HTC 5G Hub Test

HTC has become quiet in recent years; It is surprising that HTC plays a leading role in the new 5G mobile communications standard by launching the HTC 5G Hub in Europe, which is the first 5G mobile WiFi hotspot with Android OS.

Technical specifications

The HTC 5G Hub is more than a simple mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with 5G modem. It can be an entertainment machine, which can easily output 4K content via Display Port to appropriate monitors. Below are the technical specifications for reference.

  • 129 x 100 x 43 mm, 340 grams
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC
  • 4GB RAM, 32GB internal memory + MicroSD
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE Cat20 Modem
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G Modem
  • 5 inch TFT display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution
  • Android 9 with HTC interface
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac/ad
  • 7,660 mAh battery (not changeable)
  • USB-C 3.1 with Display Port function
  • RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port

Appearance and Package

The package connect is very clear. In addition to the 5G hub itself, there is a power supply with an output power of 12V / 2.5A included. The power supply has a proprietary connector and the cable is firmly connected to it. Basically, the 5G Hub can also be easily charged via USB C. The fairly heavy weight of 340 grams presumably caused mainly by the strong battery. The weight does not bother because the dimensions unfortunately do not allow the 5G gadget to be carried in the pocket.

The power button on the top of the HTC 5G Hub is the only physical button. It provides a good pressure point and, in addition, enables the activation or deactivation of the display with a short push of a button.

Fast modem with LTE and 5G

HTC has adopts two mobile modems to the 5G WiFi router: the Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 modem is integrated into the Snapdragon 855 SoC and allows LTE Cat20 with speeds of theoretically up to 2 GBit/s in the downlink. Over 5G theoretically up to 2.63 GBit/s in the downlink and up to 287 MBit/s in the uplink can be achieved.

In test practice, we have achieved speeds of over 150 Mbit/s in the LTE network from Vodafone, and the peak can reach to 308 Mbit/s in the downlink. In the uplink it went up to about 80 MBit/s high. The latencies (ping) were at least 17 milliseconds – a top value for LTE.

In the 5G network, we reached speeds of up to 1.3 GBit/s in the downlink. Speeds ​​above 1 Gbit/s were by no means rare. However, for such data rates, there must be line of sight to the 5G location. At around 400 meters without line of sight, around 600 MBit/s were still possible in the test, after which the HTC 5G Hub switched to the LTE network.

 

 

Basically, the impression was that the range of the 5G radio cells is limited to a few hundred meters. Once 5G reception is available, however, the data rates in the downlink are fantastic high.

Wi-Fi with restrictions

Of course, a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with a mobile modem must have a reasonable Wi-Fi module. This requirement is met by the HTC 5G Hub. First of all, the positive: up to 20 devices can be connected to the 5G hub at the same time, the wireless standards 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad are supported.

In particular, the support for the fast ad-WLAN to 60 GHz is remarkable, which no other mobile hotspot offers. However, there are also virtually no devices that can connect via wireless ad. So we could not test it.

The WLAN range is very neat for a mobile router. You cannot expect the performance of a good stationary router, but you can easily cover a large meeting room or apartment of up to 60 square meters. Unfortunately, the HTC 5G Hub is not a dual-band WLAN, so you have to choose between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

A WLAN repeater function (WLAN Extender / WLAN Offload) is not available, so there is no way to use an existing WLAN as an Internet access type (eg hotel WLAN). Other mobile hotspots, such as Netgear Nighthawk M2 or Huawei 5G mobile WiFi, provide this function.

On the positive side, HTC queries the configuration of the Wi-Fi hotspot as soon as the 5G Hub is powered up for the first time. Thus, the WLAN name, WLAN password and other settings can be made directly to the start and do not have to be searched through the menu afterwards.

Connections, rechargeable battery

The HTC 5G WiFi Router has an RJ45 Ethernet LAN port on the back. So you can connect wired devices such as a classic desktop PC to access the Internet. In addition, the USB-C port is also usable. Unfortunately there are no connections for an external antenna.

This is usually standard on other mobile hotspots, especially in this price range. You also miss a full-size USB port (type A), because the strong battery would be ideal as a power bank.

The battery held 24 hours in the test in hotspot operation. Such a long runtime is exceptional for a mobile hotspot.

Android OS with adjustments

The HTC 5G Hub has Android operating system, which is also a special feature for a mobile hotspot. Former HTC users will also immediately see similarities with some HTC smartphones, as the user interface has been slightly adapted by HTC.

 

If you use the 5G hub in network operation, a simple, but very stylish standby screen with time and network display is permanently displayed. In battery mode, the display remains dark when the router is not in use.

In addition to the standby screen, HTC has designed two home screens especially for the router mode. These are also very chic and show a few more information, including the number of wireless devices.

Of course, the Android operating system comes with all Google apps, including the Play Store, so you can install any apps. However, since the 5G hub does not seem to have a position sensor, apps sometimes do not appear in the correct mode or have graphical errors. The vast majority of apps work perfectly.

