HTC has been rumoured to be developing a smartwatch (previously known as the HTC One Wear, but unlikely now that it has dropped the 'One' from its HTC 10 Android phone, and later known as the Petra) since like forever, and we were seriously beginning to wonder whether it would ever actually happen. Then new pictures have emerged that give us fresh hope. And then HTC dropped a bombshell: the HTC Watch has been cancelled. Also see: Best smartwatches 2017.
Since we began this article in 2014, back when the HTC Petra was known as the HTC One Wear, HTC put on hold its smartwatch plans until a time when it had worked out how to pull off a successful smartwatch - no-one had got right the concept just yet, it reportedly said.
And apparently they were all further off than we thought, since it's now 2017 and we're still waiting. And even HTC has now given up.
HTC Watch UK release date rumours: When is the HTC smartwatch coming out?
HTC Watch UK release date: Never
The HTC Watch was thought to be an official companion to the HTC One M9, which was unveiled at MWC 2015. What we actually saw was the HTC Grip - it's HTC's first wearable, but it's not a smartwatch by any measure.
So was the HTC Grip the long-awaited HTC One Wear or HTC Petra? It was not.
After months of no news, in December 2015 it seemed that the HTC smartwatch was back on the cards and would arrive very soon, according to well-known leaker @evleaks. The February mention implied that it would be announced at MWC 2016, but @evleaks since confirmed that the HTC Watch was pushed back to June, and then again to the autumn. New pictures leaked in October 2016.
HTC fans, you'll finally have One watch to call your own come February.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) December 3, 2015
.@AnthonydFlemons Nope, but the watch should be out mid-April.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 22, 2016
What a clusterf***: HTC wearable bumped again, to the fall. Hurry up, HTC, before people realize that they don't really need these products.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 27, 2016
Fast-forward to 2017 and Chialin Chang, HTC's President of Smartphones and Connected Device, has said the project is dead in the water.
"I can tell you that we're not going to have an Android watch. I don't thing we've nailed it with [the experience of] watches. Android watch is one thing but even Apple as a big brand is declining [in watches.] We are not going to have a watch in the short term," Chang told TBreak.com.
HTC Watch leaked pictures
Until we see photographic evidence it is difficult to believe new product rumours, but it turns out everything we've seen so far - including new photos that emerged in January 2017 - are merely old prototypes.
The model shown (leaked on Weibo, via Engadget) reveals that the HTC Watch was intended to be a chunky, circular-face smartwatch with Under Armour branding suggesting fitness tracking would be paramount. From the images there looked to be a heart-rate scanner and a rubber strap. Too bad this one won't see the light of day.
HTC Watch specification rumours
HTC's Watch was allegedly a 23g smartwatch with a 1.8in (320x160) PMOLED flexible display, which was going to be available in Teal/Lime or Black/Blue Grey and in small, medium and large sizes. The Watch was also IP57-certified dust- and waterproof.
Rather than Android Wear the HTC Watch was said to run HTC's own RTOS, which meant it would work with iPhone as well as Android. (Of course, in the meantime Android Wear has been updated to now work with Android and iPhone.)
The HTC Watch was said to run the ST Micro STM32L151 chipset, support Bluetooth and GPS and charge over USB or POGO pin. The battery would keep going more than three days.
As well as a smartwatch with the standard alarm, timer, stopwatch, music, camera and weather apps the HTC Watch was expected to be a fitness tracker, letting you monitor your sleep and activity. The Watch was said to be sold with a footpad that can more accurately measure the number of steps you've taken, which is a drawback of all other fitness trackers.
Of course, these rumours were been collected over several years, and HTC had plenty of time to change its mind about the specifics.
Smartwatches are great and all, but how long will it take advertisers to ruin wearable tech?
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