Misfit Vapor smartwatch review

We’ve enjoyed Misfit’s fitness tracking products since the company was founded in 2012. Now, after recently being acquired by The Fossil Group, Misfit has unveiled its first ever touchscreen smartwatch and we think it's its most exciting product yet. Read on for our hands-on review of the Misfit Vapor from CES 2017’s show floor. 

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Misfit Vapor review: Price & Availability

It looks like we’ve got quite a while to wait until the Misfit Vapor hits the shelves unfortunately. Misfit is suggesting a mid-year launch. We’re impressed by the Vapor’s price tag though so we think it’ll be worth the wait. It’s set to retail at $199, which we think will be between £179 and £199 in the UK. When you take into consideration the watch’s features, which we talk more about below, that’s a brilliantly low price for what you get. 

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Misfit Vapor review: Design & Build 

The Misfit Vapor is a really good-looking device. We love that Misfit has opted to go for the traditional round watch shape, and has managed to do so without requiring the flat tyre that some other watches including Motorola’s Moto 360 suffer from. 

The screen on the Vapor is 1.4in AMOLED with a 326 ppi pixel density, and we were really impressed with how bright and vivid the colours are. The great contrast meant the blacks really are black too. The screen seemed to be reasonably unreflective, but we’ve yet to try it in direct sunlight which is when you might need to use it most whilst out on a run. 

The watch uses a virtual bezel around the circumference of the screen for navigation between applications and its menus, and using this bezel doesn’t cover up the content of the display itself so is easy and efficient on such a small screen. Clever. 

The watch comes in one size: 44mm. In our photographs it’s being worn by a woman with very small wrists and we still think it looks good and not too oversized even then. It’s stainless steel and is available in Jet Black or Rose Gold. There are interchangeable straps available too. 

Misfit Vapor review: Specs & hardware

Inside the Vapor is a Snapdragon 2100 processor which is designed specifically for wearables, as well as 4GB storage that will allow you to store music on the watch itself. Then, thanks to the built-in GPS, you can get out and about on a run or bike ride without needing to take your phone with you and you’ll have plenty of tunes to keep you motivated. 

If you’re a swimmer, you can also wear the Vapor to track your swim as it is water resistant up to 50 metres. We’re not sure that this is quite the right device for serious swimmers and it’s potentially a little bit bulky on the wrist, but it’s certainly a nice added bonus if you do swim from time to time and are interested in keeping track of that activity. 

There’s a heart-rate monitor built in as well, plus an accelerometer, altimeter and gyroscope. You’ll get Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, too. 

Charging happens via a USB port and magnetic charging cradle, and one charge offers two days of battery life. If you intend to use the Vapor to regularly track your sleep you might run into some problems due to that relatively short battery life, and if you intend to use GPS regularly we’d suspect a much faster depletion of power. 

Misfit Vapor review: Software

Somewhat surprisingly, Misfit has opted not to go for Android Wear 2.0, and has instead built its own software that works fully with both iOS and Android devices. Misfit has long had a great, intuitive mobile app and you can see that the same design ethics have been used to build its operating system.  

You’ll be able to see your notifications, browse your calendar, check the weather and plenty more right there on the watch itself without needing to check your phone. 

Misfit has said that the operating system will support apps, too, but we’ve yet to find out exactly how that works and which apps will be available when the watch first launches.  

And of course, you’ll be able to track all of the usual activities you’d expect from a fitness tracker too, including steps, calories, distance and more. You’ll also be able to track your sleep and your heart rate, as well as particular sports such as swimming and cycling. 

Also at CES 2017: Casio WSD-F20 smartwatch review

OUR VERDICT

The Misfit Vapor ticks all of the right boxes. It’s stylish, waterproof, has built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor, it works with both Android and iOS and features a processor designed specifically for wearables. There’s also storage that lets you store music right there on the device, and the software is intuitive and a delight to use on the vivid circular display. All that and it comes with a brilliantly low price tag. We’re certainly impressed. We can’t wait to spend more time with the Vapor to offer up our full verdict, but we suspect it’ll rocket its way right to the top of our smartwatch chart.

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