HTC created one of the first 5G hotspots with the original HTC 5G Hub, a portable router that looked and worked more like a thick smartphone — down to its touchscreen, full Android 9 operating system, and 4G/5G-backed Wi-Fi services, all running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset. Today, HTC is announcing the Exodus 5G Hub, a crypto-focused model that will leverage Zion software to deliver a secure and private environment for blockchain and encryption fans.
If you’ve been following the 5G scene, you may note that the Exodus 5G Hub is essentially the same piece of hardware HTC previously released: It’s packing a late 2018/early 2019 Snapdragon 855 chip and an older X50 5G modem, which means that while it’s competent, you won’t get the fastest possible 5G connections available. Currently, the Exodus 5G Hub is planned in 2.5GHz (U.S. Sprint) and 3.5GHz (Australia) versions, but HTC says it could become available for other 5G frequencies if carriers with high or low band 5G towers express interest.
Because of the older modem, the Exodus 5G Hub tops out at support for up to 2.63Gbps downloads and 287Mbps uploads, shared across up to 20 different devices connected over Wi-Fi 5 or 60GHz 802.11ad — not the newer Wi-Fi 6. But what made the 5G Hub interesting, and Exodus 5G Hub arguably more compelling, is its ability to use a bunch of its own cellular bandwidth to run Android apps on the 5-inch, 1280×720 screen.
Users will have full access to HTC’s Zion Vault, which holds BTC, ETH, BNB, LTC, XLM, and other ERC-20/ERC-721 tokens, supports user-owned Zion keys, and can run a full Bitcoin node directly from the Exodus 5G Hub. HTC says it will use the VPN/ad-blocking app Incognito to protect both the Hub and all connected devices, as well as supporting end-to-end encrypted email through ProtonMail, and open source web browsing through the Brave browser.
The Exodus 5G Hub is planned for release in the second quarter of 2020, at which point pricing and partners for both crypto and cellular services will be announced. Sprint currently sells the standard 5G Hub for $600 outright or $300 when purchased with a monthly service plan, delivering download speeds that peak at 700Mbps in some markets but more typically range from 125-200Mbps.