum charging rate is 2A, so it’s going to take several hours to replenish the 10,400mAh battery inside. If it’s drained, you’ll want to charge it up overnight.

Open the second panel and there’s a standard RJ45 Ethernet interface labelled WAN. You can plug a cable directly from a modem and use the TripMate as a router, or you can plug a cable in from a larger router and use the TripMate as a bridge. There’s also a reset pinhole that offers a quick way to wipe settings and reboot.

Setting it up

You may be slightly bewildered by the set of instructions that comes with the TripMate Titan because they aren’t the clearest. But as it turns out, the device isn’t difficult to set up.

It’s an ideal solution for hotel stays, offering easier multiple connections and an extra layer of security.

Holding down the power button for three seconds brings it to life. There’s a series of four white LEDs circling the power button to indicate remaining battery power, and then a colored LED on the other side to indicate Wi-Fi status: It flashes blue when you turn it on and then turns green to indicate that it’s working.

If you have an Ethernet cable, all you have to do is plug it into the port labelled WAN. If you just want to use it as an access point, then you’re done. For router functionality, you’ll need to configure a few extra details. As soon as you turn the TripMate Titan on you’ll see it pop up as a Wi-Fi option on your smartphone, laptop, or whatever. Log in with the default password provided and you’re connected. You can have the TripMate scan for an existing Wi-Fi network and connect to it wirelessly to act as a bridge. You’ll configure it through the browser on your connected device.

Once it’s online, you can connect up to five devices to the TripMate Titan wirelessly. It’s much slower in bridge mode, so always opt for the Ethernet cable connection when you can.

Your own Wi-Fi network

If you’re wondering why you would want a device like this, consider a few scenarios. Let’s say you’re staying in a hotel and it has one of those annoying login or terms and conditions screens. You can’t get the Chromecast you brought from home connected because of it. Or maybe there’s a limit to how many devices you’re allowed to connect to the hotel Wi-Fi — get your laptop online and you’ll have to pay a second time for your phone.

HooToo TripMate Titan
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Set up the TripMate Titan instead and you can connect your laptop, smartphone, and Chromecast to it. Not only does it allow you to configure the connection and share a single point of entry, it also creates your own private, password-protected network. We were able to connect two smartphones, two tablets, and a laptop to the TripMate Titan during testing and it worked just fine.

The range is pretty decent. It continued to work when I took my phone upstairs and a couple of rooms away. It started to drop out when I went to the back garden, but that’s only marginally worse than my normal router coverage. The TripMate Titan won’t have any trouble covering a hotel room or a small apartment.

File sharing and streaming

You can also use the TripMate Titan to share files, back up devices, or even stream movies wirelessly. All you have to do is plug a storage device into the USB port. You can plug a flash drive in there, a card reader with an SD card up to 64GB, or an external hard drive up to 4TB in size, as long as it’s in the NTFS, FAT16, or FAT32 format (check the manual on your external drive if you’re not sure).

We’re not really convinced by the Titan as a media streamer.

Download the free HooToo TripMate Plus app for Android, iOS, Windows, or Mac and you can connect to the Titan and share files to and from the connected storage.

We plugged in a 16GB Lexar flash drive and then installed the Android app on a Galaxy Note 5. The app is ugly, but if you go into the File/Folder section you’ll see the attached storage listed. We were able to access files on the flash drive and transfer photos from the phone to it.

It’s also possible to stream movies from the flash drive. We tried it with a short MP4 and it worked, but it was a little jerky thanks to buffering, and it also plays using the barebones movie player in the TripMate app. We’re not really convinced by the Titan as a media streamer.

Performance in this area is partly going to depend on your attached storage. Sadly, you can have only one attached storage device at a time, so if you use a USB hub and connect multiple drives it will only pick up on the first one.

The nice thing about this file sharing option is that it works wirelessly without the need for an internet connection. If you wanted to quickly share a few photos or other files with a few other devices, you could use the TripMate Titan and a flash drive to do it wirelessly. It could also serve as useful backup facility when you’re out and about.

