Making a smartwatch is a difficult process even when you’ve had experience, but we’ve seen a lot of companies trying for the first time in 2017 to make it in the smart wearable space.
The Ionic was Fitbit’s first attempt at making a tracker that also doubled as a smartwatch, plus we’ve seen more and more attempts from fashion brands around the world, so it makes sense that Misfit wants a piece of that growing smartwatch pie.
The good news is the Misfit Vapor is a suitable option for your next smartwatch. It’s not built for everyone though, so read on to work out whether the Vapor is the watch you should buy for your wrist.
Misfit Vapor price and release date
- Launched at $199.99 / £185 / AU$279.59
- Announced in January 2017 but wasn't released until the end of October
- Different straps will cost you varying amounts of money
The Misfit Vapor was a long time coming. We initially heard about the first smartwatch from Misfit at CES 2017, but it wasn’t until October the same year that the watch finally went on sale around the world.
You can buy the Vapor in most markets that Misfit is present in, including the US, UK and Australia. The RRP is set at $199.99 / £185 / AU$279.59, which is quite an affordable price point for an Android Wear 2.0-toting smartwatch.
In the UK we've found the price fluctuates a little lower sometimes, but not often and it can be difficult to find the watch in stock.
Compared to a lot of other Misfit products though, this is expensive. Specializing in mostly screenless fitness trackers, the Misfit range has managed to stay affordable for quite some time, so the Vapor is an expensive option if you’re just looking for something emblazoned with the Misfit name.
Design and display
- Thick and weighty design, but feels like a premium smartwatch
- Bold and vibrant 1.3-inch AMOLED display looks great
- Lots of different body and strap color variations
For a first attempt, the Misfit Vapor is a surprisingly well designed smartwatch. There’s a round display, it’s comfortable to wear and it offers all of the hardware functionality you’d expect.
The Misfit Vapor sports a very simple design. The stainless steel body itself is quite thick - it comes in at 13.5mm - and you may find it heavy, but we found it gave a comfortable weight to the watch unlike some other options such as the Huawei Watch 2.
The weight and thickness doesn’t make it uncomfortable to wear, but if you have smaller wrists you may find it a little much.
The Vapor only features one hardware button, which sits in the position where you’d usually find a crown on a normal watch. This button is a little small and it can sometimes take a few presses to get it to work because of the size, but it’s a simple to use interface, which we’ll dive into later in this review.
Everything else you want to interact with on the watch is done through the generously sized 1.3-inch round display in the center of the watch. This is particularly bright as it uses AMOLED technology, which also leaves it looking vivid and bold.
It offers 326 pixels per inch, which is around the standard you’d expect for a smartwatch of this type and provides a clear picture. The LG Watch Sport, for example, has 348 pixels per inch while the Huawei Watch 2 also has 326 ppi.
The Misfit Vapor defaults to a black watch face, but if you change the face to something more colorful you’ll notice the color range on the display that makes it stand out compared to a lot of the other competition.
That said, there are some thick bezels around the side of the screen that may leave you a little disappointed by the look of the watch. This is a trend we’ve seen a lot on Android Wear smartwatches, so it’s not as thick as the bezel on the Asus Zenwatch 3 or the LG Watch Sport, but it’s still a turnoff for some people.
This is especially clear if you compare it to the Apple Watch, which is essentially bezel-less as the screen curves round the sides, and this just doesn’t look as premium as Apple’s wearable because of this big line that runs around the outside of your watch.
The bezel is actually a feature of the watch, according to Misfit. It's called the virtual touch bezel, and it means you can run your finger around the edges of the watch to scroll through lists faster than doing it on the screen.
We like the virtual touch bezel as a feature - it feels like a more intuitive version of the rotatable bezel on the Samsung Gear Sport - but if you didn't know it was here it isn't something you'd end up discovering so it's worth experimenting running your finger around the edge of the screen to get used to how it works.
When you buy your Misfit Vapor, you’ll have a few different design options to choose from. We had perhaps the most dull looking Vapor design but we still liked the look of the Jet black body with a black sport strap.
You can also get a stainless steel body with a black strap, a gold body with grey strap or a rose colored watch with either pink or blue straps. All of these look good, but some are bolder color choices than others.
If you don’t like the color of the strap you can buy replacement ones on the Misfit website starting at $19.99 / £14.99 / AU$28, with a huge variation of materials and colors including leather and woven options.
These are easy to disconnect from the body of the watch, so we imagine it would be practical to change the straps for different occasions. So far we’ve only had the opportunity to wear the sport band, but we found it was comfortable to wear, even when you’re sweating on a workout.