If you have a thirst for speed, or moving data between your devices and the cloud is critical to your business efficiency, then pay attention. Telstra has released their first 5G device, the HTC 5G Hub.
Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 32GB storage, support for 802.11ad and the device runs Android 9 Pie and has plenty of features. Available to pre-order today, it’ll be available next Tuesday, May 28th, the same day as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
The device is a portable WiFi hotspot with a difference, it’s got a 5G sim card in that can share its crazy fast speeds with up to 20 devices. I have no doubt people will find some very creative uses for this, but if you want to make some quick friends, you could shout everyone some free WiFi at your local coffee shop.
The HTC 5G Hub is designed for use in the Home or Office environment and if you find yourself in one of the early 5G-enabled areas, then you’ll be achieving connection speeds of hundreds of Mbps. This presents an immediate opportunity for people to ditch their NBN and use one of these right?
While there won’t be many users on 5G in the early days, that number will grow as more devices hit the market, so inevitably it will suffer from congestion at some level. Despite that, for many home users, this would be a great solution and the typical complaints about latency over mobile networks is dramatically reduced thanks to the 5G frequencies.
While the 5G Hub charges it’ll proudly display your speed, a digital clock, as well as any notifications. Thanks to an ambient light sensor, the screen also turns off when it’s dark, or late at night, as well as when you’re using it on the go.
Most of our device are now WiFi-enabled, but if you have some that aren’t, then HTC included an Ethernet port on the back to connect to a switch or router, even directly to PC to ensure you get the fastest speeds possible.
While speeds will certainly vary on 5G, Telstra’s promotional material features speeds of 306Mbps which provides an indication of what you could expect in some circumstances. Depending on your NBN connection type that could be anywhere from 3 to 10x your current speeds.
This brings us to the question of 5G plans. Before today we had no idea how these would be price, but Telstra has gone first in detailing what a 5G plan looks like. You can buy the HTC 5G Hub on plans starting at $70pm plan which gets you 25GB of data. That’s not a lot of data considering the increased ability to consume that data at a far higher rate than 4G. You could easily burn through that in a single day on 5G.
Thankfully Telstra have larger plans including 60GB for A$94pm and the largest offering which is 100GB for A$104pm. It’d take a couple of months of normal use to understand how much data you really need on 5G, but with data priced at $10 perGB for extra data, you’d want to work that out fast.
One feature I love is the ability to connect a USB-C video cable the 5G Hub and hook it up to your TV, directly streaming from any video app you have installed.
The HTC 5G Hub’s features a massive 7,660mAh battery, nearly double most smartphones. Telstra says this will provide you with all-day battery life which if true is an amazing technical achievement. If you leave the device on standby, Telstra are claiming the device will last 400 hours or 16 days.
If you need to, you can even connect a USB-C cable and charge your Android smartphone, that’s awesome because it’s likely sitting in a convenient location. It can even charge other devices from its battery using a rear USB-C port, devices like smartwatches or even a GoPro.
The HTC 5G Hub not only offers the first taste of 5G technology to Australians but has loads of features you wish your current router had. Then layer into the fact it’s mobile and this is definitely a winner.
One interesting feature showcased in the video above is that Cloud VR support is coming in the future (read HTC Vive Headsets). This means the IP-based content would come directly over 5G, beamed from the Hub to your headset. When you consider the acute focus on latency for VR, that’s an impressive commitment.
The HTC 5G Hub is now available to order and will be available in Telstra stores from May 28.
For more information and technical specifications, you can check here.