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UA Band review: HTC's first ever wearable is a fitness tracking device

Florence Ion | Jan. 26, 2016
But there's no need to discount it. The UA Band actually an impressive fitness gadget, made better by the accompanying app.

If it’s one thing this world doesn’t need more of, it’s fitness trackers. And yet, here’s HTC, the struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker, using Under Armour as the bait for it’s very first wearable device.

The wearable is called the UA Band and it is the second iteration of the fitness band HTC announced in partnership with Under Armour last year. The first one got scrapped over the summer, which is likely when HTC went back to the drawing board.

Thankfully, the UA Band doesn’t live up to its troubled legacy. This is the first fitness tracker I’ve enjoyed wearing around the clock, though my appreciation for it is purely practical. If it’s one thing that this particular gadget excels at in this saturated fitness market, it’s being the best combination of fitness tracking and app integration I’ve ever used.

Fitness trackers are all starting to look alike

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There is, honestly, nothing particularly extraordinary about the HTC-made UA Band. Credit: Florence Ion

The UA Band is slim, soft, and flexible. It’s entirely made of rubber, but it’s smooth enough that it won’t pull at your arm hair. I’m not too keen on the athletic color and blocky design of the device, but it’s winter time, so the band has been mostly hiding under long-sleeved clothing. I’ll admit that I don’t like to wear it when I’m donning short sleeves, but I do so grudgingly because the UA Band is so comfortable.

uaband clasp
The UA Band’s buckle is secure and comfortable.

I wore the UA Band to yoga class, while sleeping (and napping), during showers (it’s water resistant), and even out dancing (to count calories, of course). I liked wearing it around so much more than the Fitbit Flex—my last fitness tracker—despite it’s masculine aesthetic. It’s also light enough that I sometimes forgot I was wearing the band at all. 

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The UA Band is a simple-looking fitness track that can do so much. Credit: Florence Ion

The clasp is adjustable, too, so you can wear it loosely if you like. And if you’re prone to perspiring heavily during a workout, you can easily wipe off the band after the fact.

I have just one slight concern: I’ve gone through two review units, and both have had issues popping off my wrist if I clasped the band too tightly. (The first time it happened, the band popped off into the middle of the dance floor, and I had to ask for a replacement.) If this happens to you, you can easily pop the band back on as long as the metal teeth that latch into it aren’t bent.


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