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Video: First impressions of HTC Grip smart band

The HTC Grip is definitely a top-end band, but most probably irrelevant to a market like India

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Barcelona | Updated: March 1, 2015 11:03:42 pm
HTC Grip HTC Grip will try and plug the space being vacated by Nike’s Fuel band. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)

Less than a quarter after HTC launched its Re connected cameras, the Taiwanese  smartphone maker is branching out to  wearable devices with the HTC Gear. The Grip is a smartband meant for people who are  looking ahead of a basic band and are serious  about tracking their workouts.

Pictures: Check out the HTC Grip

First impression video of HTC Grip:

In other words, the HTC Grip will try and plug the space being vacated by Nike’s Fuel band. As HTC’s  Jeff Gattis says it is designed for athletes and meant for people who are committed about  tracking their workouts. They clearly don’t want to compete with the large basic, also-ran, band segment.

HTC Grip, Under Armour HTC has roped in Under Armour to provide the app support for the Grip

So the smart band will come with a  sophisticated rugged rubber design. It will not  have buttons that can get tangled in your  clothes, except for one flat one beside the 32x160px  screen. It will be waterproof, though HTC does not recommend using it while  swimming.

There will be two major differentiators when compared with the other smart bands in the  market. This one will come with GPS that can track your route and routines and has outdoor and indoor modes. The other big advantage will be HTC’s new  tie-up with Under Amour. The band will work  with the Under Armour Record app to help  users make sense of their data. The Record  app is arguably most comprehensive app of  its kind at the moment. But the band  will not sync with any other fitness apps.

HTC Grip HTC Grip will have all features of a regular smart band, plus GPS

The Grip will also do all the regular smart band stuff like show text and mail notifications, let  users accept or decline calls and control music. The battery will last two-and-a-half days  without GPS usage. With GPS, it will run for  five hours. There is a battery saver mode built into  the device as well as options to adjust the  brightness. While the band will come in three  sizes, it can be adjusted using links for larger  wrists.

We got to fiddle around with an earlier version  of the band, which was not in its final black  and lime green version. However, the band  seemed quite comfortable to wear, though it  is a stiff one. The software was stable and the UI easy to navigate.

HTC Grip The HTC Grip comes in three sizes and can be adjusted using more links.

The app will initially be available only in the  US this spring and will sell for $199, a pricing  that has premium written all over it.
HTC seems to be building the Re as a brand  of connected devices as the promotional  materials for the Grip will have the Re logo in  it. This also suggests there are more devices  coming in the space.

The Grip can work independent of a smartphone and auto sync with the device  when back in range. HTC says they chose to  not include a heart rate monitor as the results  were still not accurate enough. “We do not  want people to make good decisions with poor  data,” said Gattis.

htc-grip5 The HTC Grip has a charger that plugs into the strap of the band. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)

First impression: The Grip is definitely a top-end band, but most probably irrelevant to a market like India. One of the best things about the band is the Under Armour app, with which users in India have no connect. It would be better for us to wait for a different, maybe more affordable, version.

Specs: 1.8- inch   32x160p PMOLED mono flexible display with capacitive  touch | RTOS platform | STM32L151QDH6 processor |  16MB Flash memory with 8MB SRAM | 100 mAh rechargeable battery |  Hub (STM32F411), G-sensor, Gyro, Compass, GPS, Light sensor | Bluetooth  4.0  | USB charging cable | vibration notifications | IP57    Dust & water resistant | shock resistant

Pictures: Check out the HTC Grip

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