Review: Huawei WiFi Cube with Vodafone 4G (E5180)

Let’s say you need to split the Cube between more hard wired devices, or even spread the 4G connectivity to more than 32 wireless devices, this will make it happen, with the ability to switch off wireless if need be.

Interestingly, you can also engage up to three more wireless networks from the WLAN settings found in the admin, with the login information for this found initially on the bottom of the handset, ready to be changed when you’re ready.

That’s one area that could do with a little sprucing up, as the interface is pretty basic.

You’ll find a screen telling you where you’re connected, the bars offered, and the data received and sent, as well as network functionality, but it could do with a little most cosmetic change. Most won’t likely bother with it, connecting and forgetting about the setup, which you don’t really need to think about if all you’re worried about is sharing a 4G network amongst your peers.

That said, you will find a few options here if you need them, such as MAC address control, virtual server access, a firewall with an IP filter, and a special applications area to let you get video games and other necessities to go through the device when you need them and the wireless router isn’t playing ball.

For the most part, we found no real issues with this device, and are even happy with some of the design, with a button up top that does two things.

The first thing the button does is turn the device on, which you’ll find when you hold the button down. It’s easy to fiddle with the power, though mostly, you’ll be leaving this on, since this is a stationary wireless dongle that you won’t be taking with you.

Strangely, there is a “roaming” option in the settings of the device, and while we suspect we could take this out of the country if we wanted to, we’re not sure why someone would given overseas data pricing would likely not be a terribly fun thing to pay.

The other thing the button does is turn the light on and off without messing with the power of the Cube.

Yes, there’s a blue light that generally glows at the top of the Huawei Cube, but you can turn it off simply by pushing down the button normally used for power quickly.

Press the button to turn the light off, and press it again to turn it on, with the press and hold we mentioned previously turning the device off.

Alternatively, you could just unplug the Cube if you wanted, though letting it power down is likely going to be better for the device.

One thing is obvious from the design, and that’s Huawei’s understanding of what a cube is.

The Huawei Cube is not a cube. Rather, it’s a rectangular prism, but we suspect Huawei Rectangular Prism doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue (though “Huawei Prism” would), and this is more a thing for the marketing department at Huawei and Vodafone to grapple with.

The Huawei Cube on the left is actually a rectangular prism. Meanwhile, the baseball in the right sits in a transparent plastic cube. Any questions?

But in all seriousness, there isn’t a lot to complain about the Cube, with our only real major complaint being a lack of WiFi transmission for this device.

The settings suggests this is actually running a low spectrum of 802.11n, with only 20MHz popping up in settings. There is certainly a faster speed out there, and we’re surprised

In fact, our only quibble might be something Huawei could add to a future model, and that’s a possible LED showing how many devices are connected to the Cube at once.

With up to 32 devices possible, it would be handy to see just how many in your home or office are hitting this device and sharing the connection.

You can see that you're connected to a mobile network, and that you have a WiFi connection, but not how many devices have connected to the Huawei Cube.


If you need faster downloads than what your current broadband connection offers, you may find some relief with Huawei’s WiFi Cube on Vodafone 4G.

We haven’t touched on pricing for plans on Vodafone because most of this review is about the hardware itself, but we feel we need to say it now: this can get expensive.

Vodafone’s plans for the WiFi Cube run from $25 per month for 2.5GB data (monthly) plus a $5 modem cost, with $64 netting you 12GB monthly and $90 grabbing 25GB monthly, the last two of these including the modem in 24 month plans. In comparison to other 4G data plans, Vodafone isn’t pitching anything that isn’t reasonable, especially when Optus charges $60 per month for 10GB monthly data while Telstra asks for $105 per month for 15GB.

But in comparison to fixed-line broadband, it’s a different game altogether, with similar $60 monthly plans grabbing anywhere between 30GB and an unlimited supply of downloads, so it’s worth noting that the amount of bandwidth on offer for mobile broadband is far, far different the moment you switch to 4G internet.

That said, we’d be looking at this as a viable option if you needed upload speed more than download speeds. Most of us will have some form of internet access at home already, and are probably reliant on the massive download caps these plans have, but with barely one megabit (1Mbps) upload speeds, our connections can’t compete with the close to 40 we received here.

If you have a lot of uploads to make, Vodafone’s 4G access on the Huawei WiFi Cube will impress, as will any 4G device, but if you have a few devices working away at the same time, this gadget makes a lot of sense, and if you happen to have plenty of money to churn through and wants faster broadband speeds in general before the NBN turns up (eventually), this could also do the job, too.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Easy to switch on and start using; Light can be switched on and off; Network port for people keen to plug in a switch or computer;
Not really a cube; WiFi speed isn’t particularly fast; No microSD slot; Plans can be expensive;