Hey there. I'm about to be buying a new phone and am narrowing down my choices. One thing that has stood out to me as I mull over my options is the mobile hotspots that many smartphones offer. I was set on buying an iPhone, until I found out that it does not offer mobile hotspots, so I'm trying to decide if mobile hotspots are something I really need or not, but to do that I need to understand them a bit better.

As I understand it, the mobile hotspots feature basically allows your cell phone to act as a portable wi-fi hotspot for your laptop (or other device) to get online with anywhere you want, thus allowing you to avoid being restricted to wi-fi hotspots if you want to get online, correct?

Well, here's my question: does this also apply to the phone itself? In other words, do I need a phone with mobile hotspots in order to get online wherever I want with the phone itself, or can any smartphone (even one without mobile hotspots, like the iPhone) get online anywhere, even outside wi-fi hotspots?

Put more simply, take the iPhone, for example, which does not offer mobile hotspots -- what I'd like to know is: since the iPhone doesn't haven't mobile hotspots, will I have to find a wi-fi zone if I want to get online with my iPhone, or can I still get online with it anywhere I want?

Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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