Multimedia Features

As already mentioned, the HTC 5G Hub is more than just a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The wedge-shaped design makes the device ideal as a small streaming device, such as for YouTube, media libraries, television or Internet radio. The rather low display resolution did not disturb the test, rather the strong reflections in the open air. The brightness is high enough.

The speaker offers a good quality, only in very loud setting it tends to be oversteer. As a mini TV while traveling, the HTC 5G Hub is definitely a lot of fun! Incidentally, thanks to the integrated microphone and Google Assistant, the HTC 5G Hub can also be used as a smart speaker.

 

Of course you could use all these multimedia features on a regular smartphone. But the HTC 5G hub is more fun because you do not need a stand case, the speaker is good and the smartphone remains free for other applications. Only the active fan disturbs the streaming enjoyment temporarily, because this is quite audible and runs almost in continuous operation in normal use.

In addition to streaming on the HTC 5G Hub itself, HTC also advertises the Display Port which can output 4K content to matching screens. I have not tested this, but have seen for example demos with the device in the 5G network and gaming applications. Thanks to the super fast Qualcomm 855 SoC, such applications for the 5G hub should not be a big challenge either.

Conclusion: More than a simple 5G hotspot

The HTC 5G Hub is a very good mobile 5G hotspot. If you have the opportunity to use the router in the 5G network, you will often be rewarded with speeds above 1 GBit/s. The router also performed very well in the LTE network.

The integrated battery, which offers a very long operating time, was also convincing. However, the unfortunately missing connections for external antennas and dual-band Wi-Fi are not good for a perfect mobile router. The support of 3G/UMTS would have been nice.

A very interesting and practical use for the HTC 5G Hub is as a small streaming machine. As a mini-TV or Internet radio, the router is really fun.

The HTC 5G Hub is available in many countries and the single price without contract is more than 500USD. Since 5G networks are not yet commonly available, the 5G device is still in high price.

 

HTC 5G Hub Review

HTC 5G Hub is a new 5G mobile broadband combining the wireless router with Android Tablet and working as a home or office modem for people who intend to use 5G network. From the appearance, the HTC 5G hub looks more like Amazon Echo show or Google Nest Hub, rather than a 5G NR router.

HTC 5G Hub Appearance

HTC 5G Hub has a 5-inch compact and handsome smart screen and gray fabric surround, which makes it look attractive and professional. The dimension of HTC 5G Hub is 129 x 100 x 43 mm, and it weights 340g. The HTC 5G Hub is much larger than the usual 4G mobile hotspot such as Netgear Nighthawk M2 and Huawei E5788. So it’s good to use the HTC 5G Hub on a desk, but not good to take it in a pocket or on the go.

 

It also has a large battery of 7660mAh capacity and comes with a big, chunky power adapter to charge it. On the back, there are both a USB-C port and a full-scale Ethernet port that can even attach to external routers.

HTC 5G Hub

 

HTC 5G Hub Specifications

The Hub is running Android 9.0 operating system like a Android tablet with with a 5 inches, 1280 x 720 screen, no cameras, and no traditional phone dialer, and of course all Google services onboard. You can run video services on the Hub and cast them to Chromecasts or compatible TVs. When it’s working, the status screen will show how it works as a hotspot. You can run arbitrary music services and use the Hub as a speaker. Or you can install Pocketshare and use the Hub as a NAS. It has 32GB of onboard storage, 10GB of which is taken up by system files, but you can add a microSD card for additional storage.

HTC 5G Hub

The product supports the powerful Wi-Fi capabilities of the Snapdragon 855 platform with the Qualcomm 60GHz multi-gigabit Wi-Fi chipset and next-generation Qualcomm 2×2 Wi-Fi 6-capable chipset for capacity, efficiency and performance. The unique device provides smooth 4K video streaming, LTE/5G mobile hotspot capabilities for up to 20 users, and low-latency games. As a home media center, the HTC 5G Hub uses next-generation LTE / 5G speeds to stream 4K video to a second screen for crisp, clear images. It can also replace a 4G Wi-Fi router and avoid unnecessary cables, while being easy to set up with a plug-and-play setup.

HTC 5G Hub

The big battery is pretty great, when just working as a hotspot, we got about 32 hours of 4G audio streaming to one device. Its high-end equipment and large body can give it excellent dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi performance. Users can also use the USB-C port to charge other devices, with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 onboard.

HTC 5G Hub

HTC 5G Hub Supported Frequency Bands

Here now we have the Australian version HTC 5G Hub and it supports LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/20/28/66 and 5G band n78. And actually, HTC 5G Hub has another version for US market and the network provider Sprint, which supports LTE bands 2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/26/26/41/66/71 and 5G band n41.

