Misfit Vapor 2 review

When it comes to the best smartwatches, Misfit isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind. It’s a relatively unknown manufacturer, but with the Misfit Vapor 2, we think more people will pay attention.

It’s a basic smartwatch that includes all the basic features you might expect but doesn’t go above and beyond with bells and whistles. 

While we would have liked to see more features come to the forefront - especially at its price point - the Misfit Vapor 2 does bring some new features to the table over its predecessor, like a better display, NFC and GPS, but with a dated chipset and short battery life it just feels like something is missing.

Still, this smartwatch might just be great for someone looking for a mid-range wearable, but anyone looking for a little bit more is going to find the Misfit Vapor 2 a bit lacking. Especially if they’re on iOS.

Misfit Vapor 2 release date and price

  • Out now
  • Costs $249.99 / £215 / AU$349.95

The Misfit Vapor 2 is available for purchase now in the US, UK and Australia, and it will set you back $249.99 / £215 / AU$349.95. It’s the most feature-rich smartwatch in Misfit’s line-up at the time of this writing, and also the most expensive.

Other than the original Misfit Vapor, the closest thing in Misfit’s product stack is its Misfit Phase watch, which is much cheaper at $175 / £135 (about AU$240). So, it’s clearly aimed at a higher end market, like the $249 / £219 / AU$369 Ticwatch Pro.

Design and display

  • Big and round
  • Plastic body, with glass display
  • Water resistant up to 30 meters

Unlike a lot of other smartwatches we’ve used, the body of the Misfit Vapor 2 is thin, light, and made almost entirely of plastic. This leaves the the Misfit Vapor 2 feeling kind of thin and flimsy on our wrist - though this reviewer has been using an Apple Watch Series 2 every day for the last two years.

On the side of the Misfit Vapor 2 is a single dial, made of metal. In our experience, though, it seemed a bit stiff, and didn’t feel too good to rotate through the menus.

It also sticks out quite a bit, which led us to summoning the Google Assistant way too often. Though, your mileage may vary here, but if you’re doing anything that causes your hands to bend back, just keep in mind that you might summon the assistant unwittingly.

The heart rate sensor on the bottom of the watch seems to be made of glass, with two metal circles surrounding it. Now, while it’s high quality, the sensor can get a bit cold on our wrist, as we found out when we went out in cold weather for an ill-advised, but brisk jog.

The screen, though, is gorgeous. On the 46mm model we reviewed here, you get a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, and colors just pop. We went with a very Apple-looking colorful explosion wallpaper, and the colors simply looked gorgeous. If having a lovely display on your wrist is something that you need to have, you’re going to be happy here.

Bezels are deceptively thick here, with the outer borders of the watch’s build sitting alongside a thick bezel on the inside of the watch. However, because of the AMOLED display, this actually isn’t all that noticeable if you’re using a darker wallpaper.

We recommend a darker wallpaper anyway, as this kind of display naturally lends itself to a darker image. Even at max brightness, the blacks are extremely black.

You’ll be able to swap out the wristband, too, though the wristband that comes bundled in feels right for the kind of watch you’re getting here. It’s water and sweat proof, so you don’t need to worry about it stinking up after a laborious workout.

If you want to swap out the wristband for another, the bottom side of the wrist strap will reveal a couple of fasteners that secure the band over the watch’s loops. Just pull it apart, attach the wrist band you want, and you’re good to go. It’s approachable, which is a nice point for a watch aimed at more everyday users.

Performance

  • Uses dated Snapdragon Wear 2100
  • 512MB of RAM / 4GB of storage
  • Feels snappy in day-to-day use

Even when interacting with an iOS device, the Misfit Vapor 2 was fast enough to get the job done - at least after we got it fully updated. Out of the box, the pairing process and even getting the watch updated were a chore, and you’re going to need to update it, as a lot of the features weren’t working quite right until then.

That might have something to do with the hardware on offer here. You see, the Misfit Vapor 2 is still using the Snapdragon Wear 2100, as opposed to the 3100 chipset that launched a couple months before this watch. It’s an odd decision for Misfit to make with its flagship wearable, and one that puts it behind some of the competition.

Fortunately, the rest of the specs are pretty standard, with 4GB of storage for apps and music, and 512MB of RAM, which is enough that operation feels smooth, apart from the rough startup of the device.

After the first day or so, our day-to-day usage over a week was nice and smooth. We didn’t have any problems using it, whether it was for Google Pay or to track our workouts. However, if you were hoping to use the Misfit Vapor 2 to make calls, you may be disappointed - while there is a microphone here, it doesn’t have a speaker.

The Misfit Vapor 2 is compatible with both Android and iOS, as are all Wear OS devices in 2018, though we think the user experience will be a bit better on Android, as you won’t be limited to the Wear OS app.

