Just a few weeks before the MWC, the images of HTC’s first-ever wearable device are out. It is code-named Petra for now and will be run on the custom OS and not Android Wear. The famous leakster @upleaks has confirmed that HTC Petra will support Android (running KitKat), Windows and iOS 7+.
This is indeed a smart move from HTC. Its direct faceoff will be with Apple Watch and Samsung, which only support their respective higher-end models. The Universal compatibility can give the Taiwanese company an upper hand in the wearables segment. Though, Apple Watch is more charming and has its own niche audience to cater, but this versatility can pay off in the long run.
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This is not expected to be a round or square watch but inclines more on the side of smartband both in terms of features and design. It looks like Microsoft Band. The real functional OS and exact design is still unknown but it could be Tizen too. Rumors are also rife about Real-time Operating System developed in-house by HTC.
Out of all the rumored features, the flexible 1.8 inch curved OLED screen with 160 x 32 resolution screen is sure to attract many. In a smartband, it is more than enough you can ask for. The rest is routine. The expected features could range from shutter control, weather forecast, notifications for incoming calls and texts and remote music. The battery life is expected to last about 3 days. HTC Petra may work as a standalone fitness device without connecting to the smartphone and in the home network it might sync the data with the connected device. The connectivity options include GPS and Bluetooth. For sports enthusiasts, it may offer stopwatch, alarm clock and timer. Given its target segment, it is supposed to be water-resistant and dust-proof to some extent. It is also rumored to be shock-proof too. The chipset is expected to be ST Micro STM32L151. It may be offered with footpad to track number of steps accurately.
HTC has dropped several cues since 2013 that it is working on a wearable and then at several times, it went silent about the wearable technology. However, its partnership with Under Armour to launch a series of connected devices and fitness wearables got the tongues wagging and showed that the OEM is quite sincere and serious with its efforts.
@upleaks has also confirmed that the HTC wearable may debut in three sizes (small, medium and large) and may be available within this quarter. The color versions might be in teal/lime, black/blue and gray. Most likely, the tech giant may showcase its wearable at MWC in Barcelona. It is expected to be available for American market initially and follow up with the global release later on. Since it is a smartband and not smartwatch, its price cannot be at par with Apple Watch.
HTC has been quite a latecomer with its entry in the wearable segment. While its competitors like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and ASUS have been commanding all the attention in the smartwatch segment, companies like Fitbit and Jawbone have become the leading name for the fitness freaks. By the looks of it too, HTC Petra does not seem to offer anything groundbreaking and if it does not try hard, it can reduce to the level of ‘me-too’ in this fiercely competitive category.