[comparable-products]

Charging on the go

We’ve tested a lot of different portable battery chargers, so we were interested to see how the Titan would measure up. The 10,400mAh capacity of this battery should be enough for around three charges of most smartphones.

It’s supposed to support up to 2.1A output, which should be enough for reasonably fast charging, but when we plugged the Galaxy Note 5 into the Titan, the charging speed was in line with plugging into a PC. It was going to take two hours to charge up fully from 64 percent. The Note 5 has a 3,000mAh battery in it.

Interestingly, it was a different story with the Galaxy S7 Edge, which the Titan was able to charge fully from 49 percent in just an hour, and the S7 Edge actually has a bigger, 3,600mAh battery inside. We used exactly the same cable, so we can’t really account for this difference – and when we asked for help, the company couldn’t offer a good explanation either.

You can get portable battery chargers that are slightly smaller than this with a similar capacity, but the Titan actually measures up pretty well in terms of portability, especially when you consider all the other tricks it has up its sleeve.

Warranty information

The HooToo TripMate Titan comes with a standard 30-day money back guarantee, so you can return it within a month if you don’t like it for any reason. There’s also a 12-month product warranty, which covers you for any manufacturing faults or flaws but not for any accidental or deliberate damage.

Conclusion

The HooToo TripMate Titan is certainly not perfect. The software is really ugly, the media streaming capabilities are limited, and the slow charging rate for the Note 5 was a bit of a puzzle. But you can pick it up on Amazon right now for just $40. That’s impressively good value for a feature-packed item like this.

If you’re frequently trapped in hotel rooms, you’ll get the most value out of the TripMate Titan. As a travel router, we recommend it. Having a 10,400mAh battery is always useful if you’re out and about, and the Titan is also good for wirelessly backing up and sharing files. It certainly does more than enough to justify the price tag.

Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Gaming

You can now stream PS4 games on your PC using Remote Play (and here’s how)

Remote Play is one of the PlaySation 4's most intriguing features. This guide will show you how to properly set up Remote Play, so you can start streaming your PS4 games on your PlayStation Vita, PC, Mac, or Xperia device.
Gaming

Wired headphones are so 2018. Here's how to pair a Bluetooth device to your PS4

One of the best aspects of modern consoles is how easily you can pair them with other devices. Here's our quick primer on how to connect a Bluetooth headset (or really any Bluetooth device) to your PlayStation 4.
Mobile

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Wearables

Before buying a Fitbit, check out these Garmin fitness trackers under $100

The Apple Watch is a great fitness tracker, but it's not cheap. Thankfully, there are plenty of fitness trackers under $100, and they offer many of the same features. Here are the best fitness trackers under $100.
Health & Fitness

Google’s redesigned Fit activity tracker is now an iOS app

Google Fit has landed for iOS. The activity tracker offers the same clean design that arrived with the major revamp of the Android version a year ago, with features such as Move Minutes and Heart Points also included.
Mobile

Stunning photo shows Honor 20 will get the full Moschino designer treatment

Honor will launch the Honor 20 on May 21, at an event taking place in London. A special Moschino version will also be revealed, potentially with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.
Mobile

Leak says Huawei will supply 5G equipment to the U.K., but with a caveat

A leak from the U.K.'s National Security Council says Huawei has been approved to supply certain 5G infrastructure equipment, but not the core components related to secure aspects of the network.
Mobile

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.
Mobile

Google Assistant for Android and iOS wants to tell you a story

Just in time for National Tell a Story Day on April 27, Google has added the ability for Google Assistant for iOS and Android to read you a story. So now there's no excuse for not catching up with a good book.
Android

Here's how much it will cost to buy the Galaxy S10 5G, and when it releases

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it will be the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.
Mobile

Verizon reveals 20 new cities that will get its 5G network in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it has also begun deploying mobile 5G. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network, including when it will be in your town.