Fitness

  • GPS and heart rate sensor are reliable
  • Plenty of different workouts available
  • Fitness on iOS is limited

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that can track your basic stats while working out, you’re in luck. The Misfit Vapor 2 has all the fitness features that a smartwatch requires in 2018.

With a heart rate tracker, built-in GPS and an accelerometer, gyroscope and more, you’ll be able to track your workouts and their efficiency wherever you are, whether or not you deign to drag your phone along with you. However, we were left wanting due to the lack of features the vanilla Wear OS app offers.

This would have been fine if we were able to use the Activity and Health apps on iOS, but for some reason, the data is incompatible. We’re not sure whether to blame Apple or Google for this one, but just exercise caution if you’re picking this watch up to use with an Apple device.

Still, the GPS and the heart rate tracker are both responsive and reliable. We were able to get a GPS signal quickly and easily when going out for a jog without our phone, and we only lost signal once in our entire time using the watch. This makes the Misfit Vapor 2 a great watch for anyone that would like to track their runs without having to lug around their relatively gigantic smartphone.

Misfit claims that the Vapor 2 is ‘Swim-proof’ up to 30 meters. We weren’t able to find an actual resistance rating on the manufacturer’s website, but we tested this feature and contact with water didn’t lead to any problems. But we’d be careful here, we’re not sure exactly how apt this smartwatch will be at handling extended exposure to water.

So, the Misfit Vapor 2 is a competent smartwatch that should be able to tick the boxes for most users who aren’t professional athletes in need of more in-depth fitness statistics. It will easily keep up with the average user’s workout regimen.

Battery life

  • Battery manages to last all day
  • Charges quickly

The manufacturer claims that the Misfit Vapor 2 has ‘all-day battery life’, and in our time with it, we found that to be basically true.

This reviewer isn’t the type to wear a watch to bed, but even with the always-on display enabled, we didn’t run out of battery throughout the day. So, with judicious use of the watch, you might even be able to get it to run for a couple of days.

Luckily, even if you do run out of battery, the included charger should be able to charge it up pretty quickly. Misfit says it can be charged up to 80% in 50 minutes, and while we didn’t actually time it, the watch seemed to charge rather quickly.

Verdict

At the end of the day, the Misfit Vapor 2 does what it sets out to do - it’s a good Wear OS smartwatch that will be a suitable workout companion for most people. It also has a beautiful display that will make custom watch faces look great, especially if they’re colorful photos.

However, compared to some other smartwatches, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch or an Apple Watch 4, the Misfit Vapor 2 feels kind of light and flimsy. We’re sure that some users are going to love this though, so your mileage may vary - everyone’s aesthetic is different, after all.

If you’re an Apple user, though, your experience might be a bit rough. It will work, but you might be best served looking elsewhere for all your wearable needs.

Who's this for?

The Misfit Vapor 2 is going to be a great choice for anyone looking for a mid-range smartwatch with all the necessary features.

It doesn’t have all the features that much more expensive watches have, such as LTE and a newer chipset, but that doesn’t matter too much - it nails its price point and does a good job of fitness.

Should you buy it?

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that has all the essential features, without the high price that Samsung and Apple watches sometimes carry, the Misfit Vapor 2 is a worthwhile smartwatch. You should be able to get all of your workouts done, even those pesky underwater ones, without having to worry.

And, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that lovely screen one more time. If that’s something important to you, the AMOLED display on the Misfit Vapor 2 really does punch above its weight class.

The only time we’d recommend passing is if you’re an Apple user, and you want a smartwatch that’s going to enhance your experience within the iOS ecosystem. But Android users should have no problem adopting the Misfit Vapor 2.

First reviewed: November 2018

Looking for other options? Consider these:

Ticwatch Pro

The Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro is an unusual smartwatch with a unique dual-screen design that saves on battery life. It has all the other basic features you’d want in a smartwatch, and even though it lacks the LTE features of higher-end smartwatches, it’s worth it for this unique watch.

It’s about the same price as the Misfit Vapor 2 at $249 (£219, AU$369), so that unique screen tech might sway you over.

Apple Watch 3

The Apple Watch 4 might be the latest watch on the market, but the Apple Watch 3 is much more in line with the price point of the Misfit Vapor 2. And, for anyone on an iPhone, it’s going to work a lot better in the Apple ecosystem than any Wear OS device will.

It’s a bit more expensive, even in 2018, at $279 (£279, AU$399). But, that extra 20 bucks might be worth it for any Apple aficionados out there.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

The biggest competition for the Misfit Vapor 2 likely lies in the Samsung Galaxy Watch. It’s gorgeous, full-featured and affordable. We know that Samsung has its own fair share of loyalists, and it’s not hard to see why. This really is one of the best smartwatches out there.

It’s going to set you back a little bit more at $329 (£279, AU$499), but you’re getting a much more fully-featured watch, plus the unique Tizen OS.



from TechRadar - Technology Reviews http://www.techradar.com/reviews/misfit-vapor-2-review

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