There's been unprecedented excitement at MWC 2019 regarding folding phones, 5G phones and phones that you wear on your wrist like a stylish bangle. Well, like a bangle, anyway. There's been less hype about routers because routers are intrinsically unsexy but HTC's 5G Hub is literally like a product from the future that you can buy right now: a router (or 'mobile smart hub' in today's parlance) that lets you access 5G speeds wherever you are, without the need for a Xiaomi 5G Mi Mix
The first of its kind, the HTC says its 5G Hub allows you to have 5G speeds at home, business, and 'everywhere in between' – good news for everyone stuck in Barcelona's rolling traffic jam when heading back from the convention centre.
The 5G Hub receives a big, fat 5G signal then shares it via next-gen AD 2x2 Wi-Fi, which has similarly zippy top speeds, 'dramatically faster than 4G LTE' and 'wire equivalent' latencies. Gamers will like the 'ultra-low' latency, with 4K at 60fps on compatible devices. There's only one Gigabit ethernet connection built in – another sign of things to come.
A 7,660 mAh battery means the HTC 5G Hub can be used outside of the home or office. HTC adds that you can connect up to 20 devices 'safely and securely on a high-speed encrypted network' or via your VPN.
The Wi-Fi is powered by Qualcomm's chips, and the brand also provides the processing power, with the HTC 5G Hub powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and connectivity handled by the Snapdragon X50 5G Modem. The device runs on Android 9 Pie, for 'unprecedented' download speeds and power on Android devices and PCs. Control and 'high-quality visuals' are via a 5-inch HD touchscreen.
In the UK it'll run on EE and Three's 5G networks (neither of which actually quite exist yet but lets not split hairs), with other European carriers including Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Sunrise (Switzerland), and Elisa (Finland).
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division yelled: “Our 5G network will give EE customers even faster, more reliable connections where they need it most."
He then took a very deep breath before adding, "Whether online gaming on the move, downloading or streaming 4K content, or simply keeping a fast connection in the busiest areas, EE customers with HTC’s new 5G Mobile Smart Hub will be able to connect any of their Wi-Fi enabled devices to our 5G network for the best connected experience.”
• HTC 5G Hub will go on sale in Q2 of 2019 at 'select retailers' (opens in new tab)