Despite a somewhat tepid year for smartwatches, Misfit is launching its own fitness-centric wearable that combines GPS, a heart rate monitor and a new operating system in an attractive and rugged case. We went hands-on with the Misfit Vapor at CES 2017, and although the demo unit was a prototype, this GPS smartwatch has a few features that make it stand out.
Why You Should Care
The Vapor is the most sophisticated wearable that Misfit has put out to date. In addition to GPS and a heart rate monitor, the Vapor also has built-in storage for music, so, like the TomTom Spark 3 and the Samsung Gear S3, you can leave your phone at home and still listen to tunes when you go for a run. It's a feature I particularly like.
Additionally, Misfit is designing a new operating system that will run on the watch. The somewhat early version I saw looked in some respects like Samsung's Tizen interface, with a bunch of circular icons ringing the edge of the display. There were some neat animations, though, for when you hit your step goal and start the heart rate monitor, for instance.
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Just the Facts, Please
The Misfit Vapor has a 44mm stainless steel case that's water-resistant to 50 meters, and will be available in Jet Black or Rose Gold. Its 1.39-inch AMOLED display, protected by Gorilla Glass 3, has a resolution of 326 pixels per inch, and looked quite stunning in person.
The watch is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor with 4GB of storage. Sensors include GPS, an optical heart rate monitor, an accelerometer, an altimeter and a gyroscope. It has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Misfit estimates that the Vapor's battery will last up to 2 days, and connects magnetically to a charger.
How Much Will It Cost?
Misfit is pricing the Vapor at $199, but hasn't yet set a date for its release. That's not too expensive, and puts it in line with most other smartwatches and GPS running watches with similar features.
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Will Misfit's new Vapor be more than vaporware (or vaporwear, in this case)? As with most smartwatches, it will depend on how many third-party developers Misfit can sign up to create apps.
The Vapor is an attractive smartwatch, and the ability to store music on the device itself will definitely appeal to those who like to travel light while running, but if it's not as functional, app-wise, as the Apple Watch or even Android Wear, Misfit will have a hard time selling this outside of a small audience.