HTC 5G Hub

The Hub also works as an 802.11ad hotspot for up to four devices. 802.11ad, also known as WiGig, is a short-range, very high speed networking system that Qualcomm is trying to promote right now. There are no mainstream 802.11ad clients available. Below are the general highlight functions of the HTC 5G Hub:

  • Next generation LTE / 5G speeds
  • Internet for the whole family with up to 20 devices
  • Streaming games over 5G with Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Stadia (after release 2019)
  • Streaming videos and music
  • Intuitive voice and remote control
  • Pre-installed company VPN at high speed
  • Fully encrypted with Remote Wipe
  • Use as a charging station for additional USB-C devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops

HTC 5G Hub Review

HTC was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a 5G hub at MWC 2019, which was launched in the second quarter of 2019. It uses the new 5G mobile communication standard for fast data transmission and is primarily suitable for home use, but can also be used on the go. One of the main features on the front of the device is a large display. In addition, the HTC 5G hub will later support a cloud VR mode, in which a local player can be omitted.

HTC 5G Hub Specs and Features

Manufacturer and device name HTC 5G hub
Supported mobile standards 4G, 5G
5G network modes Non standalone(NSA)
chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa-Core with Snapdragon X50 5G modem
Maximum 5G data rate 2.63Gbps Down & 287Mbps Up
LTE frequencies Bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 25, 26, 66, 71
mmWave frequencies between 26 and 28 GHz
Sub 6 GHz frequencies Yes, 5G bands n41, n78
5G external antenna can be connected No

Network Feature (LAN & WiFi)

WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Maximum gross data rate with WLAN HTC did not provide any information
Supported WLAN bands 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 60 GHz
WLAN guest access can be installed ?
WLAN encryption standards WPA, WPA2, WPS
Gigabit LAN yes, 1 port Gigabit Ethernet
WAN port No

Telephone

Telephone function No

Display

Size & resolution 5 inches, HD (720 x 1280 pixels)
Touch capable Yes

Other features

IPv6 support; Dual stack ??
suitable for IPTV Yes
Can be used as a media server yes (microSD up to 512 GB)
USB ports on the back No
Battery for self-sufficient operation yes (7,660 mAh)
Dimension and weight 129mm x 100mm x 43mm at 340g

More information

Datasheet for download (PDF) ” not yet available
Manual for download (PDF) » Available at HTC official site
Available at » https://www.4gltemall.com/

 

 

High data transfer rates

Inside the HTC 5G Hub is a Snapdragon 855 Octa-core chipset, a CPU with Octa-core, which is installed in the latest 5G smartphones like the ZTE Axon 10 PRO 5G phone. With the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, the HTC 5G router supports maximum data transfer rates of 2.63 Gbps in the download and up to 287 Mbps in the upload. If no 5G connection prevails, the device can also switch to and work on 4G network. A fallback to older technology such as 3G or 2G can’t be done in the HTC 5G Hub.

 

Nevertheless, a mobile application is possible. In addition to power from a power outlet, the HTC 5G Hub also has a built-in battery. The capacity of 7,260 mAh should provide enough energy for a whole day. The battery is charged either with the enclosed power supply, via USB Power Delivery on the 9 Volt rail or with Quick Charge 3.0 via USB.

WLAN for up to 20 devices

If the HTC 5G Hub has established a connection to the 5G network, it distributes the signal via WLAN in its environment. Not only the usual IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards are used, but also 802.11ax (WiFi 6). This means that the HTC 5G Hub can span not only the familiar 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies but also a 60 GHz WLAN. However, only a few devices support this new standard so far. Wifi at 60 GHz has very high data transfer rates between the 5G WLAN router and the terminal, provided that there are no obstacles such as walls in the way.

 

However, the number of maximum connector users is limited. A maximum of 20 clients can connect to the HTC 5G Hub via Wi-Fi. There are four high-speed connections via 802.11ax. This limit can be quickly exceeded today in a household with various technical devices. Other Wifi access points usually support more connections, ie 32 to 64.

 

Integrated display and speakers

Visually, the HTC 5G Hub is more like a Google smart home hub rather than a traditional router. This is mainly due to the integrated touchscreen on the front of the device. This measures 5 inches and displays the contents in HD resolution with 720 x 1,280 pixels. In addition, two speakers for stereo sound and a microphone that pays constant attention to voice commands, are integrated.

 

The HTC 5G Hub is in the dimensions of 12.9 x 10 x 4.3 cm and weights 340 g and provides 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory. If the internal memory space is insufficient, it can be expanded via microSD card. What exciting are the possibilities that the HTC 5G Hub can stream content to other devices such as a TV and the use of Cloud VR is also planned. A local player can then be omitted in the presentation of VR content. Instead, the data is streamed via cloud computing. This is made possible by the potentially low latencies of 5G. This requires a compatible 5G network that allows mobile edge computing.

Price and availability

The HTC 5G Hub is available for many network providers over the world. Together with the Tariff, you may get cheaper price. If you only get the single HTC 5G Hub, the price would be much higher.