Misfit Vapor guide: An understated smartwatch with some fitness extras

Misfit has added another smartwatch to the ranks with the Vapor, the first device in its collection to feature a touchscreen display. This is actually a pretty big deal for Misfit, though not a surprise since it is now owned by Fossil Group.

Fossil announced at CES that it’s going to launch 300 wearables this year so no doubt most of its fashion brands, including Misfit, will get both smartwatches with screens and trackers and smart jewellery that goes without.

Read this: We go hands on with the Misfit Vapor at CES

It’s a see what sticks approach that takes into account each brand’s strengths, in this case, minimalist design, iOS and Android compatibility and a beginner friendly interface.

Misfit Vapor: Design

Misfit Vapor guide: An understated smartwatch with some fitness extras

Like Misfit’s Phase smart analogue watch, the Vapor tries to keep things stylish offering the smartwatch in a 44mm satin-finished, hand polished stainless steel casing, which will be available in jet black or rose gold finishes. There’s also interchangeable straps to mix that look up and a single button at 3 o’ clock to turn the display on and off.

Now we’ve seen the Misfit Vapor’s user interface aesthetic too, the female contingent at Wareable is a bit disappointed that the Vapor doesn’t come in a smaller size. As editor Michael Sawh pointed out, this looks a bit like the Moto 360 2 which, in its second iteration, comes in a 42mm version as well as a 46mm model.

As for the Apple Watch Series 2, it’s 38mm and 42mm sizes on offer. That said, the Vapor could be a good bet for design conscious iPhone owners who just want a goddamn round screen already.

Misfit Vapor: Screen

Misfit Vapor smartwatch officially unveiled

That 1.39-inch circular OLED display, with a 326 ppi pixel density, is a little smaller in stature than the round displays found on most Android Wear watches and the Samsung Gear S3, but looks like it’ll match its rivals for sharpness and clarity.

Thankfully, there’s no black tyre at the bottom of the screen, a good sign for future Fossil Group watches from brands like Michael Kors, Armani and Diesel. There’s also a touch bezel letting you browse watch faces, apps and respond to notifications without covering up the display. This accounts for the smaller screen on the watch body and is slick to use.

Misfit Vapor: OS & features

Misfit Vapor guide: An understated smartwatch with some fitness extras

Misfit is interestingly opting for its own operating system, which is Android and iOS-friendly and will apparently have the capability of running apps, although we don’t have details on what exactly will be supported at launch.

All we know at this stage is that the Vapor will handle notifications from your phone, customisable watch faces, apps – from Misfit only at this stage – and the ability to store music on the watch. Apps will include weather, music, contacts and run tracking. The UI looks very grown up, too, the outlines of icons are not so much smartphone on your wrist as Tizen.

There’s a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor under the hood (not the just announced 835), Wi-Fi connectivity, a microphone and 4GB of memory – with 2GB available for music. You can pair it with Bluetooth headphones when out for a run; there’s no speaker.

Misfit Vapor: Tracking

In the fitness tracking department there’s a 3-axis accelerometer, altimeter (to measure elevation), gyroscope as well as an optical heart rate monitor and built-in GPS. Swimmers take note, it matches the Misfit Ray and Shine 2 fitness trackers for waterproofing offering water resistance up to 50 metres.

On the heart rate front, Misfit told us it is not going to make a big deal of say, heart rate zones when the Vapor is used for run tracking. So this is not a Garmin Fenix 5 alternative, in other words, and will suit people who want an everyday smartwatch with some fitness and sport extras thrown in rather than vice versa.

Misfit Vapor: Battery life

Misfit Vapor guide: An understated smartwatch with some fitness extras

As far as stamina is concerned, don’t get too excited. Misfit has always been a total pro at getting as many features as possible into devices with months long battery. But this is new territory for Misfit so you can expect two days max and around five hours with GPS. The watch will charge via a standard USB port connecting with a magnetic charging cradle.

Misfit Vapor: Price and release date

The Misfit Vapor is set to cost $199 – no international pricing yet – which is pretty good value considering something the Samsung Gear S3 is $349.99 whereas a Polar M600 is $300.

You’ll have to wait a while to get one, though. It’s not launching until “later in 2017”, check back for firm release date details. All you can do now is sign up for updates to get an alert when the Vapor goes up for pre-order.