Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The long-rumored but never before seen HTC smartwatch, commonly (but unofficially) known as the HTC One Watch, could finally be on its way. Or not. The circular watch has appeared in a gallery of new images on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, but there’s no telling if this circular wearable with Under Armor co-branding is the real deal or just an early prototype. If nothing else though, it’s nice to finally see what HTC had in mind.
The images show a chunky, sporty-looking wearable with a fully circular screen running Android Wear 5.1.1. Old OS aside, which does seem to date the photos as far from current, the One Watch sports a couple of dedicated buttons at 2 and 3 o’clock and appears in the settings under the previously-leaked codename Halfbeak 54B7.
HTC and Under Armor logos appear on the back alongside a heart-rate sensor and pogo pin charging setup, with another photo showing a snugly fitting cradle. The watch itself looks fine, if nothing outstanding, and clearly lines up with the fitness angle a partnership with UA would demand. The non-removable silicon watch band seems like a dubious choice, especially considering one of the photos shows a crack in the rubber.
If I were a betting man, I’d say these images are either just old or show an early prototype from before HTC realized a smartwatch was a bad idea. Back in 2014, HTC’s Jeff Gordon told me that HTC wouldn’t do a “me too” smartwatch but would hold off until the company could make a wearable that delivered what customers actually wanted from the platform.
As it stands, the smartwatch platform has largely failed to catch on and HTC has already delivered the UA Band on the fitness tracker front. Furthermore, Android Wear 5.1.1 came out in late May 2015 and the halfbeak codename first appeared in September last year. Why a device in development that long would only just break cover now is beyond me.
If you have any theories as to why HTC might have finally dusted off this project hit the comments below. What are your thoughts on a possible HTC One Watch?