HTC @ MWC 15: One M9, Re Grip and Re Vive VR

With less than 2% of the market share, everyone at HTC knew that something was wrong. The Taiwanese giant, HTC, on March 1, revealed three new devices for 2015 at the Mobile World Conference (MWC) 2015. Just as scheduled, HTC held it press event in Barcelona and it brought us the company’s flagship – the HTC One M9, the company’s first wearable the HTC Re Grip and a Virtual Reality Headset, the HTC Re Vive VR. Without wasting any time, the HTC CEO, Peter Chou, moments after taking the stage, introduced the HTC One M9 and no it’s not a typo. This time around the M9 comes without brackets and it is now a full-fledged part of the device’s name. The phone looks as good as last year’s model, retaining the signature slick luxury feel, which, frankly, only a metal unibody can bring to the table.


The One M9 runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, features the new Sense 7 (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop), and drops the old Duo Camera setup for a single big 20MP sensor. BoomSound gets a little boost with the One M9, now using Dolby tech for simulated 5.1 surround sound. Dot View is back for the One M9, with new colors to complement the four colors the One M9 itself will be available in: silver, gunmetal, pink, and gold. The HTC One M9 is definitely a charmer. HTC has retained a lot of the slick style from its predecessor and a single glance at the phone is enough to spot the distinct One touch. While the device does inherit a lot of design queues, there are at least a few very notable changes, which according to HTC make for a very minimal and universally appealing design. Sales of the One M9 will begin in mid-March.


We’re not entirely sure why HTC decided it needed to make a fitness tracker, but it did, and it has. The end result is the HTC Re Grip, a device that looks more than a little like one of Nike’s Fuelbands. HTC gave us a peek at an early, incomplete version of the product in Barcelona. As part of this year’s phase-change splash into connected products, HTC is debuting a band developed in partnership with Under Armour and targeted at serious athletes. It’ll be a US-only product arriving this spring for $199. The HTC Re Grip features a touch-enabled curved monochrome OLED display that’s reminiscent of LG’s never-released Lifeband Touch last year. Tapping a small capacitive circle activates the display, which you’ll have to keep doing if you want to check progress. It’ll be a US-only product arriving this spring for $199.


The Vive headset was developed in conjunction with Valve, creators of such ground-breaking games as Portal and Half-Life. HTC manufactures some of the finest consumer electronics on the planet and Valve is an unrivaled architect of virtual worlds, so you know the collaboration is something special. Vive is powered by Valve’s SteamVR so plenty of games that take advantage of its capabilities will soon be available on the Steam service. A gyro sensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor combine to precisely track the rotation of your head on both axes to an accuracy of 1/10th of a degree, allowing you to look around the virtual environment naturally. You can couple the headset with a pair of Steam VR base stations to track your physical location (in spaces up to 15 feet by 15 feet). A 1,200 by 1,080 pixel screen in front of each eye of the HTC Re Vive VR, with refresh rates of a blistering 90 frames per second. The consumer product is scheduled to ship by the end of 2015.


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