HTC didn’t bring any new smartphones to Mobile World Congress this year. But the company is jumping on the 5G bandwagon with a new multi-function device that… does a lot of things, honestly.
At it’s most basic level, the HTC 5G Hub is a hotspot/router/hub that you can use to connect up to 20 users to a 5G network whether you’re at home, at the office, or on the go.
But it also has a touchscreen display so you can use it to run Android apps without connecting to a phone, tablet, or other device. And it support video output, so you can connect it to a 4K TV to stream video or games at up to 60 fps.
The HTC 5G Hub will be available in select markets starting in the second quarter of 2019. In the US, it’ll support Sprint’s new 5G network.
While the HTC 5G Hub isn’t technically a smartphone, it basically has the guts of one. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and features a Snapdragon X50 5G modem. The system has 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a microSD card reader with support for cards up to 512GB.
There’s a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel capacitive touchscreen display on the front, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port that you can use to charge the device or connect an external display. HTC equipped the system with a 7,660 mAh battery, so it should be able to run for a while between charges.
The device has a motion sensor, stereo speakers, and support for voice commands thanks to an always-listening microphone.
Now for the parts that set this apart from a phone. It weighs about 12 ounces and measures 5.1″ x 3.9″ x 1.7″ which makes it a bit bulky by phone or tablet standards.
The system also supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad WiFi and supports up to 20 WiFi connections. HTC says in the future you’ll be able to use it to stream VR content from the cloud to the company’s Vive Focus virtual reality headset without the need for a PC or any additional cables.
Other features include support for Bluetooth 5.0 and SIM card support for select 4G LTE and 5G networks (you can find the list of supported bands at HTC’s website).