HTC unveils One M9, Grip fitness band; Vive VR headset the winner?

The new HTC One M9. (Supplied)

As expected, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC yesterday announced the launch of a brand new handset, the HTC One M9, with several new features, including seven sensors.

While the HTC One M9 is a superb smartphone – like its predecessors M8 and M7 – unfortunately, it does not differ much in looks from its previous versions.

The result?

Despite some solid improvements under the hood – like the 20MP camera, audio enhancements thanks to a marriage between BoomSound and Dolby Surround sound, and better in-house connectivity – your friends will be hard pressed to tell whether or not you’re sporting the latest version.

So is it worth it?

We’ve said this before – HTC has a winner on its hands in terms of the HTC One smartphone, but the firm somehow hasn’t been able to  leverage the great handset to its advantage, and has unfortunately been relegated to the ‘others’ category as ranked by IDC.

That’s got to hurt the company which has, in the eyes of most analysts, the best smartphone available in the market.

Little wonder, then, that to finally make that missing mark, HTC decided to go the popular way and launch not just a spearhead smartphone, but also debuted a health band as well as a virtual reality headset.

The Vive introduces a Full Room Scale 360 Degree Solution with Tracked Controllers, allowing users to get up, walk around and explore their virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.

The headset features 90 frames per second video, with HTC claiming that Beta versions of the Vive Developer Edition have already generated entertainment content from some of the world’s top game developers including Vertigo Games, Bossa, Barry – Fireproof, Dovetail Games, Wemo Labs, Google, Steel Wool Games and Owlchemy.

The Taiwanese firm also unveiled the GPS-enabled HTC Grip, its first smart fitness tracker.
Compatible with Android and iOS devices, as well as Bluetooth-enabled accessories like heart-rate monitors, Grip extends its functionality, providing additional performance data to the Under Armour Connected Fitness platform.

The HTC One M9 will be available globally in dual-tone silver and rose gold, single-tone gunmetal grey, single-tone gold and dual-tone gold and pink in from mid-March.

HTC Vive Developer Edition will be launched this Spring, the company announced, with the consumer edition available by the end of 2015.

The HTC Grip will be available in Deep Teal/Lime at select retailers in North America, beginning in Spring 2015.

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