HTC is partnering with Sprint to offer an unusual 5G hotspot. It has a display, runs Android Pie, and functions as a portable battery pack. It may look like an Echo Show, but don’t confuse it for a smart hub.
You probably shouldn’t buy a 5G phone in 2019, and along the same lines, it’s likely you shouldn’t buy a 5G hotspot either. But if you live in one of the few cities that Sprint is bringing 5G to, HTC has an odd proposition for you.
The HTC 5G Hub is a combination mobile hotspot, battery pack, and Android tablet. The device features Android Pie, a 5-inch display, and a 7,660 mAh battery. HTC claims that it has enough battery to last an entire day, though that depends on the number of devices connected to it and if the display is on.
Additionally, you can charge devices from it, plug it into a TV to get a larger display, and use voice commands to control it. In theory, if Sprint’s 5G service is good enough in your area, HTC says you could replace your Wi-Fi router with the hub. And in the office setting, the Hub can provide a corporate VPN.
It’s not a smart hub though, it doesn’t feature any Zigbee or Z-wave capabilities, and it doesn’t run the same interface as Google Home hub or other similar smart displays. HTC is primarily focusing on the 5G mobile hotspot feature and suggests it as a way to provide faster speeds to your 4G phones and tablets. The other features are there to increase the value.
In addition to everything else, HTC is promising eventual integration with the HTC Vive, stating:
In the future, you will be able to stream VR content from the cloud to your VIVE headsets via the HTC 5G Hub—no PC or unnecessary cables required—to enjoy a mobile, high-end VR experience in real time.
What HTC isn’t saying though is any form of pricing. Like the VR feature, you’ll have to wait on that.