It may have a minimalist design, but this watch is anything but a simple fitness tracker.
LAS VEGAS—Misfit has stayed away from wearables with screens. From its most basic Shine tracker to its Phase hybrid smartwatch, the company has focused on fashion first. But at CES 2017, Misfit announced the Vapor smartwatch. Not only is the Vapor the first Misfit device with a digital touchscreen, it sports many other smartwatch features that Misfit has typically foregone for the sake of simplicity.
The Vapor looks a lot like the Phase. With its 44mm round case, you could mistake it for a regular wristwatch. But instead of an analog face, the Vapor has a 1.39-inch, 326ppi AMOLED display. Inside is a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, an accelerometer, altimeter, gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, GPS, and microphone. All of those things in one device mean you’ll be able to track most activities, including outdoor exercises that benefit from an onboard GPS that maps running and cycling routes. The Vapor also has 4GB of memory as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, so you can store music on the watch, sync wireless headphones, and rock out to your jams during a workout while leaving your smartphone at home. Misfit estimates the Vapor will last two days on a single charge, which puts it in line with devices like the Apple Watch.
The Vapor’s case is made of stainless steel that’s water resistant to 50 meters, so it can track swimming exercises like Misfit’s other wearables. The Vapor’s touch bezel lets you navigate through watch faces, apps, and notifications without obscuring the information on the digital display. During our time with the Vapor, we discovered how easy the touch bezel is to use. Pressing its side button brings up a ring-like menu full of apps that you can scroll through by running your finger along the circumference of the watch’s display. The experience is superior to the Apple Watch, which requires you to tap the middle of the display in order to access apps and programs.
Even though it includes so many hardware sensors and features, the design of the Vapor is true to a traditional wristwatch. This is the most comprehensive device Misfit has come out with—none of its other devices have heart rate monitors, let alone onboard GPS, so it seems Misfit wants to cover all of the bases with one smartwatch rather than scattering those features throughout a mess of new devices. With all its included features and $199 price tag, the Vapor could compete with Samsung’s $199 Gear Fit 2.
The Vapor is also the first Misfit device to run software and apps made by the company. Misfit’s wearable software will probably not be as big as WatchOS or Android Wear, but that’s not what Misfit is going for. The Vapor works on both Android and iOS devices, so the watch’s software is just another way Misfit can put its minimalistic spin on its newest product. Misfit representatives emphasized that the Vapor, along with the rest of its wearables, is meant to supplement your smartphone—not replace it.
We probably won’t see full apps on the Vapor in the future, like on Android Wear or WatchOS. The Vapor’s current apps include stuff like weather, music player, heart rate sensor, etc. Misfit will likely stick to apps that are glanceable. Calls-to-action will be kept to a minimum so that watches like Vapor remain useful, connected accessories.
The Misfit Vapor smartwatch will be available later in 2017 for $199.
Via: Ars Technica