HTC had several announcements during its press conference, including its new One M9 smartphone and its very first wearable. The wearable was built entirely by HTC but will be sold in partnership with Under Armour. HTC said that the wearable is going to bet targeted at fitness nuts, not quite folks who are just trying to get off the couch and count steps, but rather those who are hitting the gym frequently and may be training for marathons.
The re Grip, unlike many other wearables on the market, is equipped with GPS functionality that allows a user to track his or her run and view the trip through the Under Armour “UA Record” software. It doesn’t feature a heart rate monitor, however, and HTC explained that it decided to ditch that feature until the hardware is more accurate than what’s currently available.
The re Grip offers a sporty look and will ship in black with a lime green accent first. It features a rugged design and lacks any buttons, which HTC said will help prevent it from snagging on any clothing. While it’s targeted at fitness buffs, don’t expect to take it swimming. The device is IP57 resistant against water and dust, which means you can wear it in the shower or out in the rain, but shouldn’t jump in the pool with it. You’ll also be able to track several different types of workouts, including runs, indoor exercise, weight lifting and more.
Better yet, the HTC re Grip functions as a sort of smartwatch — Android and iOS are supported —and it offers incoming call notifications, text message alerts, calendar sync, the weather, sleep tracking and more. Users can control music, even through apps such as Spotify, and can receive alerts from third-party applications. Unfortunately, however, there’s a lack of onboard storage, which means you can’t store music locally or install additional applications. All of the interactions are performed through a curved monochrome passive 160 x 32-pixel OLED touchscreen display.
HTC will begin selling the re Grip sometime this spring at a suggested retail price of $199. The company is promising up to 5 hours of battery life while GPS is activated, or 2.5 days with GPS off. HTC will only sell the re Grip in the U.S. to start. Stay tuned for our hands-on shortly.