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HTC loses its Grip, pushes fitness band launch to 2016, if at all

htc grip summer release delayed version 1437062907 20
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Announced during Mobile World Congress back in March 2015, the HTC Grip, the company’s first endeavor into the world of wearables, was supposed to be released during the summer. Unfortunately, it has been hit with a series of delays. If you’re waiting patiently for the Grip, here’s what you need to know.

Updated on 10-26-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news the HTC Grip may have been canceled, and the company’s strategy changed

In July, HTC decided to delay the Grip’s release until later this year, CNet reported. However, it doesn’t look like this will be happening because in late October, the company told Phandroid it has made the decision to launch “a fully integrated digital ecosystem of products” with partner Under Armour in early 2016 instead. There’s no mention of the HTC Grip specifically, but it may be included in whatever suite of devices and software the pair are planning together. There’s also the chance it may have been canceled entirely.

When news of the Grip’s delay first came through, HTC claimed at the time it was to “refine our vision and approach to the health and fitness category.” The Grip itself was held back after “extensive wear testing and user feedback,” along with other unnamed health and fitness products. It’s certainly not rushing the launch of any new devices, and obviously feels the Grip still isn’t ready for sale. Now we must wait until 2016 to find out how it intends to tackle the growing fitness market.

The Grip was to be the first product to come out of HTC’s partnership with sports brand Under Armour, with the Grip making use of UA Record. This is a cloud-based network that stores and collates data collected from the wearable. Speaking of data, the Grip not only tracks the usual steps and sleep patterns, but also has separate workout, cycling, walking, and running programs that are accessible on the band itself rather than on a smartphone.

The Grip, which clips together like a bracelet, also packs a 1.8-inch curved PMOLED screen, a monochrome display that lets you control the user interface through a “four-way” swipe system. When we first checked out the Grip during MWC, we liked its build quality and how it tapped into Under Armour’s services. However, we thought the $200 price tag was rather steep, while the menus felt a bit overcomplicated, partly due to the awkward swipe system.

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