Misfit Vapor review

Misfit enters the smartwatch world

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  • Connected GPS means it only tracks your location if you run with your phone
  • Can take the Misfit Vapor both swimming and cycling
  • Limited fitness features, but accurate heart rate tech

The Misfit Vapor isn’t like a lot of the more fitness-tailored devices we’ve seen from the company, with its heavier and thicker design, but it’s still a suitable device for anyone looking to keep a track of their workouts.

The Vapor is compatible with a variety of Android Wear fitness-focused apps, but you’ll likely find it easiest to connect it to the Misfit app supplied by the company, which is already on the watch and raring to go.

The default app is called Misfit Activity and it’ll be able to track your workouts as long as you’re on a walk, run, cycle ride, hike or in the pool for a swim. There’s no gym workout setting or weight training like you’d find on the LG Watch Sport or the Apple Watch 3.

That’s a shame, but if you’re planning to use this as a running watch we found it worked well. There is GPS tracking - which we found to be as accurate as most other alternatives right now - but it connects to your phone’s GPS rather than having GPS of its own, so you have to take your phone out with you.

There is a heart rate tracker on the Vapor, which is something that has been missing from a lot of Misfit products in the past. We found this worked well and gave an accurate reading. It’s pretty fast at getting a reading too, and we found it worked well even when you’re in the middle of an exercise, which is something some trackers can sometimes struggle with.

If you want to start a quick workout you’ll need to enter the Misfit Activity app and start it on your wrist, as the Vapor won’t automatically notice when you’re running like the Fitbit Ionic for example.

Instead the Vapor will track your daily steps and you’ll need to manually start workouts. This is easy and simple to do through the app, where you can also setup your own time or whatever you want for your workout.

You can also take your Vapor into the pool with you as it’s waterproof to depths of 50 meters, and it’ll be able to track your swim, but we’ve yet to do this with the Vapor and will be sure to update our review when we try it out.

If you don’t like the Misfit Activity service, you can also link the Vapor up with third-party apps from Android Wear 2.0, such as Strava or even Google Fit. We found Google Fit worked well, but it’s much easier to use the Misfit service if you’re happy to.

Battery life

  • Misfit Vapor will last around a day, or maybe a bit longer
  • If you're using it for fitness, expect it to run down very quickly
  • Recharges on a specifically made charging base included in the box

Unlike a lot of other Misfit products, this won’t last you a whole month from a single charge. Instead the Misfit Vapor - like most other smartwatches - will only last around a full day, or maybe a tiny bit more.

We often found putting the watch on at 8AM meant we were down to around 25% battery left in the tank by 10PM. That’s not the best battery life we’ve seen on a smartwatch, but if you use your watch only lightly you might be able to push it to around two days.

Whenever we risked not charging it overnight with average usage though we only made it a day and a half before the watch crashed out and needed a recharge. If you’re using a lot of the fitness features, including connected GPS, those will eat into the life even quicker too.

This is a little below average when compared to many Android Wear watches on the market right now, and it’s a bit of a shame considering Misfit has included a well-optimized chipset like the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, especially as the watch is also thick, so it should be able to have a bigger battery inside.

That said, it’s not awful battery life. You’ll just need to remember to recharge this watch at night. We found it took on average just over an hour to charge up using the charging pad in the box, but you’ll need this specific connector to be able to pump battery into the watch.

It would have been preferable for Misfit to include Qi wireless charging tech inside the Vapor, but instead the company decided to opt for its own charger, which means you’ll need to remember to take yours with you if you’re going away for an evening.

Specs and performance

  • Top internal spec that runs well, but we did find it sometimes crashed
  • No NFC, so you won't be able to use Android Pay
  • 4GB of internal storage so you can upload your own music

The Vapor is running the latest - at the time of release - Qualcomm Android Wear chipset, specifically the Snapdragon Wear 2100, which we’ve seen in a variety of Android Wear watches and we found it worked well.

One or two apps did crash now and again, but it didn’t cause us any major frustrations when this happened and it sorted itself quickly. We don’t know how much RAM is inside the Vapor, but it’s enough to keep pace with a lot of the competition right now.

You can upload music directly to the Vapor as there’s 4GB of space on the watch to fill, but it’s annoying there’s not any Spotify or an alternative streaming service that you can use independently of your phone.

Music on the watch isn’t something you’d likely use much though as the connected GPS means you also won’t be able to use GPS without your phone. That’s a big shame for the Vapor and it would be much improved with GPS built-in as it would encourage us to use the space on the watch to upload music - and, of course, to leave our phones at home.

Another big disappointment is the lack of NFC on the watch. That means you can’t use Android Pay for contactless payments, while lots of alternatives such as the Fitbit Ionic, Apple Watch and most Android Wear watches will allow you make contactless payments.

Interface and app

  • Running Android Wear 2.0 software that works well
  • You use the screen to move around, apart from one hardware button
  • App is complicated and may confuse some users

Running Android Wear 2.0 software means the Misfit Vapor is an easy device to interact with. Initially Misfit announced this watch would run its own software, but we feel this was the better decision in the end as it means you have access to all of the Google Play Store Android Wear apps and it’s a stable platform.

If you’ve used Android Wear before, you’ll recognize the way you move around. You can press the button on the side of the watch to see the list of the apps you have and scroll through using your finger on the screen.

The virtual touch bezel feature means you can run your finger around the edge of the screen to scroll through menus as well as tapping and swiping on the screen. This works really well, but you need to know it's there to be able to use it as that's not very clear when you first get it out of the box.

It doesn't take up extra room like the physical rotating bezels on the Samsung Gear S3 and Gear Sport do either.

Waking the watch can be done by turning your wrist or pressing the hardware button, and here you’ll be greeted with the watch face you’ve chosen.

You can change your watch face within the Android Wear app, but we particularly like the specifically designed Misfit face. Along the bottom of the Misfit face are shortcuts for features such as the weather or to start a workout that makes it a simple upgrade for the Vapor if you wanted.

As for the app itself, the Misfit app for Android Wear and iOS can be a little bit complicated, as everything is calculated using points rather than real-world stats, so it may take some time to be able to get your head around it.

It’ll automatically log your workouts and activity into Today’s Story section, which you’ll find when you scroll down, but every day you’ll have a score of a certain amount of points you need to hit by doing different exercises.

This is easily customizable for your goals within the settings screen, and the same is also an option for your sleep pattern. You can also share your scores through the social aspect of the app, but you’ll need to have friends using the Misfit app to be able to show them your scores.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.