The wait for HTC's first wearable device has come to an end, however instead of the expected Android Wear smartwatch, we get a GPS-enabled fitness tracker by the name of Grip. This is also the first product of HTC's partnership with Under Armour, whose UA Record system will be used to keep track of runs and other workouts.
With a matte black finish, colorful interior band, and curved display, the Grip looks a hybrid of Nike's FuelBand 2 and the Microsoft Band. It includes five sensors for tracking your workouts. Among them is integrated GPS, which is always a big deal for runners. When that’s turned on, Grip will record your route, distance, pace and calories burned. Battery life is estimated at five hours with GPS enabled.
HTC isn’t bothering with a built-in heart rate monitor, though. That might actually be a wise decision, since they’re so often a weakness for other wrist-worn trackers. Instead, the Grip offers compatibility with a wide range of external monitors over Bluetooth.
A "multi-sport mode" can track various activities from running to cycling, keeping tabs on your progress and offering advice from fitness experts along the way. "Simply put, Grip will train you as if you have a team of professional experts coaching you the entire time," said HTC CEO Peter Chou. "And it is very fun." Grip is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones, so HTC is obviously hoping for mass appeal with its first big fitness device. It comes in two colors ("deep teal" or lime), with a choice of three sizes. Grip will be available later this Spring for $199.