Big, bright, round screen? Check. GPS? Check. Water resistant for swimming? Heart rate? Check, check. Misfit’s newest fitness watch looks like it’s going for all the features. But yet, after seeing it, I’m not even sure it’ll exist in the form I saw.
Called Misfit Vapor, the round watch looks sharp and promises a mix of phone-connected and fully stand-alone functions. It also has Wi-Fi, and according to Misfit, it’ll check email and even play music away from a phone.
But music playback is limited to MP3s, loaded via a computer over USB or Wi-Fi. The Vapor can’t connect to a phone to transfer music because it can’t hook into services like Google Play or Apple Music, and doesn’t have its own on-phone app store. According to Misift, the goal is to head to streaming music services eventually: maybe Spotify, or Amazon Music. Even the MP3 function didn’t work during my demo.
So what can it really do? In my brief demo with Vapor, most of its functions didn’t work. It was more of a concept than a fully functioning device. The interface looks promising: a dial-like touch control like the Samsung Gear S2, and quick shortcuts to weather, fitness modes and music, with a couple of nice watch faces. The promised feature list is expansive: messages, weather, music playback, heart rate, GPS tracking, swim tracking and Link, Misfit’s one-touch smart button interface that already works via IFTTT with many connected devices.
But there are already too many smartwatches, and between Apple Watch, the upcoming revamp of Google’s Android Wear, and Samsung’s Gear watches, the Vapor is going to have an impossible challenge. And it’s no Fitbit, either, although Fossil, which owns Misfit, could adopt Vapor’s concepts in a future watch. Maybe, even, one that works with Android Wear. When I asked Misfit about those possibilities, it didn’t seem out of the question. Vapor isn’t built on Android Wear now, and it isn’t designed to run apps — it connects to iOS and Android devices, and has a two-day battery life.
The Vapor will cost $199 when it arrives sometime later this year.